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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Month in Review: January

My total books read throughout the month of January is a measly seven books. It makes me sad that I'm reading at such a slow pace because my TBR pile grows almost exponentially in comparison. Plus, I think it's a sure sign that I'm working way too many hours at Retail Hell.

So without further ado, here are the books I read in January (along with links to their respective reviews):

Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding 4.5 Stars

Firespell by Chloe Neill 4 Stars

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis 2.5 Stars

Fallen by Lauren Kate 3.5 Stars

Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep (ARC) 5 Stars

Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh 2.5 Stars

Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass 3.5 Stars




I really hope that February brings with it a higher total. I have a couple books I need to finish for reviews, and I need to read at least three (but I'm aiming for five) books by authors from The League of Reluctant Adults for the mini-challenge being hosted by Jackie at Literary Escapism. Plus, I'm job hunting so maybe Retail Hell will finally lose it's hold on me.

So what did everyone else read in January? :)

In My Mailbox (20)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.



For Review:

Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark (eARC) *not pictured
Legend of the Caryph by Lynn Moyle

Bought:

A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Night Tides by Alex Prentiss

Library:

Minion by L.A. Banks
Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry

Won:

Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Thanks Yan from Books by Their Covers)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Review: Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass

Title: Shadow Blade
Author: Seressia Glass
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/26/10
Summary:
For Kira Solomon, normal was never an option.

Kira's day job is as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission, dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she's got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside down in search of a millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira's hands.

Then there's Khefar, the dagger's true owner —- a near-immortal 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow forces, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever...


Plot: 3.5 Stars
The action and the plot were very engaging; the weaponry was very cool, especially the idea of infusing Lightblades with magic. I really enjoyed the Egyptian lore that was interlaced throughout the whole plot. My only complaint is that the idea of Light and Shadow was a little vague. There were so many terms for beings of Light and Shadow, and many weren't explained that in depth.

Pace: 3.5 Stars
The book had a pretty steady pace; I never wanted to take a break because I was getting bored. But I feel like there could've been a bit more description in some areas. There was a point where Kira went up against the Shadow Avatar and he injected her with Shadow. The scenes after that were very chaotic and confusing and, in my opinion, lacking in some explanation because I'm still kinda confused.

Characters: 3 Stars
As I was reading, I was really left using the cover model (whose face was cut off) as a guide for what the main character looks like because the author gave almost no description of Kira. There was a physical description given for every other character that played a big part in the action, but I think the only physical description of Kira was her height and braids. On the other hand, we really got to know Kira's personality and past. The author really incorporated the past well into the story.

Cover: 4 Stars
Although I normally like when I don't see a cover model's face so that I can base the image in my head more on the description, I think the model's face was cut off at a very weird point. I do like that the model was dressed in leather and had a blade; it was very acurate to how Kira dressed for Shadowchasing.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (18)


This book blog meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Unholy Ghosts
Author: Stacia Kane
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: 05/25/10
Summary:
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased.

Consequently, there are many false claims of hauntings from those hoping to profit. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully-tattooed witch, freewheeling Debunker, and ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for nailing human liars and banishing the wicked dead. But she’s keeping a dark secret from the Church: a little drug problem that’s landed her in hot and dangerous water.

Chess owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump. And Bump wants immediate payback. All Chess has to do is dispatch a very nasty species of undead from an old airport. But the job involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and crossing swords with enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.


Unholy Magic and City of Ghosts will be released on 06/22/10 and 07/27/10.

Cover Art: As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding

I found this cover via Kelly's Blog. It's book two of her Dreg City series.

As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding

Teaser Tuesday (18)


This weekly book blog meme is hosted by Misb at Should be Reading.

Here are the rules:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
- Share the title & author too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Shadow Blade
Author: Seressia Glass
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/26/10

Chaos magic drenched the sidewalk leading from the hotel. To Kira, it looked like a pale phosphorescent mist that stained the air. Those with any trace of magical ability or extrasensory perception would recognize the wrongness of it. -- pg. 24

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review: Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh

Title: Angels' Blood
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 03/03/09
Summary:
Nalini Singh introduces readers to a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway over vampires.

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other -- and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.


Plot: 2.5 Stars
I enjoyed the idea that vampires were made by angels, instead of them being seem as evil. But not a lot of details about the relationship between angels and vampires were discussed. Whenever she had questions, Raphael would tell Elena that it was dangerous for her to know the information. That just felt like a cop out to me, almost like the author wasn't sure of the details yet so she would save the information for a future book once she'd figured it out.

Pace: 2 Stars
The pace of this book threw me for a loop. One second I couldn't put it down, and the next it was just dragging. There were times where it seemed like the main characters got sidetracked and the storyline took a tangent that seemed totally irrelevant to what was going on. Normally these random tangents tie in near the end, but this book had a couple that never seemed to come back around and fit in, therefore they ended up feeling like a waste of time.

Characters: 3 Stars
I wanted to like Elena, I really did. She seemed like such a strong woman. But as the book progressed, she became consumed by Raphael, even when he wasn't controlling her. There were also a bunch of smaller characters I wish we could've seen more of: Sara, Random, Deacon, Dmitri, Venom, and the other archangels. Although it was a paranormal romance focusing on Elena and Raphael's relationship, they seemed a little too cut off from the other characters.

Cover: 3 Stars
The cover model was an acurate depiction of Elena. But the rest of the cover fell flat for me. The color choices were too bright. The light yellows and whites made it really hard to see the buildings in the background, which ended up making the cover look a little flat. Had the colors been darker, the details would've shown through.

Overall: 2.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.

In My Mailbox (19)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.



Bought:

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (signed)
Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass

I am fully aware of the controversy revolving around Magic Under Glass's cover and it's publishing house. I bought a copy, despite the cover controversy in order to support a local writer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Finds (8)

Friday finds was started by Misb at Should be Reading.

"The idea is to share, every Friday, about books that you’ve recently discovered (never heard of before) that sound really good!"

Title: Master of None
Author: Sonya Bateman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 03/30/10
Summary:
The first book in an exciting new urban fantasy series about a thief who must work with a genie in order to save his son's life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Title: Spider's Bite
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/26/10
Summary:
My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way -- good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction... especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.


Plot: 4.5 Stars
There were so many twists and turns in this book; some completely surprised me, others I saw coming. But it was great how every little bit of information came together to complete the puzzle of a plot perfectly. I also enjoyed how giants, dwarves, and vampires were integrated into the mix. The elemental magic was also a refreshing idea that is definitely unique to this book. And it's not a cliffhanger (so don't worry), but the author drops a bomb at the end of the book that has me counting down the days until the next book in this series comes out. I was hooked until the very last sentence.

Pace: 5 Stars
Although this book only encompasses a short span of time with a whole lot of action packed in, it's paced in a way that doesn't leave you thinking there's no way all of that could've happened in one day. There was never really a time in which the pace of the book slowed down. I found myself having trouble finding a good stopping point so that I could sleep, or go back to work after my break.

Characters: 5 Stars
Gin is a refreshing heroine to add to the Urban Fantasy genre. As an assassin, she definitely isn't shy about killing people. I loved her thought processes before, during, and after the fight scenes. Finnigan and Donovan were great supporting characters. They may not have left as many bodies in their wake, but without them, Gin would not have been successful. I love when a ragtag group takes on the bad guy, and not just the heroine; it definitely feels more real than one person taking on the world. There were also a couple smaller characters I hope to see more of in the future.

Cover: 5 Stars
I absolutely loved this cover! There were so many details relevant to the story, it was refreshing. From the spider runes on Gin's palms to the sign for the Pork Pit in the background, the cover really felt like it belonged to this book and this book only. I also liked that we don't see the cover model's face, because that allows the reader to imagine the character however they interpret the author's description.

Overall: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I won an ARC of this book from a contest on Jennifer Estep's Blog.

Waiting on Wednesday (17)


This book blog meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Shadowglass
Author: Erica Hayes
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: 03/02/10
Summary:
Welcome to a secret world hidden behind shadowy fairy glamour, where thieving spriggans rob you blind, beautiful banshees mesmerize you with their song, big green trolls kick heads at nightclubs and vampire Mafiosi rule the streets. Here a seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon's lair, with a simple warning: don't stare at the glass... Ice is a light-fingered fairy who can't resist a look at the powerful mirror. The mirror offers her a chance to achieve everything she's ever dreamed of. But when she pilfers it, she discovers that its power comes with a price: the mirror is a gateway to obsession and madness... and it will take every trick in her arsenal just to survive.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (17)


This weekly book blog meme is hosted by Misb at Should be Reading.

Here are the rules:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
- Share the title & author too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Spider's Bite
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/26/10

As an added insurance, I tucked a silverstone knife under both of my pillows and put a few more on the nightstand within easy reach. Then I curled into a tight ball underneath the soft sheets. The tension in the body slowly unknotted, and I dreamed... -- pg. 124

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (18)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.



Borrowed from library:

Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks
Strange Brew anthology

Bought:

Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance
Red Fire by Deidre Knight
A Rush of Wings by Adrian Pheonix
In the Blood by Adrian Pheonix
Angels' Blood by Nalini Signh
Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Finds (7)

Friday finds was started by Misb at Should be Reading.

"The idea is to share, every Friday, about books that you’ve recently discovered (never heard of before) that sound really good!"

Title: Hunted by the Others
Author: Jess Haines
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 05/04/10
Summary:
In A Town Like This, Being A P.I. Can Be Murder

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm -- if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend -- a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing -- and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil -- whether she likes it or not...


Title: Blood Law
Author: Jeannie Holmes
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 06/22/10
Summary:
To stop a vampire killer, she’ll have to slay her own demons first.

A provocative and savvy vampire, Alexandra Sabian moves to the sleepy hamlet of Jefferson, Mississippi—population 6,000, nearly one-half vampires -- to escape the demons lurking in her past. As an Enforcer for the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation (FBPI), Alex must maintain the uneasy peace between her kind and humans, including Jefferson’s bigoted sheriff, who’d be happy to see all vampires banished from town. Then really dead vamps start turning up -- beheaded, crucified, and defanged -- killed in the same gruesome manner that Alex’s father was murdered decades ago. For Alex, the professional has become way too personal.

Things get even more complicated when the FBPI sends in some unnervingly sexy backup: Alex’s one-time mentor, lover, and fiancĂ©, Varik Baudelaire. Still stinging from the betrayal that ended their short-lived engagement, Alex is determined not to give in to the temptation that soon threatens to short-circuit her investigation. Like it or not, though, as the body count grows, and the public panic level rises, Varik may be her only hope to stop a relentless killer who’s got his own score to settle, and his own bloody past to put right.


Title: Moonshine
Author: Alaya Johnson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 05/11/10
Summary:
Imagining vampires at the heart of the social struggles of 1920s, Moonshine blends a tempestuous romance with dramatic historical fiction, populated by a lively mythology inhabiting the gritty New York City streets.

Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity worker cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. What he doesn't tell her is why. Soon enough she's tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir's request - not to mention attempting to resist (often unsuccessfully) his dark, inhuman charm.


Title: Dark Oracle
Author: Alayna Williams
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 05/25/10
Summary:
Can an oracle change the future she sees?

Tara Sheridan swore off criminal profiling years ago. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, she narrowly escaped the grasp of a serial killer who left her scarred for life. She put down her cards and withdrew from work and society. Now, Sophia, a member of an ancient secret society connected to the mythic Delphic Oracle, asks Tara to find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive secrets of dark energy. Tara resists— she fears reawakening her long-buried talents and blames Sophia’s Daughters of Delphi for the death of her mother. But, grudgingly, she agrees to search for the missing scientist, Lowell Magnusson.

Tara travels to Las Alamos National Laboratory, the location of Magnusson’s disappearance. She meets the serious, impatient, and highly attractive Agent Harry Li— and re-encounters her old partner, Richard Corvus. Corvus is now chief of the Special Projects Division, a position Tera might have held, had she not dropped out of investigative work. Corvus considers Tara mentally imbalanced and not to be trusted— but it may be Corvus who is untrustworthy.

Tara’s investigation and Tarot cards tell her Magnusson’s daughter, Cassie, may hold the key to her father’s plans, and that they both are in grave danger. Meanwhile, Corvus and the Daughters of Delphi have their own plans... and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 12/08/09
Summary:
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce -- and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret... even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.


Plot: 3.5 Stars
Many young adult novels involve boarding school or public school, but far fewer deal with reform school in the paranormal part of YA fiction. It really felt like the author did her research when molding her idea of Sword & Cross. The story itself also had many twists and turns I wasn't expecting. It just seemed a little too easy to sneak off or leave campus. It should've been harder since the reform school had a lot of security, but when it furthered the plot, it happened anyway.

Pace: 3 Stars
This is a long book with long chapters. Some points read faster than others, but it still took quite a bit of time to finish. I never wanted to take a break or put it down out of frustration, I just wished I could've flown through it at a faster pace because I enjoyed it. The pace of the first three quarters of the book was very well spread out, but near the end, when about five or six chapters combined to be only about a day's worth of action, it read like it was more than that.

Characters: 3.5 Stars
Although many characters were very well-rounded (Luce, Daniel, Cam, Penn), there were many characters that started out strong and then just kind of disappeared (Molly, Gabbe, Arianne). Especially Arianne. It looked like she was going to be BFFs with Luce, and then about halfway through the book she disappears for a number of chapters and then shows up in the end. She was very goofy and I wish we could've had a little more time with her.

Cover: 3.5 Stars
The cover's colors and atmosphere really lend well to the feel of the story. But I just can't get over the cover model choice. Luce's hair is specifically described as short due to circumstances taking place right before the book started, and yet the cover model has long hair. After finishing the book and finding out certain things from the past, it didn't bother me as much, but I wish the marketing department of publishing houses paid a little more attention because short hair is cute too.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book with a giftcard I won through a contest on Nicole Peeler's Blog.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cover Art: Fatal Circle by Linda Robertson

I haven't seen this cover around yet, so I figured I'd post it. I found it via Juno Books.

Fatal Circle by Linda Robertson

Waiting on Wednesday (16)


This book blog meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Embers
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: 03/30/10
Summary:
Unemployment, despair, anger--visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.

Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced.

Cover Art: Magic on the Storm by Devon Monk

Look what I just found at SciFiGuy! I absolutely love this series, and the covers are gorgeous!

Magic on the Storm by Devon Monk

Teaser Tuesday (16)


This weekly book blog meme is hosted by Misb at Should be Reading.

Here are the rules:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
- Share the title & author too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 12/08/09

The shadows. She sensed them before she saw them, bubbling up like tar from the ground. A tentacle of darkness curled around her wrist, and Luce looked down in terror. -- pg. 192

Monday, January 11, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.



Borrowed from library:

Royal Blood by Ellen Schreiber
Shadowlight by Lynn Viehl

Bought:

Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast
Death's Mistress by Karen Chance
Bone Magic by Yasmine Galenorn
Inked by Karen Chance, Yasmine Galenorn, Marjorie M. Liu, and Eileen Wilks

Won in contests:

Eve of Destruction by S.J. Day (Thanks to Anna!)
Hallowed Circle by Linda Robertson (Thanks to Linda!)

The next three I bought using a B&N giftcard I won from Nicole Peeler in her Selkies in the Wild contest. Thanks Nicole!

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Demon Bound by Caitlin Kittredge
Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder

What a week... And sorry for the late post. I was out of town. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Review: Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Title: Never Cry Werewolf
Author: Heather Davis
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 09/01/09
Summary:
Moonlight can totally change your life.
And it all starts so simply.
You. Him.
The moon.
You're toast.

Okay, so maybe Shelby has made a few mistakes with boys lately (how was she supposed to know Wes had "borrowed" that Porsche?). But her stepmother totally overreacts when she catches Shelby in a post-curfew kiss with a hot senior: Suddenly Shelby's summer plans are on the shelf, and she's being packed off to brat camp. It's good-bye, prom dress; hello, hiking boots.

Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III. But soon she realizes there's more to Austin than crush materia l —his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby's help guarding it. Shelby knows that she really shouldn't be getting tangled up with another bad boy... but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one? One thing's for sure: That pesky full moon is about to get her into trouble all over again.


Plot: 2.5 Stars
There were just parts of the plot that rubbed me the wrong way. For example, the characters in this book were at "brat camp" but no one noticed when Shelby wandered off during an activity. Also, considering the book centered around Shelby's time at brat camp, the day to day activities and therapy were almost nonexistant. It really left a lot to be desired.

Pace: 3 Stars
For a book I read so quickly, it didn't really feel like anything was happening. And there also seemed to be scenes that just weren't needed to further the plot. There were also a few scenes that seemed to move too quickly. The major one is Shelby coming to terms with the paranormal aspect of the story. She didn't deny it or think he was crazy nearly long enough considering she wasn't given a lot of physical evidence.

Characters: 1 Stars
Outside of the two main characters, no one really had any depth. They were just names with one or two pieces of a personality that mostly just filled the scenes. Characters I thought I would enjoy, never really progressed past their initial interesting introduction, and characters I thought I would root against were just half way bad. No one was really awesome and no one was really evil.

Cover: 3 Stars
Although the play on Little Red Riding Hood was creative, the cover seems a little bland to me. Nothing about it (besides the title) reads paranormal at all. It doesn't need to give away the plot, but I wish I was at least sure that there would be supernatural creatures. There was also nothing to make it stand out against any other cover, since it was just a cover model and a title.

Overall: 2.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book as a gift.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (15)


This book blog meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Succubus Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release date: 03/30/10
Summary:
Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals -- all child's play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding is a different story. Georgina isn't sure which is worse -- that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina's roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there's Simone, the new succubus in town, who's intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that's visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she'll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she'll discover who she can trust, who she can't -- and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: Firespell by Chloe Neill

Title: Firespell
Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 01/05/10
Summary:
New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.

A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.


Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.

They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...


Plot: 4 Stars
This novel was a very unique take on magic. I liked that each Adept had a different magical skill, instead of everyone being a catch-all of talent. I also liked all of the details of St. Sophia's and the surrounding (and underground) area of Chicago. It gave the book a more life and really came through that the author knew the area personally or researched it extensively.

Pace: 4.5 Stars
The story sucked me in within the first couple pages and didn't let go. This is the fastest I've read a book in a while, and I enjoyed the unable-to-put-the-book-down feeling. Although only about a week and a half passes from beginning to end, a lot of mayhem surrounds Lily and Scout. Between classes, fending off the brat pack, trying to figure out why her parents are in Germany, and learning about Scout and the Adepts, Lily's first week of school was anything but boring.

Characters: 5 Stars
Lily Parker is a very strong teenager, considering she's been sent to a new city to start boarding school. She has her insecurities, but she stands up for herself. Scout, her roommate and new BFF is a hoot. She was the offbeat, goofy character that I always hope for in a book, and she definitely didn't disappoint. Jason and Michael were interesting characters from the boys boarding school across town, and I hope we learn more about them in future books. The brat pack caused drama of it's own without being in your face annoying, which was refreshing.

Cover: 3.5 Stars
The cover was true to the feel of the book, especially with the time spent exploring the basement. I just wish instead of the bulk of the cover being black, that there could've been a bit of design or background (maybe a stone hallway from the school). I really like the font choices; they were simple but elegant in that simplicity. And the skeleton key was a nice touch.

Overall: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.

Teaser Tuesday (15)


This weekly book blog meme is hosted by Misb at Should be Reading.

Here are the rules:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
- Share the title & author too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Firespell
Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 01/05/10

"It was on your locker, Parker. They probably saw you following me. Probably heard you clomping through the hall in those flip flops like a Clydesdale." -- pg. 73

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (16)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Books bought:

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn
Firespell by Chloe Neill
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward (hardcover bargain!)

Review: Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding

Title: Three Days to Dead
Author: Kelly Meding
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 11/24/09
Summary:
She’s young, deadly, and hunted—with only three days to solve her own murder...

When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue – in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there – her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night, she and the other two members of her Triad were star bounty hunters — mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives, but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor... and she can’t even remember what it was.

Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice – and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days, Evy will die again – but this time, there’s no second chance...


Plot: 5 Stars
There were so many twists and turns, and little details that you forgot about but came back to be a really big deal. All sorts of random details ended up equalling one crazy plot. I never had this story figured out. I also liked how the beginning of every chapter (except for the few flashbacks) had the time remaining at the beginning. It kept the story in perspective and helped make the timeline believable.

Pace: 4 Stars
The pace of this story never lets up, and it's definitely because Evy has a seventy-two hour timetable to figure everything out. There's no time for rest when the clock is ticking, and the mayhem never stops. There were a few moments when I wished Evy or Wyatt would shut up and keep moving, but other than that, this story never let up.

Characters: 5 Stars
I loved the numerous races of Dregs, or paranormal creatures, in this story. It was a fresh take on many, such as goblins and fae, and the first time I've read a book with gremlins and gargoyles. I really enjoyed Evy as a main character, and I also liked how little bits of Chalice (the body she is resurrected in) broke through. Wyatt was also a character I enjoyed. I liked how he put himself on the line for what he believed in. I just wish we could've seen more of his gift.

Cover: 4 Stars
At first glance, the cover doesn't really stand out against others in the genre. But on closer inspection, there is so much detail in the cityscape background. It really helps you picture the feel of the unknown city featured in the story. The only thing I don't love about the cover is the title: the font choice isn't my favorite and the bright red doesn't quite fit for me.

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a signed copy from the author after winning a contest at Dark Faerie Tales.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Finds (6)

Friday finds was started by Misb at Should be Reading.

"The idea is to share, every Friday, about books that you’ve recently discovered (never heard of before) that sound really good!"

Title: Shadow Blade
Author: Seressia Glass
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/26/10
Summary:
For Kira Solomon, normal was never an option.

Kira's day job is as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission, dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she's got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside down in search of a millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira's hands.

Then there's Khefar, the dagger's true owner -- a near-immortal 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow forces, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever...


Title: Night Tides
Author: Alex Prentiss
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/26/10
Summary:
One by one they go missing. And in the lake a voice cries out: “Save them...”

In the darkness, in a lake in the middle of a prosperous college town, Rachel Matre feels the water caressing her bare skin, teasing her senses, drawing her body into a lush erotic embrace. For twenty years she has communed with the lake spirits this way—and told no one. The price is simple: She must help those in need.

But now a series of young women have gone missing. The police don’t have any bodies, or even a single suspect. Only the spirits seem to sense the truth. Through them, Rachel finds herself drawn into a madman’s web. She alone can save the missing women. But who can save her?


Title: Token of Darkness
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 02/09/10
Summary:
Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.

No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible.