Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell Hamilton

Title: Guilty Pleasures
Author: Laurell Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake series book 1
Genre: Adult, Crime, Urban Fantasy (Vampire, Weres, Witches)

Anita Blake is an animator. In other words, she raises the dead for a living. She is also the supernatural expert of the police, or the RPIT. Other than being the very face of Animators Inc. and supe specialist, Anita is also known as "The Executioner". She is a vampire hunter, killing vampires who doesn't abide by the law. 

Anita is being drag into a vampire murder case by the Master of the city. Anita needs to find the murderer of the powerful vampires of the city while keeping herself intact. The Master is playing with her and there is no other way but to fight back when someone is messing with you.

I didn't really have much ground on this series because Goodreads doesn't have any synopsis on its books; I just know it's quite popular. Despite this lack of insight, I'm still excited to start on a new series.

Review: Heartless by Gail Carriger

Title: Heartless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate series book 4
Genre: Adult, Historical, Fantasy (Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts), Steampunk

Alexia Maccon managed to escape the attempts of the vampires on her life but she needs to give up her child to the vampires to stop the attacks. This isn't really the only problem in her hands. A ghost has warned them of an attempt on the queen's life. It is up to Alexia to solve this problem, even if she is 8 months pregnant. She may have to reopen her husband's past to solve this case and find the assassin.  

With the addition of her sister's new activity and Madame Lefoux's invention, her pregnancy gets better and better. 

I didn't really enjoy this book that much. I think I'm getting sick of the plot or something. I mean Alexia being pregnant is really fun when she is trying to solve cases but nothing really happened. A bit of revelation from here to there but not much. The author is lacking the excitement factors in her books. Also, I didn't really like where this book ended.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review: Blameless by Gail Carriger

Title: Blameless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate series book 3
Genre: Adult, Historical, Fantasy (Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts), Steampunk

Cast out by her husband & pack, Alexia Maccon needs to prove her husband of her innocence. However, life just can't get easier for Alexia. The vampires are out for her head. She has been relieved of her duties for the queen. Her family has thrown her out. Lord Akeldama, the only person willing to help her, is missing. Alexia and her small group needs to get out of England and go to Italy to find out whatever they could of her baby.

Life is just not easy for a fine lady, when you are on the run and taken prison by a church. It is up to Alexia and her parasol to get away from this little mess

I didn't really like this book that much because seriously I pity Alexia. I wanna punch Conall in the face for what he did and didn't do. For, like, one third of the book, he was drunk senseless which makes him a useless character. I pity the Professor for he is the one handling everything for his Alpha. I just couldn't believe Alexia is pregnant. She is not even showing signs of her pregnancy. I sure hoped she did to make the story far more interesting.

Review: Changeless by Gail Carriger

Title: Changeless 
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate series book 2
Genre: Adult, Historical, Fantasy (Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts), Steampunk

Alexia Maccon found herself waking up to the yelling of her husband and his quick disappearance, without knowing what is occurring. Alexia later found out the there is a wide spread of momentary lost of supernatural powers in the heart of the city and it is Alexia's task to look for the cause of this problem, most especially when people are pointing fingers at her nature.

Alexia deciphered that the cause of their problems are heading toward Scotland, where her husband ran to fix family problems. Equipped with her new parasol and tiny entourage, Alexia makes her way for her husband's homeland, where she finds that someone is out to kill her and she doesn't really know which one of her entourage is behind it.

I believe my feelings for this book is fifty fifty. I love it because of the excitement of the story and I hate it because of the extras. I really enjoyed this story. I was quite intrigued as to how Alexia would solve this problem. However, her sister & friend ruined it a bit for me. I just couldn't stand both of their stupidity. They simply insult Alexia. If I was Alexia, I would have murdered them both already.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blitz: Ondine by Emma Raveling

Ondine by Emma Raveling
(Ondine Quartet 0.5)
Publication date: December 19, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

“I shouldn’t get involved.”

Rebellious and headstrong, sixteen-year-old Kendra Irisavie doesn’t have much respect for authority. An ondine with the powerful gift of Virtue, she uses her tough attitude and Empath magic to navigate through high school and keep others away.

Because being an ondine also means keeping secrets.

Kendra and her mother are Rogue water elementals in the middle of an ancient war. They hide among humans, their survival constantly threatened by monstrous Aquidae demons.

Along with a rigorous training regimen to mold Kendra into a lethal fighter, her mother has instituted four rules to keep her safe.

Trust no one. Relationships are weaknesses. Emotional attachments are dangerous. Be responsible only for yourself.

But when Kendra witnesses a classmate in trouble, she intervenes and her decision to break the rules comes at a price.

Sometimes, humans could be more dangerous than demons.

Ondine is a short prequel novella for the young adult urban / paranormal fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet.

Purchase Link:

Blitz + Giveaway: Insanity by Cameron Jace

Insanity by Cameron Jace
Publication date: December 20th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

Purchase Link:

Blitz + Giveaway: Exception by Patty Maximini

Exception by Patty Maximini
Publication date: November 2nd 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When all hope for moving on from a life filled with pain and abuse was gone, Emily Watson closed herself off to the world, packed her bags, and moved across the country in search of a new life. What she found was a career she adored and friends she loved. It wasn’t a full and complete life, but it was definitely better than what she knew before.

When all hope for being loved and accepted for who he was instead of what he had was gone, Taylor Carter decided that trusting people outside of his family wasn’t really smart and would only lead to disappointment. With his world turned upside down, his life became about his work, and every new relationship was meaningless and superficial. He was safe and definitely content but never truly happy.

When all hope for staying awake during a long day was gone, Emily and Taylor found themselves at the same coffee cart. Little did they know then that the worst coffee they’d ever had would forever change their lives.

When hopeless people are blinded by an endless pain, when contentment and safety feel like the best options, and when love seems impossible, they may just find an exception.

Purchase Links:

Ondine by Emma Raveling Excerpt

Ondine Excerpt

Afternoon sunlight drenched the wood, heat seeping through my jeans and warming the back of my legs.
Rui’s icy voice sliced through the delicate spring air. “I need you to get the money from him.”

Insanity by Cameron Jace Excerpt

Insanity Excerpt
Excerpt from chapter 1

The writing on the wall says it's January 14th. I am not sure what year. I haven't been sure of many things lately, but I’m wondering if it’s my handwriting I’m looking at.
There is an strange key drawn underneath the date. It's carved with a sharp object, probably a broken mirror. I couldn’t have written this. I'm terrified of mirrors. They love to call it Catoptrophobia around here.

Exception by Patty Maximini Excerpt

Exception Excerpt
“I know you don’t do dancefloors, but would you make an exception and dance with me?”
His question came as a shock and her reaction to it was an even bigger one. Aside from being close to giddy, her stomach was weirdly fluttering with butterflies. Emily looked him straight in the eye. “You’ll have my back?” she asked.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate series book 6
Genre: Adult, Historical, Fantasy (Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts), Steampunk

Alexia Tarabotti is a sophisticated spinster living in England and she has no soul. She can negate all supernatural powers of Vampires and Werewolves, leaving them human when in contact. However, a vampire doesn't know what Alexia is and attacked her, which is truly rude. Alexia accidentally killed the vampire and Lord Conall Maccon, a werewolf, came to investigate. Alexia managed to not get into trouble for Lord Maccon didn't bring up her name in the report. Or so she thought.

The queen of the hive asked for an audience from Alexia. Everybody knows no one comes out of the hive unharmed. Also, vampires & werewolves are disappearing and Alexia is also in danger of getting kidnapped. 

I really had fun with this book. It combined 2 of my favorite genres: historical & supernatural. I was really excited to read this book. I mean a sophisticated lady killing vampires in her tea time? How fun is that? I can't really say if the story is using authentic manners or language based on the timeline but I find how they speak really endearing. Though, I had a little trouble with vocabularies. I think most of that is my lack of exploration in the English language.

Tour + Giveaway: Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

Lichgates by S.M. Boyce
(The Grimoire Saga #1)
Publication date: October 15th 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.

Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Purchase Link:

Title: Lichgates
Author: S.M. Boyce
Series: Grimoire Saga series book 1
Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Supernatural (Fairy)

Kara is still having a hard time accepting her mother's death. She spends most of her time alone doing hikes, when she stumble upon a lichgate. She found a book called the Grimoire that contains information of a world that she didn't know exists - Ourea. The book gave Kara powers beyond her wildest imagination. However, there is a price to pay. 

Every being in Ourea is out to get her to wield the power of the book, that only Kara could read. She needs to learn fast and not trust anyone in order to survive but she can't seem to separate herself from the Stelian prince, Braeden. Braeden has been keeping a secret all his life and he wants the book to give himself another chance. 

The two of them could only trust and help each other to survive. 

I didn't expect to actually like this book. First of all, I have an allergy with faery books. Second, it's young adult. Don't get me wrong I don't have any problem with young adult. It's just I've been avoiding young adult books lately because of the naivety and lack of originality of some but this book is a different story. I needed to finish this book for a book tour and it isn't anything what I mentioned. Moreover, this is my first time reading an indie book, which is actually a good experience.

S.M. Boyce created a wonderful world for us to enjoy, where everything is a sight to see and is full of wonder. Everything is vividly describe that you could really envision everything. I seriously want to live in this world. This is really much like Julie Kagawa's Iron Fae. If you liked that series, I'm sure you'd like this one. I've missed these kinds of story where the character travels around the world. It contains so much excitement that you couldn't sit still.

This is also actually my first time reading a story that revolves around a grimoire. I mean I know about it but I haven't encountered it in a book yet. It's really interesting because you could find all sorts of things in the book which is so cool and it contains magical stuff in it. I mean who doesn't want that? The only sad part is that Kara should have used it more. I hoped Kara could master her magic and kick her enemies' asses, like Gavin's.

Though, the narration is a bit confusing because it uses the third person point of view, it's still a great experience. I'm actually continuing the series which I didn't really expect to do.

I would like to thank the author for giving me a copy of this book.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead to the World
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse series book 4
Genre: Urban fantasy (Vampires, Shapeshifters, Fairies & Witches), Adult
Status: Dropped series

Sookie Stackhouse is a barmaid & a telepath. She has just recently broken up with Bill, her vampire ex-boyfriend, who is going to Peru for a few weeks. Now that Sookie is all alone again, she is feeling how lonely her life really is ever since her Gran was gone. However, she didn't expect to have the company of a certain vampire to remedy this problem.

Eric has lost all his memories. Sookie saw him running on the road terrified and she just couldn't leave him like that. She found out the Eric has been having some problems with the witches and they retaliated. Now, she needs to keep Eric away from public eyes and stop the witches that are taking over the city. She also needs to look for her missing brother. It seems that Sookie won't be able to follow up to her New Year's resolution of not getting beaten up. 

I'm very much pissed by this book. At first, it was super fine. I mean it's quite exciting seeing Eric & Sookie get together but everything that happened doesn't even have a point. The only thing that this book contains is that witches, whom you won't really get to know more about, & fairies, who are equally as vague. Also, some stuff that happened to Jason by the end that would be a bit problematic or life changing. I seriously don't know where this author is going. Even if she is on her third book the story ain't getting better. I still couldn't see the pattern of it. It's like she is still trying out her characters and plots.

Review: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Title: Club Dead
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse series book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy (Vampires, Shapeshifters, Fairies, Witches), Adult

Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic bar waitress and the girlfriend of a vampire, Bill. What used to be her great love life ain't that great these days. Bill has always been working on his computer the past few days. He's also been keeping things from Sookie. Bill left her some instructions concerning his work while he went to "Seattle". Sookie doesn't believe what he said one bit but she couldn't really stop him from doing a mission for the Queen of Louisiana.

Later, Sookie found out from Pam & Eric that Bill was missing. Also, Bill is planning on leaving Sookie with a big sum of money and run off with his past lover. Sookie can't believe what she is hearing. However, she needs to suck it up and at least try and save Bill from danger, even if he crushed her heart.

Now, she is out to find the vampire who has Bill but life keeps getting better and better for Sookie because now she has someone trying to kidnap her. With the help of Alcide, Bubba & Eric, Sookie would put herself in danger again for the person who doesn't really deserve her love.

So, I did a really really bad thing. I read all the synopsis of the books and I think I know the main structure of the series. No more surprises for me. Also, I didn't really like what I read. I've been contemplating whether to actually continue the series or not. I'm still trying to think about it but for now, I'll try to review what book I read from the series.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tour + Giveaway: Adrenaline Rush by Cindy M. Hogan

Adrenaline Rush by Cindy M. Hogan
Publication date: October 2013
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult

A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it’s up to Christy to stop him.

To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it’s too late.

If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target—with no guarantee that she’ll get out alive.

Purchase Links:

Title: Adrenaline Rush
Author: Cindy M. Hogan
Series: N/A
Genre: Suspense, Young Adult

Misha, or really known as Christy, is an 18 year old spy for the Division. Her first real mission is to stop a kidnapping and prove to the Division that she is as good as they say she is. She needs to get herself kidnapped by posing as an adrenaline junkie high schooler and get information on the operation of the kidnapper before being extracted. However, how could she complete her mission when her own team, except Jeremy, her handler, doesn't believe in her?

This may be Christy's first big break but this could also be her last mission ever. She needs to save both adrenaline junkie groups whom may be the next target. However, would she be able to save herself first before saving her friends?

I fell in love with this book the very first time I read the first chapter. I didn't read the synopsis before reading and I was honestly surprised by the plot. I was expecting slice-of-life kind of genre again but it's not. I missed reading these kinds of story, where the main character is an innocent looking spy. This book seriously gave me life and I remembered what I'm missing out for reading too much paranormal books.

What makes this book so great is that it's young adult but it's not so naive, which is usually the case. I paused my young adult reading because of the naivety of most of them. This book is not that naive at all and the plot and ending is really good. At first, I got put out because of the clown-initiation part that was super weird. I thought this would be those books with super corny plots. However, I was wrong.

I think the only thing wrong in this book is the lack of planning for the assassination and escape which is a bit understandable considering the length of the book.

As for the characters, I think Christy is a bit too trusting for my taste. I mean anyone could be a spy for Sterling but she suddenly trusts everyone even Dakota, who is seriously suspicious. By the way, I love Christy's super photographic memory. I wish I have that skill so I don't need to study that much. Also, the background story is not present! What makes a book good is a good background story and Christy doesn't have one. *sniff* I really wanted to know more about Christy. (I just researched a bit on this book. I didn't know it has a series before Christy becomes a spy, the Watched series so I think that's where we're going to get the background story.)

There are some more stuff I wanna talk about, mostly the ending, but I can't do that because I'll spoil the book for you. My advice for you is.... Read the Book!

I wished the author made a series out of this.

PS: I would like to thank the author for giving me a copy of the book.

Rating: 5/5

Blitz: The One Summer by C.J. Duggan

That One Summer by C.J. Duggan
(Summer #3)
Publication date: December 17th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

Purchase Links