Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: Book One in the Neverknight Chronicles
Published By: Thomas Dunne Books (August 9, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 2.5-3 Stars

Book Description:
The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Nevernight was high on my must read, definitely can't wait to get my hands on reads for 2016 and also being my first Kristoff book, I was super excited to dive in and see what this author's work was all about.

Not knowing ever what to expect from this genre, only added to the excitement and the anticipation. 

I can say, without a doubt, that this book took me by surprise. It was most definitely unlike anything else I have read or seen in young adult fantasy.

Vulgar, explicit, and not something I would classify as young adult by any stretch of the imagination, Kristoff knocked me flat on my back with the severity and darkness of his writing.

If you can get past the udder shock of getting something unexpected and not at all in the YA norm, and see the writing for what it is, absolutely brilliant, this is actually a good read. If, you can get past the initial shock of language, sex, and bloodshed.

I wish I could say that I loved this but I didn't. I did like it though but the writing while, brilliant, could also be disjointed and confusing at times as the story switched back and forth from the past to the present to the now and the shadows. 

I can see a lot of people loving this and a lot of people being thrown off like I was but still liking it nonetheless. 

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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.

Okay I admit the cover caught my attention first but then I zeroed in on "Victorian London" and I was completely sold and a debut author too so really, anything is possible with this one.

Book Description:

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. 
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison

Title: White Witch, Black Curse
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Book Seven in the Hollows Series
Source: Purchased
Published By: EoS (February 24, 2009)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the sinister and seductive Hollows for the newest blockcuster adventure featuring Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter.

White Witch, Black Curse

Some wounds take time to heal...and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved...and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderland food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her.

As much as I love the action and adventure in this series, it was nice to take a slight step back and get a bit of a softer side with Rachel and her interactions with her family, specifically, her brother Robbie and her mom, who I absolutely adored. 

And while this book was a touch lighter on the action side it was still packed full of emotion as Ivy and Jenks still have a mystery to solve, memories to retrieve and demons to deal with. 

So very much happens in this book, heck so much has happened in this series and you can't help but want a reprieve for this group of friends but sadly, while there are some short moments of happiness, they never seem to last long for Rachel and gang. 

This book was a bit bittersweet in that we finally are getting some answers to things we have been questioning for awhile now but those answers come at a cost as they always seem to for Rachel and my heart broke numerous times for her. It seems like she gets the raw end of the deal more times than ought to be necessary and yet you can't help admire her because she never lets it get her down for very long. She picks right back up and fights. She is a fighter through and through and I love her for it. She isn't one that gives up easily or who even takes the easy way out of things and I think she is what truly makes this series a great one. Between her Jenks, and Ivy, it is so very hard to resist. 

I'm both excited and nervous to see where it goes from here and even a bit upset with all that transpired and hope that several wrongs will be righted and that this group of friends get their HEA by the time it is all said and done. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Series: Book One in the Jasper Dent Trilogy
Published By: Little Brown (April 22, 2012)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Thriller
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

There are few YA books not only told in the point of view of a boy, but a boy like Jasper Dent, who's father was a notorious serial killer and since birth, was raised to be one as well. 

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing this book was. From the writing, to the execution, down to the very characters themselves, you never knew what was what. Was Jasper (Jazz) just like his father or was he different? Was he just a boy trying to be good or a killer waiting to break out of his shell and become what he was so lovely trained and conditioned to be?

I loved every heart pounding moment of this story and the very characters themselves. 

If you are looking for something completely off the charts, completely unlike anything in the YA genre, a thriller that will leave you begging for more, your heart pounding and slightly disgusted with just how very much you loved all the horrifying events,  this is a series you must try. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

Title: The Bourbon Thief
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Mira (June 28, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
From the internationally celebrated author of the Original Sinners series comes a brand-new tale of betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150-year-old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris. 

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed. 

Dark, gritty, twisted, disturbing, and wholly entertaining are just a few words that can be used to describe the experience of reading The Bourbon Thief

It was mesmerizing and hard to put down, with a tale that was both as chilling as it was satisfying to see how it all ended and came together. A tale like no other I have ever experienced nor read.

A tale that leaves you wondering what it wrong with you because you both liked it and hated it. Were repulsed by it and yet weirdly drawn to it as well. 

Reisz did an amazing job weaving a story of deception, lies, mystery, horrors, sorrow, heartache, and so much more. One that will stick with you long after the pages have been read and the mystery unveiled and laid open for all the world to see. 

This truly was exactly what I was hoping it would be and definitely worth the hype. 

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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'm all for a good thriller or creepy read, especially in the fall so it's not wonder that this weeks pick, releasing in the fall, is high on my priority and want list.

It just sounds so good and like one that will make me want to keep the lights on while reading it. 

Book Description:

A stunning, terrifying novel about a house the color of blood and the two sisters who are trapped there, by The Dead House author Dawn Kurtagich 

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mini Review: What the Dead Want by Norah Olson

Title: What the Dead Want
Author: Norah Olson
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books (July 26, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
16 -year-old Gretchen takes photographs to understand the world around her, a passion her mother Mona fostered and encouraged when she was still around. Since her mom disappeared years ago, Gretchen and her dad have lived on their own in New York City, haunted by Mona’s absence.

When Gretchen’s great aunt Esther calls unexpectedly to tell her that she has inherited the pre-Civil War mansion on her mother’s side of the family in upstate New York, Gretchen understands nothing except that her aunt needs her help. But what she finds there is beyond her imagination. The house is crumbling apart, filled with stacks of papers and journals from decades, even centuries past, and it’s crawling with rodents. It’s also full of secrets and a legacy of racism and violence so reprehensible that the ghosts of the past are exacting revenge on the living.

Somehow the mystery of Mona’s disappearance and the atrocities that happened on the land during the Civil War are inextricably intertwined, and it’s up to Gretchen to figure out how…before even more lives are lost. 

I was in the mood for something different, fun, and hopefully spooky with just the right amount of paranormal woo hoo and mystery to keep me turning the pages and be on edge.

With a slight creepy undertone and mystery galore, this really was a good read that was different from the norm. A read to take you away for a few hours and give you something with just enough of the creepy factor to keep you on edge and just enough of that mystery that lovers like me crave to keep you entertained and wanting more.

A good read for fans of the genre and those that want to try it for the first time.

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

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 didn't even know this book existed until I saw it on other's WoW posts but now I completely want to read it. This era has always fascinated me and in particular this time in London's history where London was so danger and tons of murders were happening all the time and especially, the ones with the murderer known and Jack the Ripper.

And okay, the cover is gorgeous too. ;)

Book Description:

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Title: Paper and Fire
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Book Two in the Great Library Series
Published By: NAL (July 5, 2016)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control… 

I adored the first book in this series Ink and Bone, it was captivating. So well written and right up my wheel house. I loved the rich historic feel to it and the steampunk tendencies. It was everything I was looking for and more than I could have imagined, which, is why I jumped right into the sequel without hesitation and with expectations running high. 

I can say with absolute honesty that I adored Paper and Fire, maybe even more so than Ink and Bone. I don't even know where to begin with just how much more this book was.

Let's stop and appreciate the cover for a moment, it is gorgeous and I absolutely love it. It is the type of cover that demands attention. The kind that catches your eye and makes you stare at it. And wonderfully, the cover matches what is inside.

We get so much in this story, from the background of the library itself to the people that run it, to Jess, Santi, Wolff, and all the others. There are surprises around every corner, danger constantly in the foreground, and new wonders revealed. We truly just do get so much more. I don't even know where to begin to describe how great this sequel was.  

If you are on the fence about it, don't be. It has all the right elements and just the right blend of genres to make anyone want to read it and love it. 

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