Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [146]



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.




Saturday, November 28, 2015

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo


Published: June 5, 2012 by Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

“I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina" He said. "You and I are going to change the world.” 


Sun Summoner


My favorite part of this read is the originality in the world. There is an interesting concept with how magic and powers are portrayed. There are regular humans in the country of Ravka who have magical talents (though they say it's not 'magic' it's a study of the Small Science). They are broken up into groups based on where their talents lie and they are in the Second Army, led by the Darkling and protect the citizens. I found the concept to be alluring and different. Each person has their own specific talent that they bring to the table and I really appreciate that they use these powers to protect the 'normal' people. I also think that the Shadow Fold is amazingly creepy. Their trade routes have basically been eclipsed by this large sea of impenetrable darkness containing the horrors of the Volcra, man eating beasts that swoop out of the sky and devour their victims.

There are also some wonderful characters in Shadow and Bone. With a name like the Darkling, I wasn't expecting a happy-go-lucky character and Bardugo didn't disappoint. He is mysterious, quite powerful, and definitely lives up to his name. He has a pull on the Grisha which makes them all swoon after him, but is largely feared by the general population. I would label him a Grade A Creeper.

Alina is the main character in the opening of the story along with Mal and they are friends from childhood having grown up together in an orphanage. Alina is very flawed with low self-image and Mal is the fun-loving ladie's man. They both have talents that are later revealed and a desire to do what's right which is necessary in a good heroine/hero. Alina starts out quite cowardly, but her bravery grows through the trials she experiences. The character of Genya is a delight. She's that girl that thinks she's awesome despite so many people telling her otherwise, which I love. None of the characters are exactly what they seem, with a large mix of good and bad whether in personality or decisions.

In the Volcra's Claws


Despite the fact that the world and concept of magic are original and interesting, the words and phrases used throughout the story are hard to stumble through. I still can't tell you what each branch of Grisha is responsible for. There are Summoners (which is fairly self-explanatory), Corporalki, Squallers, Fabrikators, Heartrenders, and Tailors (which are not at all what you'd think) and other words used throughout like kefta which is a robe the Grisha wear. There are just so many new terms that I feel could have been better described, and some that could have been left out all-together that I was basically skimming over and using context clues for what they could mean.

Oh, Alina. Our main girl has a bit of a self-image problem. She's constantly complaining or commenting on the fact that she's not very good-looking. Then she meets someone who can alter her appearance by little degrees for the better, and she gets riled saying she doesn't want to change. So much contradiction. You either are comfortable with yourself, or you're not, and I prefer my heroines with a good dose of self-esteem (even if not much at first to at least grow into it).

Like Calls to Like


I really like the difference in this one with how our main character Alina has the crush on her best friend who has friend-zoned her. Too often, we see it the other way around with the best friend pining after the main character and they get pushed to the side for the new love interest. I enjoyed the flip of this one.

The Darkling sinks his claws into Alina and captures her attention for a bit. Not too much romance in this one, just some minor kissing.


To the Other Side of the World


A good start to the series. I enjoyed getting to see a new take on magic and loved that they fight for the people with their powers. I also like how the characters are all flawed and all have some good points and I get to choose which flaws deem someone 'good' and which flaws deem someone 'bad'. The villain is a good one with the belief that they aren't really a villain at all. Some of the wording is too vague and hard to understand, and some of the groups of Grisha are difficult to remember what part they play. I also tired a bit of Alina's negative self-esteem. Overall, a good story with fresh ideas and great potential to go somewhere even better in future books. I will be continuing the series.


Excerpts


“The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak.” 

It's probably for the best, I told myself. How would I have said goodbye to Mal anyway? Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable. Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there. Make sure to write!
"What are you smiling at?"
I whirled, peering into the gloom. The Darkling's voice seemed to float out of the shadows. He walked down to the stream, crouching on the bank to splash water on his face and through his dark hair.
"Well?'"he asked, looking up at me.
"Myself," I admitted.
"Are you that funny?"

"I'm hilarious.” 


“You're shaking."
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."

"Really? I hardly notice anymore.” 

Friday, November 27, 2015

When life's kicking your butt...how about a theme song?


My friend Robyn from robgirlbooks tasked us with coming up with a theme song each month, and I love it! Music is a VERY big part of my life.

This month is all about the ukulele.

Whisper by Meghan Trainor






What is your choice this month??

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [89]


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.

First to everybody in the states:


Rename the books from Hermione's POV

via GIPHY


1st set more serious:

Hermione and the Troll
Hermione and the Basilisk
Hermione and the Secret Werewolf
Hermione and S.P.E.W.
Hermione and Dumbledore's Army
Hermione and the Mysterious Author
Hermione and the Broken Wand

2nd set more fun:

Hermione and the Bathroom Bond
Hermione and the Cat Tail
Hermione and Divination is a Joke
Hermione and the Celebrity Bulgarian
Hermione and the Bribed Journalist
Hermione and Boys are Dumb
Hermione and Dang Ron it Took Long Enough



What would you rename them?


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Quick Review: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer


Published: January 27, 2015 by Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

The rumors were bad enough. Whispers that the young princess was not at all beautiful, had in fact been grotesquely disfigured by some tragic accident in her childhood.


This one is a companion story about one of my favorite villains ever written. Queen Levana in The Lunar Chronicles is certifiably insane and wickedly powerful. I greatly enjoyed a look at her youth and the revelation that her whole family is nutballs. What I wish though is that we would have seen her even younger than she first appeared. She's on the verge of 16 in the beginning of this one and there are some flashbacks to younger days which help clear the picture of how she became the way she is. However, when this opens, she is already got a lot of loose screws. She makes one horrible choice after another and quite frankly has large obsession issues.

I really liked getting to see hints and scenes with other characters throughout (Dr. Erland, Cinder, Jacin, Winter). The setting is entirely on Luna also which was a great treat and it was fantastic getting to learn more about their world in general. I loved getting to see how the Lunar army of hybrids and the letumosis virus came into being. I do recommend reading this in between Cress and Winter. It was very enjoyable though I do wish it would've shown more of why cruelty just came so naturally to this royal family.


Excerpts

"Your Highness, I do not believe you have ever met my wife. Her Royal Highness, Princess Levana Blackburn, this is Solstice Hayle. Sol, this is Her most charming Highness, Princess Levana."

Levana turned back to the receiving line. Another mourner, another well-wisher, another liar. Lies, all lies.

I will win when I go into Lunar history as the most desirable queen to ever walk these hallways.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [145]



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.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Releasing the Demons (The Order of the Senary #1) by L.D. Rose


Published: August 19th 2015 by Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary



Blaze Knight has been through hell and back, but the nightmares aren't over yet. 

Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s left of humanity. When Chimola and his crew return to the Bronx gunning for Blaze’s blood, Blaze is forced to face the demons of his past. Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one. 

Motivated by her sister’s gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life’s goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he’s not only innocent, he isn't a man at all—he's a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze’s life, a life full of darkness and horror she can’t even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can’t seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she's ever known. 

In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they’ve come to know and love, including one another.

Buy Releasing the Demons (The Order of the Senary #1) by L.D. Rose today at Amazon

Blaze nearly laughed out loud, the urge bubbling up inside him for the first time in days. Dax had a few screws loose, but hell, didn’t they all?


The Good

For starters I love the ideal of the Hybrids having different traits along with drawbacks to using them. The ideal of the world going on lockdown as Vampires are discovered also rings true in my eyes. Blaze and his personality fit really well when you learn the things he has gone through. The vampires, while sadistic, were individual enough that they didn't all blur into a blob of evil. They were developed well enough that the story didn't feel bogged down at all. Valerie was also worthy of co-hero in the book. For a human, she could kick some serious tail and yet still feel believable.

The Bad

If I was to call anything Bad, I guess it would be me wanting to know more on the hybrids and how their group was funded. But it's a small detail that I'm sure will come out in the next book. Along with getting to know more about some of the other hybrids and the gifts.

The Romance

While Blaze and Valerie don't exactly fall in love at first sight, you do see them becoming attracted to each other. It might have been a bit fast but it makes the story work.

Conclusion

Overall I enjoyed the pace and the developement of the characters. There is plenty of action to keep you interested, plus a bit of horizontal dancing to keep things interesting. I liked the state of the world and appreciated that it was one villain to focus on but a sire and his brood. Why dislike one villain when you can hate multiples? If you like vampire novels, I would recommend giving this a shot for sure.




Excerpts

She set the paper down, the headline reading, ‘Is Batman truly in Gotham?’ with a blurred image of a dark figure running down an alley. The image was terrible, low resolution and dimly backlit by the sick yellow glow of the streetlights. It could’ve been anyone, really. It could’ve been a victim running from a vampire.


Kat mentioned the genetic pattern looked abnormal from those she typically saw. She doesn’t think it’s human, but she’s not positive it’s vampire either.” 
“Well, it’s either one or the other. Unless there’s some other monster out there we don’t know about.” 
Valerie shuddered at the mere thought. One brand of monster was bad enough.


Light dawned in those pretty eyes as they widened. “You’re blind.” 
His lips curved but he felt black inside. “No. I just don’t see like you do.” 
“How so?” she asked, her interest piqued as she straightened. “Don’t tell me you have x-ray vision or something crazy like that.” 
“Infrared. I see in infrared.”


“It’s only going to get uglier,” he warned. Though her touch quelled the churning well of rage inside him— for now— it still burned hot enough to remind him of the mess they were in. No, not mess. Mess wasn’t the word. More like a fucking catastrophe.

Buy Releasing the Demons (The Order of the Senary #1) by L.D. Rose today at Amazon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [144]



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.








Saturday, November 14, 2015

ARC Review: Tarnished (Perfected #2) by Kate Jarvik Birch


Published: December 1, 2015 by Entangled Teen
Genre: YA, Dystopia
Format: ebook
Source: Sent for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Freedom comes at a cost...

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure...and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape triggered a backlash, and now no one's safe, least
of all the other pets. But she's trapped, unable to get back
to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she's lucky, she'll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives
of everyone she's tried to save...

"I had no idea what sort of lives normal people lived, but I wanted to know."


The Good


This one is even better than the first. What drew me to Perfected was the outrageousness of owning a human as a pet. In this second installment, things get so much worse than simply owning a human being (and that was bad enough?!?!). This is one of those series that make me think the entire time I'm reading it. I can't help but go over in my head and digest the information of what is considered acceptable by people in this future world. It's all written to be believable based on the justifications given by corrupt politicians, but I can't help shaking my head at what's going on and I desperately want these politicians and NuPet dealt with.

Ella has moved so far in her character from where she was in the beginning of the first one. She is a sweet soul with a desire to help others. She's also willing to stand up and get things done. Missy in this one was a jewel. I remember not really caring for her in the first one, but her character was fantastic this go round.

The action is really revved up in Tarnished. It's not the action that had me turning pages and trying to get to the end though, it was more that I HAD to know what would happen. It's not an action-packed thrill ride, more of a psychological derby. The writing flows well and there were some truly beautiful quotes embedded in the story.

"Morning was just an idea that night was considering, a blush-colored dream."

The Bad


The only small thing that bothered me was how badly she wanted to 'escape' in the beginning when I wasn't able to tell that the situation was that bad. In fact, she just goes to much worse. I wish I would've been able to see why this place in Canada that she's staying in the beginning is so terrible that she has to get out immediately. Surely it can't be just because she has to see Penn. This didn't detract anything from the story, just had me scratching my head a bit.

There are circumstances of prostitution and murder so you may want to read it before determining whether your kids can.

The Romance


Penn was a big deal in the first one. In fact, he went from hating Ella to showing her how to be free. In this one, they have a very cute relationship and definitely are committed to each other. It's all gumdrops and rainbows in that department.

Conclusion


Tarnished is a very well-written follow up and was even better than Perfected. The series is intoxicating in the way that it stimulates your mind and really makes you think. I love the characters and am so glad to continue to see them grow. The action went up a notch and the storyline got even more intense. I'm a fan!

Excerpt


"Maybe that's all life really was: the fear of moving forward toward events we had no way of truly knowing."

"Each moment was its own tiny wonder, but that didn't mean it would last."

"Human's human."

"Oh stop blubbering!" Missy said, pulling him away from me. "She's not leaving you. I am."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [88]


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.

If you could change one thing in book 2, what would it be?

via GIPHY

The second one is actually my least favorite book in the series. I can't put my finger exactly on why. The villain isn't really my favorite since it was a memory. The kicker though were the spiders.

I would take spiders out of the 2nd book. Even now, when I watch the movie, I fast forward through that part. When reading, it's 10 times worse to read about the creepy-crawlys.




What would you change?


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Minor Gods (Summoners #1) by A.M. Yates


Published: January 10th 2015 by A.M. Yates
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary



In the secret tribes of the Core, humans walk a tenuous line, using ancient masks to channel the gods and their elemental powers. 

But the delicate balance between gods and man is fractured when someone resurrects the forbidden mask of a ruthless Earth Goddess and begins a war. Her goal . . . reclaim the natural world from human civilization. Her first victim . . . Josie Day’s mother. 

After witnessing her mother's murder, seventeen-year-old Josie wants nothing more than to seek justice. Instead, she’s forced to return to the tribe she left as a child and expected to act like a normal teenager. Still, the unknown face behind the goddess's mask haunts her. And it isn’t the only one. 

When the Earth Goddess targets Josie, a shadowy Fire God comes to her rescue. But the heat between them just might prove a greater threat to Josie than the bloodlust of the Earth Goddess. 

Josie knows how to deal with gods. But when the masks come off, the humans behind them may be more than she can handle.

Buy Minor Gods (Summoners #1) by A.M. Yates today at Amazon

It’s all the same ceremonial rigmarole until a pissed off earth goddess busts in with a few minor gods and a cadre of phantasmal TemperMentals. Then everybody’s screaming and running for their lives.


The Good

Now this one felt really fresh and unique for me. I love the fact that the available powers to use in this are almost endless. So many gods of different power levels to base masks off. Josie is a fireball of sarcasam. She doesn't back down at all when she thinks she is pretty much powerless. She still gets in anyone's face that tries to hold her back or contradict her. Her sister though is nothing like her for the most part. She's a bit more pampered and high strung. Plus there is a great support cast of characters that I want to know more about.

The Bad

The only thing that bugged me was I have no clue how strong their tribe is. All the problems that pop up seem to be dealt with by the younger generation despite the most powerful mask wearer having been their leader. Without her, their tribe seems pretty weak to be honest. Hopefully in book two we'll get to see a bit of the older mask wearers and what they are capable of doing.

The Romance

There is plenty of teen romance, open relationships and even some triangle drama.


Conclusion

Overall I can't wait to read book two in the series. The powers and how they are manifested drew me in, The characters are likeable, while the villain is easy to dislike without knowing who they really are. The action is fun and plentiful even if it comes about because they put them selves out there because being safe is boring. They are teenagers after all. If you enjoy unique sci-fi/paranormal, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.




Excerpts

“I don’t need to be introduced,” 
“No one is allowed inside.” 
“Yeah, but—” Beech started. 
Josie cut in. “Well, then why don’t you trot on in to your masters, Fido, and tell them that I’m here. Good boy.”


The weirdest thing was happening; her skin was growing warm. Was she actually blushing? She couldn’t remember the last time that had happened. She straightened her face. 
“I’m going to be honest. I’m pretty inept with all this . . . personal interaction stuff, so . . . are you flirting with me?”
“Uh, yeah.”


“You think it’s my fault your sister doesn’t listen to you? Maybe you should try listening to her first. You still act like you’re the Triune. You storm in and boss everybody around. You expect them to do what you say. But they won’t, because you’re not.” He stood up, coffee mug in hand. “If you want people to listen to you, you should try being nicer.” 
“Good idea,” she said. “Would you please go to hell?”


The wars had mostly been about territory and personal slights—people in the Core knew how to hold a grudge, for generations. The violence bloomed and died back and bloomed again like weeds. Factions formed alliances and then betrayed them, feeding into the hostilities. No doubt fights would break out, they probably already were. Without a strong Triune to stamp them down and maintain order, some of the tribes would seize the opportunity to take care of business they felt was unfinished.


“He’s got a point,” Kai said. “You practically ordered the Eye to do a body cavity search on us when the mask went missing. Then the thief shows up and you let him get away without a pat down?”

Buy Minor Gods (Summoners #1) by A.M. Yates today at Amazon

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Excerpt and Giveaway: Oblivion by Joshua Ryan Ogg

tourbannerogg

oblivion cover (1) [121946]Oblivion by Joshua Ryan Ogg

Series: Medicine Man #1 Genre: Urban Fantasy; Paranormal Suspense Publication Date: February 7, 2015
BUY NOW Amazon
add-to-goodreads-button
A maniac is murdering gang leaders in the desert outside San Diego . An upstart Mexican cartel has infiltrated the local market with a toxic new drug. Black magic is whispered in alleys and zombie tweekers roam the streets. The world stands on the brink of something sinister and occult but the only guy Donnie DeGrassi knows that can piece together this supernatural puzzle has completely vanished from the scene. Some say Kal Renley is crazy, others claim he’s a genius, but those that dose his chemicals just know him as the Medicine Man, master of high-flying drugs and head-spinning trips. He also knows more about the supernatural than anyone else on the streets. Can Donnie get his best friend out of an early retirement before reality gets as ugly as the underworld?


Excerpt
Mek, I can’t get it out… He felt it nesting already in the slimy folds of his subconscious and somehow he’d failed at his own game. A snake expert taken out by venom. Eden was horrified. She burst into tears and kept repeating “Oh god, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…” as she backed away to the door. Kal tried to raise a hand to stop her but he was shaky and weak. “You have to shut it out,” Meklyn hissed. He was protective of Kal’s mind—that’s where he lived, after all—but this one had gotten the jump on them both. “I’m sorry,” Eden stammered in horror and guilt before disappearing into the rain-soaked night. “No wait,” Kal pleaded but the curse was sending him into shock. The effects of that sigil still writhed inside his head and, for a moment, he wasn’t sure if he was really this cosmic millennial medicine man that had spoken to gods, wrestled angels, and banished demons or if he was just a delusional addict with severe psychological issues. Probably both. Images of horror and shame raced through him and he thrashed violently. Something was on him, chasing him down the long halls of his mind. Something that got inside him with just a glance at that symbol. Heather’s death, the clan violence, the shadow hunters on the astral plane, all the things that drove him into seclusion and out of the game, it all swarmed his mind at once. The cabinet he had been holding shut for months came bursting open to spill the slimy contents of his repressed subconscious into plain view. He stumbled toward the kitchen and crashed through drawers and shelves in search of something to ward off the effects. He was looking for something specific. His own special tonic. His Joos. But he knew better. He didn’t keep any in the house. Had a slight problem staying away from it when a supply was on hand. His own little vice. But now he needed it. Whatever curse had been embedded in that girl’s ink was currently kicking the shit out of him from the inside. Kal managed to get to his feet, the world spinning and screaming around him, and stumbled out into the rain. Only one place in this neighborhood kept the Joos. Kal stumbled, sick and puking, through the night, wavering on the edge of a mad abyss, looking and groping for help, for a fix of his own. For his own medicine.

 

authorpicJoshua Ryan Ogg

Joshua Ryan Ogg has worked in entertainment media and digital marketing for close to a decade. Oblivion is his first published novel. He can usually be found in Ohio or California with his wife and two children. Josh likes to connect with readers on social media and maintains a blog full of half-drunken ramblings and utter nonsense at www.joshuaryanogg.com.
 
GIVEAWAY
hostedby

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fandom Mashups [5]




Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
You've discovered that your world has become a dystopia and you've been recruited by an elite anarchist group. Who's in the group with you?

1) Finnick Odair - The Hunger Games


Finnick is well known for his physical ability and has a way of getting influential people to like him. Using this, he collects secrets. Finnick is skilled with knots and traps, knows CPR and can carry other people on his back when in need. He is definitely someone that I'd want on my team.

2) Tris - Divergent



I didn't read the series because I saw reviews for the final book and how upset some of the readers were. Zane read the series though and really enjoyed it. I did see the movie Divergent and loved it and bought Insurgent though I haven't watched it just yet. Tris is strong-willed and determined. She is also a fantastic fighter (though not at first) because she put so much time and effort into getting that way. She also doesn't blindly do what she's told and is hesitant to put her trust in people.

3) Thomas - The Maze Runner



This is another one that I haven't read the series, though I really want to. I watched the first movie and want to see the second one. Thomas is one of those characters that learns things very quickly. He also questions the status quo and follows his intuition. He's very inventive on the spot when dealing with problems so I'd definitely want him on my team.

4) Owen Grady - Jurassic World



There's no question that I'd love to have this Navy Vet, velociraptor trainer on my team. He's bold, brave, and able to get out of some sticky situations. After what he faced, I'm sure he'd be just fine with whatever is in front of us.

5) Scarlet Benoit - The Lunar Chronicles


This girl...determined doesn't even begin to describe her. She never falters in her search for her grandmother and is very resourceful in reaching her goal. Beyond that, she is incredibly loyal, cutting off her own finger in her refusal to sell her friends out.

Who would be on your dream team this week?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [143]



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, November 5, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [87]


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.

Favorite Chapter Titles


The Other Minister

I remember reading that title at the beginning of Half Blood Prince and wondering what on earth it was about. It's all about the Minister of Magic meeting the Prime Minister of Muggles and I LOVED the inclusion of this into the books. I really wish they would've put it into the movies. The chapter was so funny watching this Muggle question the Minister. I also really loved the portrait that they left hanging there to watch him that he swore would move every now and then.

Cornelius Fudge: "The Minister of Magic only reveals him--or herself to the Muggle Prime Minister of the day. We find it the best way to maintain secrecy."
Prime Minister: ""But then, why hasn't a former Prime Minister warned me?"
Cornelius Fudge: "My dear Prime Minister, are you ever going to tell anybody?"


Prime Minister: "But you're wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out - well - anything!"
Cornelius Fudge: "The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister."




What are your favorite titles?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals Book 1) by Eleanor Herman


Published: August 24, 2015 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Sent for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancĂ©e, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


"True loyalty - it's almost unheard of."


So upfront, I almost didn't finish this one, but I made it through. About 60% of the way in, things pick up a bit and from 80% on it's much better.

The Good


There is a lot of political intrigue with so many different characters having different agendas and it's fun to see that play out. There's also some magic thrown in. The few bits of magic we saw were different and I rather enjoyed it. The stories with Kat and Alex were interesting and the ending was sufficiently wrapped up while leaving plenty open for future books.

Keep in mind that while Alex is supposed to be a re-imagined version of Alexander the Great, I'm not a history buff and didn't even focus on that aspect at all while reading. Alex isn't really in the story a great deal.


The Bad



First off, there are a ton of POVs. This is told through third person and switches between the stories of about 7 different characters. I liked the first chapter and thought the book had promise, then it went to a completely different place with different people and by the time I started getting interested in their story, it switched to yet another place with another character and so on. There was no connection for me with these characters until the end where we saw more of Kat and Alex. I understand having multiple POVs but this one would have played out better with just Kat and Alex.

The descriptions are very involved. While riding into battle, we hear how the wind feels on the character's face and that they wish to be a bird to watch from above. Instead of intensity in action, we get a lot of words about every little thing that's happening around.

The Romance


It starts with Kat and Jacob sharing an interest and bond, but we don't see a lot of it as they are split up early in the book to go on their separate paths. Zo has a bit of romance as well.


Conclusion


This may be one that some would enjoy. Personally, I need a good connection with the characters to get into the story and Legacy of Kings lacks that for me. Also, while the story itself was interesting, it was made much more boring by the endless descriptions and content that would've been better left out. I won't be continuing the series.



Excerpts

Rats! Kat sees half a dozen brown rats have emerged from the walls, twitching their pink noses and wringing their small pink paws. The guards either don't see them or are so used to rats in the palace they don't care. As they begin to pull Kat from the room, one of the rats leaps onto the cape of the taller guard, crawls up to the shoulders, and bites the man on the back of the neck, just below his helmet. He screams and drops Kat's arm. Dozens of rats swarm, attacking the guards.

Smelling her scent on the air long before she appears, the hellion howls a welcome. The hellion. One of the few left on earth. Torch held high, she takes in the animal's dark form as it stalks back and forth inside the large cage. A black panther with gleaming, silky fur, the hellion's slanted eyes glow yellow in the darkness. Black, batlike wings stretch lazily from its back as the creature hisses at her approach.

A son with a weak mind is a misfortune. But even the strongest, most intelligent daughter is simply worthless.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [142]



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.



Happy Halloween everyone!!!


Here's our costumes this year:


I went as Flo from Progressive


Zane went as Jake from State Farm

I hope your Halloween was as fun!!