Monday, June 16, 2014

The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood
The Weight of Blood

Laura McHugh


March 2014

4 Stars

*I received this uncorrected galley from netgalley*

Sixteen year old Lucy Dane has always felt like an outsider in the small mountain town of Henbane. Even though she was born there and that the Dane family has a history there the residents have never fully accepted her because her mother had been a stranger.  When Lucy starts digging into her friend’s disappearance and death she discovers that the town and her own family have a lot of skeletons to be discovered. Lucy didn’t expect her investigation to also uncover secrets about her mother’s disappearance and how it would change the lives of her loved ones.

I was immediately drawn into the mystery of this story and didn’t want to stop reading. It could have easily been read in one sitting if I would have had the time to dedicate to it.  The plot kept the pages turning quickly and kept me on my toes. The different character perspectives were a nice way to see the story unfold by keeping it from getting stale.  As I have stated in other reviews, I love a good dysfunctional family and this novel provides one. I would have to agree with the comparison to Gillian Flynn when it comes to this novel, especially the family dynamic.  My one complaint is the characters. I just didn’t feel like I was getting enough from them. Even though I was thoroughly invested in their story I wasn’t invested in them.  Overall I really enjoyed it and have already recommended it and will keep doing so. I will also be checking out this author’s future work.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Herald

The Herald: The Sundering, Book VI
The Herald (The Sundering #6)

Ed Greenwood

ISBN: 9780786964604

June 2014

*This is a review of an uncorrected galley I received from netgalley*

4 Stars

Since this is the final book in a series I will not include a synopsis to avoid spoilers as much as possible.

I had a hard time deciding on how many stars I should give this one. The book and I got started on a bad foot, but that had nothing to do with the author. The galley was formatted badly and that proved frustrating and made it hard to get yanked into the story. 

The one complaint I have with the story is that it felt cluttered in high action areas.  I found myself back tracking here and there to make sure that I was grasping everything and not missing anything important.  There’s a lot of characters and action to keep track of and it can be distracting.  Other than that, all of the elements are entertaining and enjoyable. The characters are memorable, some even humorous, and I found myself invested in their personal stories. There’s a lot of intense action that keeps the pace quick and compliments each characters’ individual strengths and weaknesses.  The relationships only improve the plot and are fun to read.  Needless to say I really enjoyed this book.

This whole series is one that I recommend, especially to fantasy fans.  Obviously this book is the conclusion and I suggest reading it last even if the other installments aren’t read in order.  



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Reaver

The Reaver (The Sundering #4)

Richard Lee Byers

ISBN# 9780786964581

February 2014

The Reaver (The Sundering, #4)
4 Stars

*I received this uncorrected galley from NetGalley*

Stedd Whitehorn, a young boy Chosen by a God thought to be dead, has a big price on his head. In order to perform the miracles that will end a famine that has plagued the land and preach the messages of his god he has to journey far while evading many enemies.  Anton Marivaldi, a reaver with a checkered past, captures Stedd in hopes to claim a bounty from the undead pirate captain Evendur Highcastle who serves the god Umberlee. Anton finds himself caught in a war that he didn’t expect to be a part of and Stedd has to find a way to complete his mission despite it all.

The one complaint that I have is that there were times I felt that it was cluttered. I found myself back tracking some to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I have read the previous books in the series and the one thing I really like is that it’s not necessary to read them in order. That could change at some point but for now the books seem to be stand alone. I would have to say that this book is probably the most fun, so far.  There is a lot of action, pirates, wizard, vampires and even zombies.  At times I was on the edge of my seat and even though I wanted to get to the end to find out what happens I wanted the adventures to continue. The protagonists are great. When an author can make me like someone that I was against liking in the beginning I get excited. These characters have a depth that can be hard to find on the first introduction in this genre.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel.  This was my first experience with this author but I will be reading more of his work in the near future. I will gladly recommend The Reaver.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Adversary

The Adversary (The Sundering, #3)
The Adversary (The Sundering #3)

Erin M. Evans

ISBN: 9780786963751

December 2013

4 Stars

*I received this uncorrected galley from NetGalley*

Farideh is taken by Netherese agents and imprisoned along with other Netherese enemies. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that her fellow prisoners are something more than what she expected. These captives have powers or abilities that their captors will use or destroy so the race is on for her to find a way to release them. Farideh has allies within the camp but one is an old adversary who she’s not sure she can trust. While she works tirelessly on her plans Farideh’s sister and friends are on their own seemingly impossible journey to attempt a rescue that magic and politics could destroy before they reach the camp.

This series is my first introduction to these authors and I am so excited to read more from them.

My complaints always come first so I will get that out of the way. In some areas it felt cluttered and I had moments of feeling overwhelmed by the number of characters. It was mostly in intense action scenes where I was trying to keep track of the major characters plus the minor ones.  Otherwise everything moves smoothly and the pace has a nice balance.  The characters (I know other readers have had more experience with them than I have) are also very balanced. Having conflicted and complex characters really works well in this genre.  Farideh is a good example of this and I can’t wait to read more of her adventures. I stayed up late a few nights to read this and that’s a good sign for me because I love my sleep and am an early riser. I can easily recommend this one to fantasy fans or anyone looking to get a start in fantasy. So far I don’t see a reason why this series has to be read in order.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Red Rising

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1)

Pierce Brown


Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)
January 2014

4 Stars

*I received this galley from NetGalley*

Darrow, along with hundreds of other people, lives under the surface of Mars. They work day in and day out to make the planet habitable.  During a life altering event Darrow discovers that all they have been led to believe is a lie. Mars is already habitable and has been for generations.  An elite class called the Golds has been using Darrow’s people for slave labor while living rich lives. Recruited by rebels Darrow transforms into a Gold and infiltrates the command school where he plans to take out his revenge. It won’t be as easy as he hopes since there are others there with different agendas.

The only complaint that I have with this novel is the pacing. In the beginning it felt weighed down and the plot was what kept me going.  I have seen comparisons to The Hunger Games as far as the story line and I can agree slightly. This is much more violent and intense. I really like the plot and characters so once I got midway and the pace picked up I was excited. The characters are not cookie cutter and their clashing personalities made them fun to read. The twists and turns are well placed and made the outcome more unpredictable while keeping with the plot and those characters.  Darrow is a protagonist that had to grow on me but in the end I found myself really invested in his story. I cannot wait for future installments. 

I do recommend Red Rising, especially to fantasy fans.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Pen Name

The Pen Name

The Pen Name
David Jacob Knight


August 2013

5 Stars

*I received this novel in exchange for an honest review*

Ben Little is a struggling author with a family. Jack Fleischer is a bestselling author who seems interested in helping Ben achieve his dream. Once Ben signs on to be Fleischer’s co-author that dream becomes a nightmare.  Not only is Fleischer demanding and insulting but he expects Ben to do horrible things while holding their contract as leverage. Laws are broken, people are killed, and Ben’s sanity is questioned in the creation of the novel. When the safety of his family is threatened he knows he has to make a stand and figure a way to get out of the contract.

This novel feels like an adrenaline joyride from the beginning to the end. There were times that I felt like I had to remind myself to breathe. It’s fast paced and flows smoothly. The plot is unique and the different twists and turns kept it very interesting and left me guessing until the end.  Characters usually outshine the plot for me but this plot was so original that it kept my mind occupied. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the characters. Both the protagonist and antagonist were strong and I hate to admit that I enjoyed their relationship.  Even though this is an intense read I found some humor which was a nice touch. 

I absolutely recommend The Pen Name, especially to Thriller fans.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moth and Spark

Moth and Spark

Anne Leonard


Moth and Spark
February 2014

5 Stars

*I received this uncorrected proof from Penguin First to Read*

Prince Corin has been given the task of freeing the dragons from the Empire’s hold along with being entrusted with some of their magic. Tam, a commoner and daughter of a respected doctor, has the gift of visions. Falling in love at a time of war wasn’t expected, especially by two people who were not allowed to be together but their feelings are too strong to be denied. Like their love, the war will lead them to lean on each other and while they learn their own places in the bigger picture. With help from wizards and dragon riders Corin and Tam might discover more than they thought possible.

This is one of those stories that I am heartbroken that I finished reading. There are so many positive things to point out that I will never do it justice.  Dragons are always a plus for me so I was really excited about their presence and the way they are depicted.  Action wasn’t abundant early on but there’s plenty later on. That fact is one I appreciated in this story because there are so many other great elements like the dragons and magic that some of the story might have been jeopardized if it had been. It ended up coming together very fluidly making the pace feel flawless. There’s also a beautiful love story and a touching focus on family that a lot of readers’ can relate to.

I would recommend this to anyone. There really is something for everyone. This one is perfect for readers’ who may be intimidated by fantasy novels with numerous characters or abundant page numbers too. This novels is definitely on my favorites list.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Prince of Shadows

Prince of Shadows
Prince of Shadows

Rachel Caine

ISBN: 9780451414410

February 2014

5 Stars

*I received this uncorrected galley from Penguin first to read*

In the enemy houses of Montague and Capulet only two things really matter; power and heirs.

Knowing what is expected of him Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo Montague, realizes his double identity as the Prince of Shadows could cost him everything. What he doesn’t expect as he steals from the Capulets’ in rebellion is falling in love with Rosaline Capulet, which sets in motion a dangerous curse that will fall on both houses.

As far as retellings go this novel is probably my favorite, or at least in the top five.  I should mention that I am not a huge fan of retellings.  Even after thinking about what I would write I am lost for words. It’s been years (quite a few of them) since I read Romeo and Juliet.  I liked it but not as much as my friends. It wasn’t something I reread or wanted to reread.  Prince of Shadows will be something that I would consider rereading.  Benvolio is an interesting and fun protagonist to read. There’s a lot of action, good drama, and of course romance. It’s something I would absolutely recommend, especially to Romeo and Juliet fans.

Friday, January 10, 2014

In the Blood

In the Blood
In the Blood

Lisa Unger


January 2014

5 Stars

*I received this galley from NetGalley*

Lana Granger lives a life of lies.  Even for her the lies and reality have become a blur of confusion.

 When she learns that her trust fund is almost depleted right before college graduation she takes a job babysitting Luke, who she soon discovers, is a challenging child.  His controlling and manipulative ways have gotten him expelled from almost every school he attends but he can’t get under her skin so easily. Then her best friend and roommate, Beck, goes missing. Suspicion surrounds Lana and her life of lies starts to unravel. She starts to put the pieces together but someone else seems to have all the answers already.

If I could have stopped all outside interference this book would not have been put down for more than a few minutes.  I was drawn in and hooked right away. Since I tend to figure things out pretty quickly I need a novel like this that has subtle mysteries or twists that go along with the main plot.  It’s the subtle points that surprise me and keep me on the edge of my seat.  Pacing is very important in this genre and this one seems flawless in that regard.  The characters are also very well developed for this plot. Dysfunctional protagonists are among my favorite to read and the psychological characteristics of all the characters made them more interesting. To sum it up; this novel is very well rounded.

I really don’t have any complaints about this novel and will easily recommend it.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Severd Tower

The Severed Tower (Conquered Earth #2)

J. Barton Mitchell

ISBN: 978-1-250-00947

The Severed Tower (Conquered Earth, #2)
November 2013

5 Stars

*I got this book through a goodreads giveaway*

Since this is a sequel in a series I will not do a synopsis. It’s hard not to spoil it if I do.

I always get a little worried when reading a sequel. I usually don’t like them near as much as the first. That wasn’t the case here at all. If I could give this one more than five stars I would. The action alone makes this one incredible and quick paced. Plus the characters and their conflicting personalities make the relationships fun to experience. This novel (plus the previous one) could easily feel cluttered and disorienting but the author balances all the components very well.  If a reader is intimidated by science fiction this is a series that I would recommend. This has a little bit of everything to keep any reader happy. I am impatient for the next installment.