Friday, February 5, 2016

ARC Review: Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey


Published: February 22, 2016 by Entangled: Crave
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Format: ebook
Source: Sent through Netgalley for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Dating isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a blood feud. 

Anastasia Vila’s family can turn into swans, but just once she’d like them to turn into responsible adults.

After hundreds of years, they still cling to the blood feud with the Renard family. No one remembers how it started in the first place—but foxes and swans just don’t get along.

Vilas can only transform into their swan shape after they have fallen in love for the first time, but between balancing schoolwork, family obligations, and the escalating blood feud, Ana’s got no time for love. The only thing keeping her sane is her best friend, Pierce Kent.

But when Pierce kisses Ana, everything changes.

Is what Pierce feels for her real, or a byproduct of her magic? Can she risk everything for her best friend? And when the family feud spirals out of control, Ana must stop the fight before it takes away everything she loves.

Including, maybe...Pierce.

This Entangled Teen Crave book contains language, violence, and lots of kissing. Warning: it might induce strong feelings of undeniable attraction for your best friend.


"When your day started with decade-old battle-blood and your aunt singing about making a harp from your bones and your hair, it's probably best just to go back to bed."


The Good


I've never read anything about swan shifters though I've heard of the folktales, so that part really intrigued me. This was a cute story about Ana and her family of swans. They only turn into a swan if they fall in love so this is largely a romance story as well. There is also a family feud here which added a lot of action, intensity, and mystery to the story.

I enjoyed the characters a lot. This was told through Ana's POV and alternated to Pierce's POV. Pierce is Ana's best friend and he knows all about her family's secrets. He is a great guy and quite gentlemanly, always trying to shield Ana even though she's the one with the magic. The magic in the story is fun. There's magic brought on by their singing, magic in their long blonde hair, and dancing at midnight to recharge their magic. The foxes were also good characters. I enjoyed the sassy Liv that Ana just can't get along with. I would read a story from her POV as well.

There's a lot happening. Swans' hair, cloaks, and even swans themselves are disappearing. There are also foxes being trapped and fox tails being taken. Naturally, this causes the feud to ramp up a lot. It ended with a lot of action and wrapped up nicely.


The Bad


There are a ton of side characters, especially in the two feuding families, and I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. I also would've liked to have seen even more personality fleshed out for those characters. While the main characters were strongly written, I would've liked to have seen more even from those Aunts and Cousins that were mentioned often.

The Romance


The romance was very cute. Pierce is Ana's best friend and he's in love with her. Yet, he helps Ana try to win Edward's attention so that she can get her wings. So there is a bit of a triangle here, but it works very well.

Conclusion


Love Me, Love Me Not is a cute, fun read. It's a short book and interesting the whole way through. There is quite a bit of action and the unique addition of swan shifters. I also enjoyed the family feud with the foxes and how Ana really wanted to stop carrying on with their ancestor's rivalry. Recommended.




Excerpts

Swans and foxes just didn't get along. To say my family was not like other families was an understatement. It wasn't enough that we had magic in a world that didn't believe in it, and that we had to keep our magic hidden at all costs - we also had the joys of a magical family feud. Which, by the way, started so long ago that no one could actually remember what the hell we were fighting about anymore. It had become an inherited quality, like blue eyes or lactose intolerance, only we had inherited stupidity. And I was so over it. Problem was, no one else seemed particularly bothered.

We had other weapons after all. Some of the prettiest flowers are poisonous.

Were they experimenting on Ana's family? It only got worse when I saw the cage. The girl was curled up in the back, dirt and salt stains on her cheeks. Her long blond hair was perfectly combed, at odds with the tears in her clothes and the bruises on her arms and throat. She was gagged. Her left eye was swollen shut. I wasn't even sure if she could see wewll enough to recognize me. But I recognized her.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [98]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows.The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Click the links to the blogs to see how to join up &  upcoming topics.

Rename the Books from Dumbledore's POV

Dumbledore and the Return of the Boy Who Lived
Dumbledore and the Petrified Students
Dumbledore and the Fugitive
Dumbledore and the Foreign Delegation
Dumbledore and the Ministry
Dumbledore and the Promise
Dumbledore and King's Cross Platform

and for a little more fun:


Dumbledore and Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
Dumbledore and All Clues Point to Voldemort
Dumbledore and More than One Innocent Life Can be Saved
Dumbly-door and What is the Meaning of Zis? 
Dumbledore and He's Got Style
Dumbledore and the Dead Hand
Dumbledore and the Tales of Rita Skeeter


What would you name them?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Spirit Ascendancy (The Gateway Trilogy #3) by E.E. Holmes


Published: November 15, 2015 by Smashwords
Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: sent for honest review
Goodreads Summary

IN THE WAKE of their terrifying escape from Fairhaven Hall, sisters Jess and Hannah Ballard find themselves on the run, pursued by the two most powerful groups in the history of the spirit world. On one side, the Durupinen, determined to capture the girls and prevent their role in an ancient prophecy that promises to destroy them and unleash the spirit hordes on the earth. On the other side, the Necromancers, ancient enemies of the Durupinen, hellbent on bringing the same prophecy to fruition. When the girls are betrayed and one of them falls into the Necromancers’ hands, both face decisions with cataclysmic consequences.

Will the lure of power prove too great to resist, or will the bond between the sisters survive this last, most crucial of tests?



"There was still a lot I needed to learn about dealing with spirits, but one thing I had managed to learn at Fairhaven before torching the place to the ground was that a spirit was pretty set in its ways, much more deeply than a living person."


The Good


This was a really enjoyable series. I'll be looking for more from this author in the future.

Holmes created a world that felt quite real. I loved how this one went to another location and gave us a glimpse of more characters. This one, as the finale, was more intense in purpose and action. Jess was always on edge and rushing to find out more information and learn all that she could 'in time'. It put a nice pace to the story. I am a fan of Holmes being able to kill off characters as well.

I've very much enjoyed the characters. I love how they are all flawed in different ways and even how their quirks and personalities are all so different.

The way that it was summed up at the end was rather satisfying.

The Bad


My small complaint is that I saw the twist coming. It is really hard to surprise me though so I don't think every reader will.

The Romance


In the first one, Jess is drawn to a boy very quickly and none of that made a lot of sense to me. Throughout the last two, it looked like Finn and Jess were going to be a thing. I really loved Finn's character, but although you know they have feelings for each other, it ended quite in the air.

Conclusion


A lovely way to end the series. I enjoyed the many different settings, the array of characters, and the plot. This one was a little more on the action side than the previous two. I wouldn't read the series for the romance, but I would read it for the unique spin on the ability to see ghosts. Recommended for paranormal fans.




Excerpts

"No, you were right," I said, doing my utmost to keep the bitterness out of my voice. "All you were trying to do was save my life, and I attacked you for it. It was a shitty way to behave, and I'm sorry. I wasn't mad at you, not really. I was just mad that leeching was our only choice. But it really was the only choice, and I know it wasn't easy for you to make it. So thank you. Thank you for saving my life."

It was at the very zenith of our tension, just after Finn had shouted at me for drumming my fingers on the table, and I had opened my mouth to literally release the Kraken on him, when the door to the flat burst open. Everyone screamed, and Finn leapt to action impossibly fast, which would have been impressive, except for the fact that "leaping to action" meant tackling me to the ground and shielding me with his body.

Rough hands seized me by the shoulders and dragged me, half-conscious, from my seat. I was too started even to yell, but couldn't have made a sound even if I tried as a wad of fabric was stuffed roughly in my mouth. Muffled should told me that Savvy, Annabelle and Finn were also being pulled from the car. Sudden small flares of light burst in front of my eyes as I was thrown to my knees in the tall grass, and it was by these lights that my eyes adjusted and I could finally see who had attacked us.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: Wendigo Rising (Yancy Lazarus #3) by James A. Hunter


Published: November 3rd 2015 by Shadow Alley Press, Inc.
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, sci-fi
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary


Bigfoot is real. Yancy Lazarus—mage, bluesman, and rambler—knows because there happens to be a nine-foot-tall, walking myth standing in the road, flagging him down. 

Yancy just can’t escape his reputation as a supernatural Fix-it man even when cruising through the forgotten backwoods of Montana. Turns out Bigfoot has a serious problem on his hands: one of his own has gone rogue, developing a taste for the flesh of humans and Sasquatch alike. A greater Wendigo has risen for the first time in thousands of years and if Yancy can’t stop the creature it could be a slaughter for the residents of a rural Montana town. 

But even with the monstrous threat looming on the horizon, Yancy has bigger fish to fry. He’s working as an agent of Fate, attempting to put the kibosh on a nefarious scheme, aimed at upsetting the tenuous balance between the supernatural nations. When your boss is Lady Luck, however, nothing is ever left to chance, and his two cases may have more in common than it appears. If he can’t figure out the missing link it could usher in a new world order: an age of inhuman creatures and walking nightmares … one where Yancy Lazarus doesn’t exist.

Buy Wendigo Rising (Yancy Lazarus #3) by James A. Hunter today at Amazon

They might’ve been homeless methheads, but that didn’t give anyone the right to tie ’em up, hold ’em against their will, and treat ’em like animals. Like slaves. Anger reared up inside me like some mean-ass mama bear watching someone mistreat her delinquent, wayward, druggie cubs. Let’s face it, I’m basically a dirt-caked hobo myself, so these were my people.


The Good

What can I say, Yancy has become one of my top 5 favorite characters to read about. He's rough around the edges and while full of sarcasm he's pretty straightforward in his actions. Plus, he has a knack for fighting the strangest creatures with extreme consequences hanging in the balance. I really love the banter between Yancy and pretty much anyone he tries to hold a conversation with for more than 2 minutes. By the way they talk, you would think him and the chief have known each other for years. The variety of monsters showing up in this series really leaves me hungry for more. Most often it’s just vampires and werewolves and if you're lucky a ghost of some sort. With this series, you'll be eager to turn the page and see what pops up next. One last thing I really love about the series is while it builds upon the last book they never end in crazy cliff hangers.

The Bad

I was left with a question regarding a particular magical item. A certain crown, hopefully in the next book we will get filled in as to what happens to it.

The Romance

Well Agent Ferraro is back and that means tension with how their last encounter ended up. Plus should I mention Co-ed hot springs?

Conclusion

Overall, I loved getting lost in this story. It brings plenty of memories from the first two novels while standing strong on its own. Between the different types of beings showing up and the wild magic items, I love to see new books for this series. I really can't get enough. The world itself has an amazing magical feel and the fact that you can end up anywhere at any given time is fantastic. If you like urban fantasy and haven't started this series, do yourself a favor and start it already.




Excerpts

“Stop calling me ‘mage,’ my name’s Yancy, alright? If I’m gonna be stuck with you and your inarticulate, ill-tempered, poo-flinging father, the least you can do is get my name right.”


“Wait, is this one of the flesh-eating Bigfeet you mentioned earlier?”
“No. No, this was the good one. Well, good except for the part where he ripped my door off— his name is Chief …” I faltered for a second. What the hell was his name? “Err, Chief something or other. I can’t remember. Chankoo-koo, Chwack-wack, Chi-hua-hua— something with too many syllables, kinda earthy sounding. I just call him Kong, ’cause you know, giant, hairy ape-man with a chip on his shoulder.”


Kids, this is exactly why you shouldn’t buy those tiny, cutesy pet gators. Sure, they start out adorable and snuggly, but sooner or later they get bigger. You end up flushing them down the crapper, and they, in turn, start having babies, who will one day invade the human world, murder you horribly, and sell your leftover pieces to the highest bidder. Consider yourself warned.


“Sometimes, Yancy, to get to the bottom of a mess like this, subtlety is required. And you … well, you’re about as subtle and vulgar as a monster truck show.


“So does that mean we’ll get invites to all the parties?” I asked.
Arawn laughed, a deep, rich bark. “No. It means I will consider not eating you if you should stumble through my land again uninvited.

Buy Wendigo Rising (Yancy Lazarus #3) by James A. Hunter today at Amazon

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Cover Scramble [154]



Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I am pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [97]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows.The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Click the links to the blogs to see how to join up &  upcoming topics.

What Do You Think Your Best Subject Would Be? Not Necessarily Your Favorite But the One You Think You'd Be Best At.

My logic may not make sense to everyone, but I feel like I love McGonagall so much that I'd want to make her proud. So, I'm going with Transfiguration. I believe I'd do well in most of the classes, but I feel some would come easily to me so I may not try as hard as I would in Transfiguration. Are we doing worst class? I know what that one would be too!


Which would you choose?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Iron Night (Generation V #2) by M.L. Brennan


Published: January 7, 2014 by Roc
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

Underemployed by day. Undead by night.

Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He's learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once.

Until he finds his roommate’s dead body.

The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who (or what) actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril.

Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks.

"Ah, compartmentalization - my old friend."


The Good


This was a great follow up to Generation V. Fortitude Scott is the youngest of 3 vampire siblings. They each are progressively nicer as they get younger, and we find out why this is. I loved the more in depth look at the Scott family and how Fort came to be basically human while transitioning into a vampire.

I laugh a lot while reading this series. Brennan is great at not only weaving together a believable story with incredibly interesting supernatural elements, but also with making the characters relatable when they really shouldn't be.

My absolute favorite part of this series is the kitsune, Suzume. Her and Fort together on the page is a blend of wit and sexual tension and I love it.

Fort has grown a lot since the first one as well and I just enjoy watching that evolution. The story in Iron Night is about Fort trying to find whoever killed his roommate...right after he finally found one that he meshes well with. It was a unique and interesting journey. So this mystery/thriller aspect is entwined well with the UF universe she has built.

The Bad


There's no complaints for me with this.

The Romance


Fort meets a half-elf that he gets along very well with and you can see the chemistry. They are quite a lot alike. However, Suze and Fort have more chemistry and undeniable tension so it's fun to watch it play out.

Conclusion


A great story. There is a good dramatic mystery to sort out while learning a great deal more about this world that Brennan has made with vampires and more supernatural critters. The writing flows smoothly and there is wit and humor all throughout. I love the characters and have fun watching them grow. Recommended for Urban Fantasy fans.




Excerpts

"Think hard on what she values."
I considered it, then said slowly, "She doesn't value her own life."
Prudence nodded again, pleased. "Precisely. True fanatics do not. So come in, Fortitude, and force her to talk by threatening what she does hold dear."

I'm closer than I used to be, though. Four months ago I'd started the transition into vampire adulthood, but instead of a cake or some bar mitzvah bonds, I'd gotten an increased role in the family business of keeping a solid chunk of the Eastern seaboard thoroughly under the control of our mother, Madeline Scott.

"Damn it, Suze, he stole the freaking napkin. You do this on purpose every time. Get them all riled and worked up, and then I've brought the coffee and they have to walk out of here, so they grab the napkin to provide a visual block." She gave me a very smug look. "Do not look that proud," I scolded. "That's not nice to do to any guy."
"Are you saying that on behalf of your gender, or" - she swept her gaze downward - "are you speaking from more personal experience?"
"I'm immune to you now," I said, picking up the pile of plates and stomping off to the kitchen. Not fast enough, because I could hear her taunting, disbelieving laugh behind me. She was right. I wasn't immune at all.