Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Fifth Vertex ~ Review

Title: The Fifth Vertex
Author: Kevin Hoffman
Publication Date: August 2, 2014
Pages: 290
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: Urus Noellor--a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand--stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from an equally ancient enemy. 
Urus and his companions--Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan--must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger may be more dire than any of them could have imagined. As the battle for the vertices spreads to the neighboring realms, Goodwyn must face the realities of war and death; Cailix discovers a devastating truth that could change everything; and Urus discovers his uncanny gifts and courage as he peels away clues to his true identity. But even as Urus gains the power he has always craved, he experiences it all in profound, lonely silence.

First off, this cover. Wow. I'm sorry, but if I saw this in a book store, there is no way I'd pick it up. And that sucks, you know, to be judging books by their cover. But it is a very real, very sad truth that authors and illustrators and whoever else need to come to grips with. I really hope that this isn't the final artwork for this.

Moving on though, I really enjoyed this book! There were a variety of fantastically diverse characters that I loved!!! Our main character, Urus is deaf. His best friend, Goodwyn is gay (although we don't see a lot of this in the book, just snatches here and there. But one part of this relationship is shown wonderfully and I was very smiley throughout it.) I felt the stirrings of love between two of the main characters but there is no insta-love, and in reality the story only shows that the two are beginning to care for each other. It doesn't delve into the romantic tension/omg he touched me/omg she smells like strawberries ridiculousness found in YA nowadays. So thank you for that! Show me real characters, and real emotions, and fricking a healthy growth into a relationship. (I mean as healthy as it can be with Cailix, granted.)
While the world building was incredibly complex (maybe a little too complex), I still think it was strong. Definitely have to pay attention however, as this does jump between characters and each are in an exotic setting.

Now there were some disappointments with this book, I won't lie. Throughout this whole story, it's gearing towards this huge climax of two forces battling out to save the world. We're talking epic-sized proportions in regards to this battle. Yeaaaa, that didn't really happen like I thought it would. There was so much build up to this moment that I thought it would be huge. It's all the characters would speak about. Yet, it felt like a big flop to me. Does anyone know of a fantasy that has GREAT battle scenes? Because that would be awesome to read.
It also took me forever to get to this not-so-awesome battle scene. I'm sure this is just me, but the writing didn't suck me in. I wasn't drawn to it. Those times when I had to put the book down (you know to walk my dogs or make some food, what have you), it wasn't like I just HAD to come back and read this. I wasn't dying to know what happens next. This despite having some really great characters!

So in actuality, the only thing this book really has going for it is wonderful characters. The rest, welll, not my cup of tea unfortunately.

 Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Zeus ~ Review

Title: Zeus
Author: Kamery Solomon
Publication Date: February 23, 2013
Pages: 432
Genre: Young Adult,  Mythology, Fantasy

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: Vegas is not where Karly had imagined herself to be at this point in her life.She was supposed to be living in California, soaking up the sun and enjoying the life of an artist. Instead, she's just moving out of her parent's house and going to a school that could loosely be called her second choice. When she meets Zeus Drakos, owner of the new hit casino and resort in town, he seems just like every other jerk guy out there. How was she supposed to know who he really was?

So I recently did something either a little stupid or absolutely brilliant. I decided to go through all the pages of Amazon and download any "free" book that looked promising. And out of 400 pages (20 books a page, you can do the math), I ended up with a total of 96 new books in my Kindle. Not too shabby if I say so myself. Zeus is one of the first of these new novels. And I have to say, I'm glad it was free.

The story wasn't terrible, overall. I'm sure I can think of a book here and there that is much, much worse.

So I'm going to go over what I did like: 

Karly. I really liked the MC. She was spunky, naive, and she didn't take Zeus' shit. I think I loved this the most. She moves to Las Vegas to go to college. (Why didn't I think of this??) She moves in with triplets awkward, and shortly after this goes out to the strip with the triplets. Cue the God of all gods. Zeus. He's sexy and charming, until he suggests that Karly and him go upstairs for a little "fun."
So what does Karly do?
She shoots him down like the queen she is, and leaves. Good for you, honey!

Sad to say I think that's all I have for the good points. While this book tried really hard not to be an insta-love story, tragically it was. One second she is hating his guts and mildly concerned for her safety. The next, she agrees to go out with him and she "falls so hard." Great. Not like Zeus stalked you to your house, waited all. friggen. day for you to come out. And when you do, and forgo his apologetic flowers, he throws the biggest tantrum. And I mean it, a psychotic meltdown tantrum. I'm sorry, was I really reading about the God of thunder, or a sociopath? 

That's something else that I'm totally bummed about. Like, can the real Zeus please stand up? I wanted the wrath and power of Zeus, not some crazy, puppy love-sick, baby of a Zeus. Some other gods showed up in this novel and I thought their performances were spot on. Hera? Yes, I loved her (in that I love to hate her kind of love). But she was perfectly acidic towards Karly. (This is not the Disney version of Hera. I mean, the myth has Hera as a truly jealous, even spiteful goddess.) So yes, Hear was good. Zeus, yeah no.

So there you have it. The first review of the 94 new books that I get to read is finished. *flails* Has anyone else read this thing? What's you thoughts?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feuds ~ Review

Title: Feuds
Author: Avery Hastings
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 272
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.
For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.
Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.
Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...

So with most of my reviews I do not read other's reviews before writing my own. I don't want their views to impact what I think and/or write. However with Feuds, I just couldn't. I had to know what people thought of this little story. The reviews I read were mixed, like most books. You either get it or you don't. This happens to be one of those books where I don't get it.

There's an insta-love, which typically I don't get angsty over because you know what, insta-love does happen in real life. They're kids. Young, vulnerable, and think that they know everything. Including what love feels like. So while I may not like insta-love, it doesn't ruin a book for me. There are always exceptions though, like when the insta-love takes over the book. Or when true love = I'll die without you. I'm sorry but no, you losers. Shut your virgin mouths.

And then there's this whole forbidden aspect to their romance that I didn't understand. (Romeo meets Juliet anyone?) So the world is divided between two classes, Priors and Generations (Imps). I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to feel towards the Gens/Imps. Why exactly are they segregated? Besides some human engineering, what makes the Priors so special? I never got any clarification on this because oh, yea. Insta-love. While there is a lot of action going on, it never holds any real meaning because I have no idea why it's so important. 

There's one more question that is just burning me up inside. Why would you call it Feuds, where one of the main character is supposed to be some all-star fighter, when there's only two, TWO fights that take place in the whole book!!! I mean, I get it. Symbolism and all that crap like how their world is torn apart and feuding, but really? Really?! 
I wish I had more positive things to say about Feuds. I loved the idea, and the ending actually does keep me interested in the rest of the series. However, if the second book remains in love and doesn't give me more of the story, then I will not be able to continue.

 Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Essence ~ Review

Title: Essence
Author: A.L. Waddington
Publication Date: January 15, 2014 (first published in 2011)
Pages: 308
Genre: Young Adult,  Science Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Jocelyn Timmons does not believe she is anything special — just an ordinary high school senior, living an ordinary life full of school-work, volleyball and friends. She’s about to find out how wrong she is.
Jackson Chandler moved in to the house across the street. His dark wavy hair, green eyes and charismatic personality draws everyone to him. Everyone, but Jocelyn. 
Whenever Jackson gets near Jocelyn she feels ill and dizzy. When he touches her, she blacks out and has visions of another life, in another time. As the odd hallucinations evolve and become clearer, she feels a strong pull towards the people she sees there. Frightened, she watches her once stable life begin to crumble around her and she begins to question her own sanity.
Could it be possible that these episodes are actually her own memories of a life she is living somehow, somewhere, some-when? Maybe this is time-travel or some other paranormal mysticism? Our minds often wander, but can our souls?

Reincarnation is one of my favorite philosophy theories ever. I'm always interested in other's stories and beliefs on how far reincarnation can go. It's too bad that this is not what I got with this book. All my theories on Essence were completely off the mark, (especially my theory that an immortal was stalking his doppelgänger love throughout the centuries. Wayyy too much Vampire Diaries.) 

But I still enjoyed this novel! The actual "thing" that was going on with Jocelyn blew my mind. No spoilers for you :p But I am highly anticipating what this revelation means for our MCs in the next installments. 

I do feel like the weird chemistry between Jocelyn and Jackson took way too long to overcome. Almost like in Angelini's Starcrossed. There's only so much posturing I can stand between any two people. Have you ever seen a fight take place, and the two combatants are just circling each other? Just circling, and circling, some more circling, and more, and more. And then the audience just SNAPS. That was me, for like three-quarters of this book. From there, events pretty much started to snowball. 

There are a lot of secondary characters that I grew to love in this, namely Jocelyn's brother. Keep an eye out for him, lovelies.

The ending though, is what really gets me. When Jocelyn becomes aware of what's happening, when Jackson and her finally seem to come to terms, and then right out of left field, THE CLIFFHANGER!! My arch-nemesis of so many series... Have at thee! Alas, I've been defeated once again, but I keep going. Because I am a book soldier, fiercely slaying trilogies and stand-alones by the hundreds. 

I might have taken that too far.

Well, if you can't tell, Essence has riled me up. I want to thank the author for allowing me to read her precious baby. Book 2 of the EVE series came out in April, so while I am seriously losing the battle, I say the war is not yet over and Enlightened will be mine!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Darkness ~ Review

Title: Darkness
Author: Erin Eveland
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: One Girl. One Boy. And the Masters of Darkness. See the Shadow Creatures. They are everywhere. But you can't run from the shadows or the Masters who control them.
Catherine has been born with a supernatural power called Darkness. The Masters of Darkness have found her and it's just a matter of time before someone claims her.

I'll admit it, I don't think I knew what I was getting myself into. Actually I'm pretty sure that none of you will go into this thinking you know what's up and what's down. And if you do, then you're in for a loopy, twisty surprise.

I won't say that this story is bad, because it isn't. I just couldn't get into the writing style of Mrs. Eveland. I felt disconnected from the story, as if I were looking at everything through a glass bottle.  It's a meandering sort of writing. It goes on many, many tandems, then loops back to the story just when I had forgotten what was actually happening. I honestly just couldn't find a rhythm to this book.

I will say that I enjoyed all the, shall we say, macabre scenes. If you can enjoy horribly terrifying moments of creepy-ass things. Also, creepy children are the absolute worst! The worst, I tell you. I had a terrifying moment with my little brother when he was like 5, maybe 6. I will tell you guys all about it, even though I may get PTSD from sharing this particular story. 

So it's late, I'm watching tv in the living room and everyone else is in bed, asleep. Supposedly. My little brother then walks out of the hallway, very slow and creeping along the edges of our living room walls and he comes into the light cast from the tv. Then he just stands there, looking out at something. So I ask, "Hey little man, what are you doing up?" And I shit you not, the most demonic voice I've ever heard in my life told me to shut the fuck up. And then he just turned around and went back to bed! I am scarred for life!

 had a lot of scenes that sent tingles down my spine. I feel that if the writing was a little more fixed, instead of wandering off, then I would've enjoyed it much more. 

Oh, and one more thing. This is one of the first "interactive" novels that I've come across. And I'm wondering if this is something that we'll start seeing in more books. Basically every chapter had one of those weird scrambled bar codes that your phone scans and it would show you a painting or a song that you could read along with the chapter. Now me being me, I didn't even pay attention to it till the 8 or 9th chapter. And even then, I didn't scan it at every chapter, so I'm not sure what to make of it. I think it's cool, but I don't see it trending. For now anyway.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Millionaire Affair ~ Review

Title: The Millionaire Affair
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 336
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Fiction

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: LOVE IS A DEAL BREAKER . . .  
Millionaire ad executive Landon Downey has a policy: no romantic relationships allowed. So when he's saddled with his six-year-old nephew for a week, he doesn't think twice about asking Kimber Reynolds to act as live-in nanny. What he doesn't expect is the undeniable attraction to the woman he hasn't seen since they were kids. And not only does she like him back-she suggests they work their way down a list of extracurricular activities in the bedroom. How can he resist?  
Kimber wants to prove once and for all that she can love 'em and leave 'em with the best of them. All she has to do is keep her sixteen-year crush on Landon out of the equation. No problem . . . until she realizes she may not be the only one whose heart has gotten completely tangled up in their no-strings agreement.

This was a really fast read, simple and pleasant. I will admit that I am not a fan of the cover. I don't know what it is about the color scheme of black and yellow, maybe it reminds me too much of bumblebees, but I am just not a fan.

However, I really liked the uniqueness of the characters names. And not just the MCs, but all the characters had pretty creative names. Now did that take away some of the credibility? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean I can't like it. 

Now I seem to be having some really weird luck lately with book series. I'm always reading them out of order! This is book #3 in Lemmon's Love in the Balance series. I guess in typical romance fashion, it doesn't really matter if you read the first or even the second book beforehand. I understood pretty much the entire novel, and while some secondary characters floated in and out so fast I almost got whiplash, I think those characters were for the benefit of readers who actually started at the beginning. Cha-grin. 

In regards to Kimber and Landon, they were okay. I guess. I wanted to feel more regarding their feelings. I wanted the feels! But it was almost as if every time one of them came close to really opening up, then either the POV would shift or something would happen and spoil the mood. (Like the cliché little kid breaking up an intimate moment because of a bad dream, or whatever. Like that's never been done.) But hey, who am I to judge. 
That's going to stay rhetorical...

As far as steamy scenes go, I've read better. But everyone's tastes vary, so maybe the fact that Landon and Kimber's supposedly raunchy list felt chaste, well, maybe that's just me.

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Beloved ~ Review

Title: Beloved Enemy
Author: Lacy Yager
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fiction

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: She's the unlikeliest vampire hunter ever. A scientist.
Seventeen-year-old science prodigy Genevieve Quinn never thought she would be kidnapped from her college campus by a vampire. Or that said vampire would want her help on a science project. Genevieve has no intention of complying, but when an escape attempt turns deadly, it is a vampire that comes to her rescue.
Vampire Chad Matthews is an atypical specimen. He’s good-looking, in a dangerous kind of way. But that’s not what attracts Genevieve… it’s the shadows behind his eyes. As Genevieve and Chad team up to find a way to defeat a monster even worse than killer vampires, she discovers that not everything can be explained by science—like falling in love.

So, yes, this is a novella. Something I was unaware of before I started reading. (I thought it ended really fast...) What I also didn't know is that this is a part of a series, the third book in said series to be precise. But hey! That actually worked out in this novella's favor. While being a part of a series, I didn't feel confused in the world Ms. Yager created. (I mean, yea, I questioned things, but that's typical of any book anywhere.)

Now, I did want more from Genevieve and Chad. I wanted to see more of the bond between these two characters. I know, I know. It is a novella, but I just felt like everything happened too quickly... Is this a paradox? 

The story line felt a bit like it was in the background. I mean, this book definitely focused of Gen and Chad. Which, hey, fine with me. But I definitely wanted more, especially concerning Gen's research. 

I guess all in all, I just wanted this novella to be a novel. More from the story, more from the characters. Maybe then it wouldn't have felt so hollow.

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eye Candy ~ Review

Title: Eye Candy
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Pages: 228
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Fiction 

Rating: 2.5 stars
Summary: Every Girl Deserves Something Sweet…

Lydia Vanderwalk has an obsession with candy, so when she invents an NEB (non-existent boyfriend) who turns out to be the male hire-a-date equivalent of a jumbo box of Hot Tamales she knows she’s in trouble.
Lydia has worked hard to have the right job, the right wardrobe, and the right everything else, in the quest for the appearance of perfection. When she needs her NEB for a golden career opportunity, she enlists a talent agent friend’s help to produce perfect date Phelps. He was supposed to be pure eye candy, but there’s more going on beneath the surface than Red Hots looks and Pop Rocks spontaneity.
Throw in a banking wunderkind ex-fiancé, a trio of cutthroat couture-climbers, and a designer of questionable orientation and origin, and Lydia soon learns that what you see is often much less than what you get when it comes to people and not everything in life can be solved by a Jolly Rancher and a shopping spree.

An easy, cotton candy fluff read. Ah look at that, I can make candy references too. I won't say that the MC's candy references were the worst thing about her, but it was up there. Like really up there.

No, what really upset me about Lydia was her about-face concerning her ex-fiance. And then how she treated the ex and Phelps. Do you remember that one group from the Twilight fandom? The ones who wanted nothing more than for Jacob and Edward to say "Fuck her," and leave Bella in the dust? I was one of those girls for this book. Gavin and Phelps should have ridden off into the sunset on a motorcycle, giving Lydia the finger and singing Sweet Caroline at the top of their lungs.

Okay, I got a little carried away there. No, I didn't. This totally should've happened.

Looking past all that though, this really was something to break up my reading and have a little fun. And it worked for the most part. Don't take this one seriously, and you'll like it. 

(Yes, I completely realize I've been gone forever, and that coming back with this little review stinks. But I don't really care. K, bye!)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Allegiant by Veronica Roth ~ Review

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Pages: 526
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction

Rating: 5 goddamn stars

Summary: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

I'm completely overwhelmed with sadness. To see the Divergent series come to an end, and the way it came to an end, it's just too much. Seriously. Veronica Roth look at what you've wrought....

I just can't even... But I must.

This book started out with the POV of not only Tris, but also Tobias (4). At first, I was conflicted over this. I know Tris by now, I know how she operates and what she wants and what she needs. Honestly, I've thought about getting inside Tobias's head, obsessing over what makes him tick. Really, who hasn't thought about getting into the other protaginist's head? (Twilight, people. Midnight Sun.) So at first, I loved it. I was squealing like a pig at the county fair. And then, and then.... It just became unappealing to me to be inside of Tobias's head. I wanted Tris back, like for good back. I think the main problem I had was differentiating between Tris and Four's voice. They sounded very nearly the same in many of the chapters. 

We're introduced to a lot of new characters, some I enjoyed and others I really could've done without. Tris and Four react to these characters differently, which drew out the book as we went back and forth to witness these scenarios. While I loved that Tris had finally learned to become confident in herself and her abilities, I was utterly despondent to find that Four lost himself in this book. Upon receiving some shocking news, Four completely shuts down and I wanted to rage at him, much in the same way Tris did. I thought it was an inaccurate character development but hey, I'm not the author. 

Aside from that, I really loved Allegiant. It brought everything Tris and Tobias had gone through to a new level of intensity. While many believe the second book in the trilogy acted more of a filler than anything else, I think (in conjunction with this segment) that it acted more as a point of reference for Tris' character growth. It provided the much needed space to really understand Tris and to see exactly what her path has done to change her psyche, both physically and emotionally. But not only did this book pack a punch for Tris but it also gave me a good beating as well! Tears were rolling people! I can't even remember the last time a book made me cry… (oh wait, no, Marley and Me did quite the number on me the last I even attempted to finish the book.)

I truly wish a different ending had happened, but at the same time, I highly commend Mrs. Roth for taking the leap. Bravo, Mrs. Roth, I eagerly await your next novel.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Angel and the Warrior ~ Review

Title: The Angel and the Warrior
Author: Karen Kay
Publication Date: September 6, 2005
Pages: 304
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction, Historical Western

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Eighteen years ago, Swift Hawk was sent to the earthly realm to try to break an enchantment that curses his clan to a half-life in the mists. As his allotted time runs short, a vision gives him a glimpse of his last chance to free his people. A delicate young woman with translucent white skin and star-like hair.
He never thought his sacred vision would possess the tongue of a shrew.
Angelia Honeywell and her brother Julian fled Mississippi amid a hail of rotten tomatoes and flying bullets. She only fired back in self-defense, but now they are on the run as their father pleads their case to the governor.
With Julian trying to pass himself off as a wagon train scout, Angel knows they need help. When the handsome, black-eyed Swift Hawk agrees to save their skins, she can’t help but be drawn to his compelling gaze. But as they come together in a blaze of desire, the dark shadows of the curse descend, threatening to divide them forever.

Siiigh. I could read historical romances forever. Even if they're not wonderful, I still love everything about them. A piece of history, usually a scandalous love affair, and some steamy paragraphs, mmm. Oh, sorry, don't mind the drool.

Ever since I read Warrior Moon by Sara Orwig, I've loved Native American fiction. Something about their culture really intrigues me. Same with Indian culture as well. It's just so exotic, completely different from my own "normal." But I digress.

The story is told by both Swift Hawk and Angelia, or "Angel" (Gods, how I despise that name!) Swift Hawk isn't just any normal Native American, oh no. As it says in the summary he's part of a cursed tribe and he's their only salvation to regaining some sort of real life. Funnily enough, Angel isn't all that normal herself, that is she isn't the hoity-toity type of woman you'd expect from the era. Raised as a travelling preacher's daughter, she's opinionated,  fearless, and quick to tell you what's what. I really loved both of these characters, and how they resonated off the pages!

There were also some secondary characters that I think deserve a little shout out, because they were awesome! Julian, Angel's brother, is what I imagine my little brother will end up like. He's handsome, arrogant, but clearly loves his sister! And Swift Hawk's side kick/tribe member/ I'm-not-even-sure, Red Fox made me laugh so many times with his dry wit. I wish they were a bigger part in this book, because I treasured the scenes with both the secondary people.

As far as plot, I was expecting a lot more of a "evil" presence. There's not much strife. Don't get me wrong, there are several conflicts within the story. But there is an antagonist introduced in the beginning and we don't see anything else until much later on. Our characters sort of float along until the very end. That's when we see more of a confrontation. I know there are more books in this series, but they focus on other characters. I was really hoping for more of a resolution with this one. With that being said, I'm still interested in the other books and look forward to reading them!

So let me know, what are some of your historical romance favorites? 

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Firebolt Book Tour + Giveaway (Part 2/2)

Glad to see you made it back! Like I said in the last post, with Part Two we'll actually get a sneak peek into the book with a scintillating excerpt. I'll follow up with my review, and then! And only then will I reveal the precious giveaway. (Or you can scroll down to the bottom. But I warn you, there will be stuff down there and you'll be all wtf? And then you'll have to scroll all the way back here to make sense of it all.) Are we good? Ok, good, because here comes the excerpt!


A girl singing her heart out about a miracle boomed inside my ear. A miracle would get me what I needed: a chance at a semi-normal life.
     The bedroom door hitting the wall expelled the thought from my mind. With his hand tangled up in his copper hair and with huge brown eyes, Dad's figure filled the entire doorway. “Pack your bags.” He had that set to his jaw, the one that meant there was no way out of this. He bolted out of the room just as suddenly as he had appeared.
     My teeth ground hard against each other, and the sharp pain behind my eyes, I guessed from the lack of sleep, grew stronger. Every fibre of my being wanted to explode.
     Ever since I could remember my name, Dad and I had been on the run. From what? Beats me.                  
     For the last two weeks, I'd been pacing up and down through the house, struggling to fall asleep at night, waiting for this day.
     For the love of blue berries, no sixteen-year old should live this way!              
     I climbed off my bed, and the first step I took left my toe tangled in the wide leg of my jeans.  I tried to regain my balance as the closet inched closer, but with wildly flailing arms, I came crashing down. The thud reverberated across the wooden floor, and it sounded as if I'd broken something.
     Dad darted back into my room. "Are you okay?" He lifted me back onto my feet as if I weighed nothing.
     Tears lurked in the corners of my eyes, threatening to burst, as I stared up at him.
    "Don't give me that look, Elena. Please, we need to hurry.” He pulled my suitcase from the top shelf and chucked it haphazardly onto my bed. “We need to go. Now.”
     He started to grab my clothes from the shelf and tossed them messily inside my small suitcase. Then he paused, sighed, and looked up with soft eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek with his hand gently. “This wasn't the right place, bear. Please, you’ve got to trust me.”
     His hand reached back to pull everything off my shelf, while my hands curled up into balls of fury. My heart pounded fast as those two words bounced inside my skull. “Trust you, Dad?”
     "Elena, we don't have much time,” he yelled. “Pack your bags! You can ask questions later." He left, and the hollow “doof” sound from his footsteps stomped loudly as he made his way into the hall.
     Ask questions? Yeah right! I’ll only get answers that don’t reveal why we are on the run for the gazillionth time.' “Trust me” and “I'll tell you when the time is right” were the only two answers Dad gave. 'Guess time with him will never be right.’
     It was no use arguing with him anyway. The last time, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me out without any of my things.
     So I grabbed the stuff I needed: my mp3 player, a photo of Mom that Dad didn't know I had, and my journal from underneath my bed. I tossed them into my backpack. It wasn't much, but it was the stuff that made my miserable life felt less pathetic. I zipped up my suitcase and took a deep breath. Looking around my bedroom for the last time, I said goodbye to my sixtieth-something room.
     Dad almost ran me over in the hall with his army bag slung over his shoulder. He grumbled, which I assumed was an apology, took my suitcase, and ran down the stairs. He always rented these huge old houses, pre-furnished and near the countryside, and we always left after three months.
     The pickup's horn honked as I shut the front door. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Just two more years, then I'll be eighteen and free from this freak show. Huge raindrops fell hard onto the ground. The smell of wet dirt filled the air. It was my favorite smell.
     The water that pooled on the ground covered all the gaps in the driveway, forcing me to hopscotch around all of them. My shoe got caught in one of the gaps and I smacked down hard in a huge puddle. By the time I reached the truck, my jeans and shoes were soaking wet. 
     Warm heat from the vents inside the truck hit me full blast as I jumped in; a million goose pimples erupted across my skin.  As soon as I shut the rusty door, Dad floored the gas pedal. Tires screeched and the truck spun away as if the Devil chased us.  My lower lip quivered softly as he swerved onto the road. The streetlights flew by in a blur as I plugged in my earpieces. The same stupid song about a miracle boomed from my mp3, drowning the sound of the engine and the hard dribbles on the roof, a percussion that became the perpetual soundtrack to my misery.
       A feeling of utter loneliness consumed my heart as I stared out the window. Homes with white picket fences and the convenient store whizzed by in a flash. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said goodbye, and my breath on the glass created a foggy condensation. Reaching out my index finger, I drew a small heart. These were the reasons why Mom had left. She couldn't handle his paranoia, but why she’d left her daughter to deal with it was a mystery. Dad constantly reminded me of the latter, and that was the only time he ever spoke of her. If he ever discovered I had that picture, he would kill me. That was how much he hated her for leaving us.
     The lights of a vehicle in the upcoming lane shone directly into my face. I shut my eyes, waiting for it to disappear. As a little girl, I used to watch Dad as we drove away from yet another house. He would glare into his rearview mirror every five seconds, every muscle in his face clenched, and his knuckles white on the steering wheel. I hadn’t been able to force myself to peek out the window then, as it used to scare the living crap out of me to consider the possible reasons he was fleeing from, or who might be following us. Now, I didn't look at him or care much for what he was going through. He created this problem. With me becoming the luggage. It was a ritual I endured every three months, and nothing over the past sixteen years had ever changed that.
     The “Interstate 40” sign flew by in a whirl, and the pickup slowly moved onto the turnoff lane.
     My eyes started to burn as I stared at the rain running down my window. Each rivet resembled another town, another place I would never again call home. Exhaustion consumed me and my eyelids felt heavy. I laid my head against the window and struggled to stay awake.
     Suddenly, a dark and huge figure flew past me. Dad swerved to the left, which made me crushed into the side of the passenger’s door. My entire body pumped with adrenaline. I jumped straight in my seat and wrenched the seatbelt over my shoulder to buckle myself in. I tore out my earpieces as I tried to process what had just happened.
     “What was that?” I looked at Dad.
      He stared straight ahead with huge eyes. Beads of sweat rolled from his hairline down to the side of his temple. He looked terrified, something that conflicted with his personality. I'd never seen Dad look that scared in my entire life.
     “Did you see where it went?” he asked, attempting to inject calm into his voice, but I could hear the fear lacing each syllable.
     “See where what went? Dad what was that!”
     “You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”
     “For once in your life, just tell me!” I screamed. Sixteen years of frustration exploded from my lungs. I couldn't take the unknown anymore.
    “Fine.” He mumbled something else that I didn't catch. "Do you remember the stories I used to tell you?"
    “Stories? What stories?”
    “The ones about Paegeia, Elena.” He looked in his rearview mirror again with huge, unblinking eyes.
     Vaguely, but I didn't tell him that. "What does that have to do with this?"
     “They're real.”
      I froze and I stared at him.
      “All of it, it’s real. The dragons, the magic, the wall, everything is real.”

my reaction to that last sentence

And now ladies and gentlemen, I give you my review! 

Title: Firebolt
Author: Adrienne Woods
Publication Date: November 17, 2013
Pages: 306
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn't know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn't even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales - a dragon. With her father's death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia. Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia - Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him - the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn't think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.

I really love dragons you guys! No, I mean it. Dragons and me, we would make an awesome team. So when Ms. Woods offered me a spot on her book tour, I couldn't resist! 

Okay, so we start off with Elena in the real world. She's sick of her dad's paranoia and she just wants to live a normal girl life.

Yeah okay.

Problem is, Elena is pretty darn special (and I think I know why!) We're not told in this novel why exactly she is so special, only that she has a very rare birthmark, and that in itself is special.  -Cue the halfway successful assassination attempt (which no one questions?)-

So just like in a lot of Disney movies, Elena's father dies early in the beginning and she mysteriously ends up on the other side of the Bermuda Triangle, also known as the country as Paegeia. Which has dragons.

And the best part is there are more than just one type of dragons, there are also different abilities that dragons can have! And they have riders which are called Dragonians. Undoubtedly you can tell me what Elena is. I'll give you a hint, she's not a dragon.

Wait, did you say she's a Dragonian? DING DING DING! You are correct! There are some complications to her claim as a Dragonian but I'll leave that for you guys to find out!

I want to get into characters and plot really quickly. There's a big band of characters, and I enjoyed all of them, even if I didn't necessarily like them all! Every character was a bit quirky and I can't wait to see these characters come into play more as the series progresses. I really enjoyed the sweet moments that Elena had with Lucian, even though they were all short-lived. Something always happened to ruin those moments! 

A lot of the first book is on Elena and how she is coping in the new realm. I mean, this is an accurate portrayal of how a human being would react in a new land! They would be freaked out!!! There's also that feeling of a meandering plot, it goes from one scene to the next without any real importance but overall,

Thank you Effie

The first half of this novel is pretty slow, which is expected when it's the first book of a new series. There's quite a lot to cover, especially when there are DRAGONS involved! The second half picks up the pace and the ending, oh that ending. I mean sure, a lot of bad things happen to Elena, but may I just say that I would love to switch places with the girl. Especially if what I think is going to happen in the next installments actually happens. (Some of the plot twists are pretty clear, other stuff, eh-not so much.)

I do have to point out that there are A LOT, I mean a lot, of questions raised as the story unfolds, and we get hardly any answers in the first book. I would've liked a few of them answered at least. A few isn't too much to ask, is it?

Why indeed? I know, I know. It's to get me hooked so I will keep reading. 
Me: But answers!!! 
Firebolt: No.
Me: :(

Okay, lovely people. That's it for my review. As promised, here is the information for the giveaway.

Enter to Win! 

Printed copy of Firebolt
Custom made bookmark

Five e-copies also up for grabs!

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