Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Owl and the Electric Samurai by Kristi Charish

Title: Owl and the Electric Samurai
Author: Kristi Charish
Series: Book Three in the Adventures of Owl Series
Published By: Simon and Schuster (May 8, 2017)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
The third exciting novel starring the unforgettable antiquities thief Owl—a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. From the pen of rising urban fantasy star Kristi Charish (Owl and the Japanese Circus) and for fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and fantasy lovers everywhere.

The International Archaeology Association (IAA) is responsible for keeping all things supernatural under wraps. They’re also responsible for ruining the promising archaeology career of Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl.

Needless to say, Owl’s still a little sore about that.

Just to keep Owl’s life lively, the IAA has opened a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, the online RPG that is much, much more than it seems. Owl needs to locate the notorious gaming duo before the other mercenaries do. But finding the gamers won’t be easy since every clue points to them hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. Not to mention that the last time Owl and the game designers spoke, their conversation didn’t exactly end on the best note…

Meanwhile, undercurrents of supernatural politics are running amok in Tokyo, dragging Owl and her friends into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing? All-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.

Who ever described Owl as a young female Indian Jones was so spot on, so much so that the person deserves a prize. There isn't a better phrase or a better character that comes to mind when I think of this series as a whole. It is just so much stinking fun. And like our beloved hero Indian Jones, you just know that with each new installment an exciting new adventure and outrageous predicaments are just around the corner. 

With danger, the odd supernatural, magic, and spells truly lurking in every dark and creepy crevice and cavern she can fin, this story keeps you on edge with one wild adventure after another. With just the right amount of romance to keep it interesting but not taking over the real heart of the story which truly is all about the escapades she can get herself into, and of course out of with the help of a whole lot of friends and friend-enemies a like. 

If you have been on the cusp of trying this series, my advice to you is this, step off that edge and do it. Fly face first, feet first, into the non-stop history, adventure, and fun that  inevitably awaits you. 

Be prepared though, this one ends on one heck of a cliffhanger. I can't wait for more!

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, May 15, 2017

What Will You Be Binge Watching This Summer?

I thought it might be fun to do something a little different and talk about what we all do, well, most of us any ways. You know what I'm talking about, binge watching. Oh that evil Netflix and it's ways of luring us in with (what seems like) unlimited seasons of TV shows we've never watched before or old favorites we want to live all over again. You know what I'm talking about. 

Those shows that suck up our time and completely hook us. We all do it and once in awhile, we even need it. Just to get away into fantasy land with no worries, no troubles, and just escape with mindless entertainment. 

Summer is my favorite time of year to do this because even though I love being outside during the day and playing with my kids and reading, at night is always all about TV, especially staying up late into the night and then being able to actually sleep in in the mornings.

So with that said, what in the world are you planning on binge watching this summer?

It occurred to me (as all my favorite fall shows will be off the air soon), I need something new to watch. Either new to me or actually new to Netflix/Hulu so give it to me. What are your favorites, what do you plan on watching and most importantly, what do you recommend?

What I love about this blogging community is that not only do most of us love the same genres and authors, but we tend to love the same movies and shows too and it is so much fun to talk about all of them. 

So with that being said, just to get an idea of what I do watch, here are a few of my favorites lately:

Supernatural. I mean come on, what is there not to love about Sam and Dean?

A new one for me but one I've been loving, Man in the High Castle. I love this era and to see this weird twist on what happened during it has been so much fun. Be warned for you moms out there, it is TV-MA because it does have language so be aware of that when having little ones in the room. 

I'm so sad this show is over but I loved every single season of it and it was so much fun to watch. I definitely love the supernatural world, both in my books and my TV shows apparently. 

This show was an unexpected one for me. I wasn't even sure I was going to watch it but so many people were and once I started I knew why, this freaking show pulls at the heart strings. I have yet to see an episode that didn't either make me cry or bring tears to my eyes.

We started watching Psych when it first aired and faithfully watched it every week. When Netflix  showed it a couple of summers ago, we started watching it again with my kids and they too were hooked on it. I'm so sad it won't be on Netflix this summer and with the movie coming out in December, I'm hoping they will add it on there again. I love this show, it is just so funny. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it, Shawn and Gus are the perfect example of a bro-romance that works.

I'm not caught up on this show yet so I will be watching it this summer to catch up but I thought I better throw it in the mix too in case some of you have something else close to it that you recommend. This is another one of my favorite time periods and I love it. I did try Downton Abbey and didn't like it, too soap opera-ish for me but any other recommendations I would absolutely love to have!

Some other shows I've watched and really like are: Sherlock, Bitten, Haven, Castle, Lizzy Borden, iZombie, The Walking Dead,  American Housewife, Timeless, Charmed (still watching this one), Buffy (although I never finished this either), Gilmore Girls, Golden Girls (don't laugh, this show is so funny! I love Sophia). Hopefully that gives you an idea of what to recommend. ;) 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Title: White Hot
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Book Two in the Hidden Legacy Trilogy
Published By: Avon (May 30, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … 

I'm starting to think that there is nothing that the writing duo that is the Andrews, can't do.

Magic, sexual tension, murders, secrets, action, a kick butt heroine and a heart stopping, heart pounding (sometimes) hero? You betcha, this book has it and then some. 

The Andrew's Kate Daniels series has always been one of my most favorite UF series but for whatever reason I've never really branched out with their writing, but this year I decided it was time to let the tree grow and see where those branches would take me. I'm so very glad I did because I can say without hesitation, that I've found a new trilogy to love from them. I'm actually so sad that this will only be a trilogy because after finishing this, I can already tell, I will want more than just three books. 

I don't even know where to begin to describe this series. It's 

It has the right blend of fantasy and romance with a whole lot of mystery and danger. It truly is unbelievably hard to put down. There is a reason that this series as a whole, is rated as well as it is and talked about as much as it it. It is just so much darn fun. I just can't even. Read the series, you won't regret it for a moment. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye

Title: The Crown's Fate
Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: Book Two in the Crown's Game Series
Published By: Balzer & Bray (May 17, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

I fell in love with Skye's beautiful lyrical writing style in her debut novel Crown's Game last year and was eager to be thrown back into the magical setting that she had created and with the slightly cliffhanger ending, I was eager to know what would happen next. 

This was quite the sequel. It was both happy and sad, maddening and infuriating. Beautiful and heartbreaking. So many things happened, came to an ending and came to a beginning and I'm still not sure if all of it was breathtaking or a complete disaster. 

This was...I don't even know. It was good and then again it was sort of...lacking at the same time. It was wonderful and sort of not. I think part of me wanted more. More magic, less drama, more romance and less madness and anger.

Overall it was a story that captured my attention and while it maybe didn't quite live up the first book for me, it was still a pretty solid sequel and still a good story. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Release Day Review: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Title: Cold Summer
Author: Gwen Cole
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sky Pony Press (May 2, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Time Travel
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future. 
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him. 

I'm not going to lie, the cover is what first drew me to this story, it is outright gorgeous and was pretty hard for me to resist. Once I read the description and saw that this would be told through the point of view of both a male and female I knew I needed to read it. Through in the time traveling aspect and I was sold. 

I'll tell you a little secret, I love books about time traveling but for whatever reason, they very rarely actually work for me. Either the concept of the actual time traveling is too tedious to understand or it isn't explained enough to make it believable and some how ends up ruining the story for me. But still, I am drawn to them and can't seem to resist them. So I'll admit, I went into this with absolutely no expectations at all and knowing this was the authors debit novel, I think they might even have been lower than usual, nothing against the author of course, you just never know what to expect from a first time book.

But you know what? This worked for me. Even if everything wasn't explained, it still just worked. I think I was so focused on the actual story and not the time traveling aspect and it just simply worked. It was pretty well written and even if nothing was ever explained completely, yeah, it worked.

This was a fun debut novel and one that I'm glad I took the chance and time on to read.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mini Review: The Innkeeper Chronicles Volume One by Ilona Andrews

Title: The Innkeeper Chronicles
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: InnKeeper Chronicles
Published By: Subterranean Press (May 31, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Meet Dina Demille, a nice Texas gal who runs a seemingly ordinary, quaint B&B.  But Dina’s inn is a magic, thinking entity; her fluffy Shih-tzu, Beast really is a beast; and her guests are the kind that no one on earth is supposed to know about:  guests like a dethroned galactic tyrant with a massive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced—and superhot—alpha-strain werewolf.  

So don’t expect a normal stay…and don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage….

In Clean Sweep, Dina—with the unwanted assistance of newcomer (and alpha werewolf) Sean Evans and Arland, a cosmic vampire soldier—takes on an extraterrestrial killing machine that could destroy her Inn, her neighbors, and everything she holds dear.

Sweep in Peace, finds Dina hosting an anything-but peace summit between three warring intergalactic species; Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char.  

One Fell Sweep sends Dina to the galaxy’s worst penal colony to rescue her sister; and back home to fend off a clan of assassins in pursuit, all while saving a guest’s civilization from annihilation…and searching for her missing parents.

Anyone that knows the writing greatness that is the duo Ilona Andrews knows that when you open up on of their stories you are in for a treat. 

I am so glad I read these three books as a whole because it would have been so hard to wait until each new one was released and of course, after finishing the third, I'm already anxious for the fourth. 

Andrews gave us a treat in this series. It is a bit of something different, something other, a bit of something dangerous, and a bit of something completely all its own and I just couldn't get enough of it.

I loved the play on the “traditional” versions of supernatural species with a whole new twist and spin and then the whole sci fi aspect, which admittedly doesn't usually work for me, but so did in this series. I truly had so much fun with it and I want more. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: Skitter by Ezekiel Boone

Title: Skitter
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Series: Book Two in the Hatching Series
Published By: Atria Books (May 2, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own.

I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels in my time because quite honestly, they fascinate me. They fascinate me with the what ifs and oh my gosh I can see that happenings and while those things, those ideas have freaked me out at times, none of them have horrified me the way this series has.

This series is captivating, engaging and completely terrifying. 

I've never read a book that has had me both enthralled with the horribleness of it and also jumping and itching and ever little flash of light I see out of the corner of my eye. Nor has one ever made em afraid to enter a dark room at night with the possibility of what if there is a spider on the floor or what if one falls from the shower wall onto me when I least expect it. I swear I have looked into every dark crook and cranky, on the lookout for the little buggers because oh my heck, this book is one of my very worst nightmares re imagined and brought to life. 

I've always been squeamish of spiders, I mean the suckers have eight legs and move super fast and can pretty much squeeze into impossibly tight spaces but even though I didn't like them, even though I kill them on sight most days, I've never been terrified of them...until now, thank you very much. 

I can't even begin to tell you how hooked I am on this series. How real it could very well be. I mean come on people, spiders are unassuming and clever and in some cases deadly. I mean, why not?

This series truly is in my top ten not just reads of the year, but all time series, it was that well written, imagined, and plotted out. 

Told in multiple point of views, all throughout the world, this truly was mesmerizing, addictive, and like a train wreck all rolled into one. It was hard to resist, hard to put down, and one of those reads you both don't want to read further because you are so bloody scared but also can't even begin to have enough will power to resist.  I am forever both happy I read this and more than likely scared for life because of it.

I will never look at a simple house spider, or any spider, the same way again and I can't wait for more!

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Top Five Reads So Far This Year

I thought it might be fun with the year flying by and already almost half over (okay not quite but seriously isn't it crazy that it is almost May?) to see what my top five reads have been so far.

Let me tell you, I've had more than five great reads, in fact, this year seems to be the year for me where I've already had a handful of five star reads, so this list was hard to narrow down to only five but after a lot of deliberation, these are the ones I choose that have stayed with me the most. And to make matters better, they are in a mix of genres so maybe you will see something that you will like as well. 

These aren't in any particular order but have all been so good. 

This was a series ender and I couldn't of been happier with the way it all came together and while I would have liked more, because who doesn't want more from their favorites, it really was just fabulous and I can't wait for the spin off series the author plans on writing next. 

I'm jumping in kind of late on the The Hatching train but oh goodness am I glad that I jumped. This series. *shudders* It is so good and so horrific at the same time. I can't wait to start the sequel. If you haven't tried it yet, do it. So. Worth. It. And right now on Amazon in honor of the second being released soon, it's only $2.99 which is a steal! 

This book. I can't even describe why it impacted me so much but it did and I love the author for it. I read very little in this genre anymore but I'm so glad I choose to take a chance on this, it was so good. 

I can't even begin to stress how amazing this series is. It is so funny and creepy at times and the romance is mind blowing. This has a little bit of it all and I can't get enough of it. It is one of the few series I've been able to read the books back to back and not needed a break from it. The author better hurry up and get to writing more!

And last but not least, this guy. Actually, this whole series and the prequel series has been fantastic and still going strong. I love all the twists and turns it takes along with the darker edgier tone to it. It's a nice change in the genre for sure.

So there you have it, my top five reads so far. What about you? Any mind blowing reads so far this year?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Avenged by Amy Tintera

Title: Avenged
Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Book Two in the Ruined Series
Published By: HarperTeen (May 2, 2017)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In the sequel to Ruined, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister Olivia from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory. 

But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina, but Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty. 

Once again Tintera takes us on a brutal, bloody, devious ride in this breathtaking sequel to Ruined. 
Em and friends are on the run after having finally revealing all their secrets and getting revenge for those that harmed them in the past but if they think their adventure is over then they are so wrong.

We once again see how corrupt Em's world and those in it have become and at the very heart of that corruption, lies those that Em thought she could trust and love.

This was such an unexpected ride. Truly there is so much deception and deceit around every corner, in all kingdoms. It is hard to know who to trust, who you can count on, and who is your friend and worst of all in Em's case, even who to love. 

This was a thrilling heart pounding ride and while I thought this series was going to be a duology for some reason, it turns out there is yet another book out there and I couldn't be more excited about it. This truly is a series that will keep you on the edge of your seat and rapidly turning the pages.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Summer Reads I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On!

First before I go into what fantastic reads I can't wait to read, I have to admit, I've become one of those bloggers. 

You know, the ones that post sporadically and sometimes with no rhyme or reason at all, yep that's me lately but hey, at least I'm still here right? Right? *sigh* At least that is something.

So while I'm trying to get my act together and in light of the fact that other than yesterday, it's been awhile since I've done a WoW post,  it might be fun to see what upcoming releases you guys are excited for and of course to show you the ones I can't wait to read either. 

Top of my summer reading list is this guy, I adored the first one and all it's uniqueness blended into fact. It was so much fun and it was dark and and bit dangerous and serious so good. I want more!

This seriously surprisingly has quickly become addicting and I can't wait for the latest installment. This UF has a little bit of it all and even a whole lot of fae, which honestly, hasn't appealed to me much before in the adult genre but I seem to love this one. Thankfully I got an early copy and I can't wait to start it!

West will always be an author for me YA contemporary slump and all. I'm actually looking forward to this one and hope it is as cute as all her others.

It is going to be so hard to say goodbye to this trilogy, I've loved it from the very beginning and Caine's writing is just exceptional. I both want to devour this one and make it last forever.

I admit, this one is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I hardly ever read these type of reads anymore but there is just something about this trilogy and I have to see how it ends.

Reisz has quickly become an author I can count on for a unique storyline full of shocking revelations and mystery. I can't wait for her newest book. 

This book is probably my most anticipated one yet. It is also (sadly) the last book in the series and I'm already sad about it but excited at the same time to read it. This will be another one that will be both hard not to fly through it and want to make it last.

So how about you, what books are you excited for this summer? And series enders or just ones that ended on a cliffy and you can't wait to get to to see what happens next?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WoW Pick of the Week!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and I'm so eager to get my hands on the sequel. I'm hoping like heck that it will be just as good and the romance will be even more so.

Book Description:

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.