Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: Owl and The Tiger Thieves by Kristi Charish

Title: Owl and the Tiger Thieves
Author: Kristi Charish
Series: Book Four of the Adventures of Owl Series
Published By: Simon & Schuster (May 7, 2018)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In this fourth Owl novel, Kristi Charish (The Voodoo Killings) melds sparkling fantasy with the grit of urban underbelly—with a detour through the world’s most spectacular cities. This is perfect for fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and fantasy lovers everywhere.

Through no fault of her own, Alix has found herself essential to the fate of the world as we know it. She didn’t mean for this to happen—she was quite happy being merely the notorious antiquities thief, and ex-archeologist, known as Owl.

However, years ago, Owl reluctantly entered the secret world of the supernatural. Her goals: complete one job, escape one bounty on her head, continue her thieving in peace.

Fast forward to today. Now, she has become a key player in a brutal paranormal civil war that is rapidly getting out of hand. The leader of one of these factions—a lethal opponent called the Electric Samurai—grows more powerful by the second. To stop him, Owl sets out to find the long-lost, legendary group known as the Tiger Thieves.

But will it be too little too late? One thing Owl misses about “normal” archaeology: there are few emergencies with thousand-year-old relics. 

The Adventures of Owl is one of those series that I seriously think is way underrated.

Owl truly reminds me of a young female version of Indian Jones, hijinks, dangerous misadventures, and evil bad guys and all.

Throw in some very powerful and sometimes strange supernatural beings, a curse or two and you have one heck of a thrilling ride and let me tell you, this fourth installment in the series was intense! And dare I say, my favorite so far?

With the tragic ending that was book three, I was eager to dive right back into this world and see how in the heck Owl was coping with...well everything.

Can I say that I both loved this and maybe not loved it?

It was fabulous. Action packed, adventurous, mysterious was also heartbreaking and slightly sad. So much has happened not only in the world Owl lives in but with Owl too. I just don't know how much more the poor girl can take. I feel for her and even though she has had some set backs, I like how she is dealing with it and she is dealing with it even if those ways aren't always the healthy ways.

I don't want to go into too much detail here but in this installment we get a lot of Artemis, which is both good and bad. I mean, it is Artemis and all his butt head ways but we see a side of him that we aren't use to and even though I didn’t want to like it, I did and it makes me curious how this story will progress from here, especially after that somewhat traumatic and cliffhanger ending that I did not see coming at all.

I'm very excited for what the future holds for Owl and all her friends and can't wait to read 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 24, 2018

Review: A Mark Unwilling by Candace Wondrak

Title: A Mark Unwilling
Author: Candace Wondrak
Series: Book One in the Reckoning Series
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Published: May 1, 2018
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Lexa Blue thought she had her life figured out. She’d go to college, maybe get a job, and wait until the Demon whose Mark she bears comes to collect her soul. No real concrete plans since it wouldn’t matter in the end. What she did not expect was the end of the world. 

Conquest. War. Pestilence. Death. 

Even with her trusted Warlock friend, David, Lexa is clueless about how to stop the apocalypse—but she’ll still try; because of her Mark, she can’t die. Who better to fight the Horsemen?

It’s not that simple. With a prophetic girl as a new sidekick, a group of Vampires who’re suspect, and an FBI Agent who somehow knows her connection to the biblical figures, Lexa’s life is going to get a heck of a lot worse before it gets better. 

When her Demon finally comes to claim her, will she be ready? 

...Probably not. 

I take very few reviews requests anymore, mostly due to not having enough time to review them all and because it seems one can quickly become bombarded with all kinds of requests and I have a really hard time saying no, even if its a genre I don't like or have no interest in. It was just easier for me both time wise and mentally (LOL) to just close requests from new to me authors. But I've realized over time, I might be doing myself an injustice because who doesn't love discovering new (to them) authors and books?

Every now and then something will cross my path that captures my attention and I will break my not open for reviews nonsense and with A Mark Unwilling, it was one such time. 

I'm not even going to lie, vampires don't appeal that much to me anymore, at least not on their own but throw in some demons and witches and other things? And yes, sign me up! 

How do I describe this read? Actually, I'm not. What I'm going to say instead is that it completely hooked me. I didn't want to put it down and in fact I rarely did. I had other things that I needed to do but for whatever reason (call it a great plot line or interesting characters or just really great writing) I had to know what happened next and how it would end and I put everything else I had to do that day off until this was done. 

And what I want now, is the next book! 

Truly a great captivating read that will surprise you in all the best ways. 

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

Please don't forget that right now there is also a giveaway going on to win a digital copy of this! 10 lucky winners will win one so stop in and check it out! Giveaway can be found HERE!!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Bookish Boyfriends
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Amulet (May 1, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences. 

If ever I've related more to a character in a YA novel, that character  would have to be Merrilee. Never have I laughed and smiled my way through a story so much, simply because I got it. I could feel it because in some ways, I've lived it, maybe not as an adult but definitely as a teenager. 

Merrilee is my book character soul mate. She understands it, romance, books, boys, and all. 

It's been a long time since I wanted to stay up into the wee hours of the morning reading a YA book but this book changed all that. It captivated me and lured me in like a roaring fire and a hot cup of cocoa on a dark and stormy night. 

Truly a fun and entertaining read suited for all ages and one I highly recommend. 

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

Title: The Lies They Tell
Author: Gillian French
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Published By: HarperTeen (May 1, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, has heard of the Garrison tragedy. A mysterious fire. A family of five reduced to one. For people like Pearl Haskins—whose dad was the caretaker of the Garrison property when the house went up in flames—the whispers about that night are more than upsetting. They hurt. With her disgraced father now trying to find steady work in between booze benders, Pearl is stuck waiting tables at the town’s country club where the rich townspeople come in the summer to flaunt their money and gossip about one another.

This year, a group of privileged boys has made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section—throwing careless insults her way while also attempting to flirt. Though she’s repulsed by everything they stand for, she’s drawn to the quiet leader of the pack, Tristan—the last surviving Garrison. He wasn’t home the night a blaze took his entire family, and the sadness coming off him in waves is hard to ignore. Befriending the summer boys might irk her to her core, but inside their fold of elite parties and reckless whims could be answers to what happened the night of the fire. And that’s just what she finds.

Hidden beneath the glittering fa├žade of wealth and luxury, Pearl discovers a dark and twisted web of lies and betrayals that, once untangled, will leave no life in Tenney’s Harbor unchanged. That is…if it doesn’t take Pearl’s first. 

It's been a really long time since I've read a YA mystery that has kept me on the edge of my seat, not only guessing at what was about to happen, but with what did happen as well. The magical whodunit.

I usually figure these things out and yet this time, I think I didn't want to be right. I didn't want to feel something for the bad guy. I didn't want it to be who it was and more importantly, because of it, I didn't see it coming as well as I should of and because of that, this had me turning the pages rapidly towards the end, eager to be wrong, eager to be right and most of all, wanting to know it all either way.

French craftily wove a tale riddled with darkness, deceit and lies. Something full of hate and prejudice. Of being wronged and unforgiving. Something oh so addicting and delicious in all its horribleness.

Needless to say, I loved every minute of it. A must read for everyone.

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

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Come From Away by Genevieve Graham

Title: Come From Away
Author: Genevieve Graham
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published By: Simon & Schuster (April 24, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
From the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep comes a poignant novel about a young couple caught on opposite sides of the Second World War.

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store.

Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after a several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be, but someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted. When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.

Come from Away is a mesmerizing story of love, shifting allegiances, and second chances, set against the tumultuous years of the Second World War. 

Come From Away is a poignant beautifully written story about a couple that meet under the worst of circumstances and because of it, their lives and those they know and love, will never be the same again.

Set in Canada during WWII, this story doesn't hold anything back about not only what families went through with their loved ones off at war but what those brave and strong men went through as well, from both sides of the line.  

Set in a time when prejudices ran rampant, this story not only takes on the difficult topi of having compassion for our enemies but forgiveness as well. 

Wonderfully done and said, this is a story that you aren't likely to forget anytime soon. 

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

Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: Book One in the Ash Princess Series
Published By: Delacorte (April 24, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

I know what you are thinking, trust me I do. Not another YA fantasy series about a girl that gets her throne taken away and must battle to win it back right?

And you would be right, this story is about that. But what if, instead of the heroine being kick butt because she can weld a sword or have some magical power, she is kick butt instead because she uses her head? Because she is smart and crafty and bids her time. What if, instead of going in swords blazing she plans and concocts and uses her smarts to get her out of trouble?

Not so much the same right?

This really was a fun take on something that has been done before while still giving it a breath of fresh air and a new feeling to the same old over used storyline. In fact, it didn't feel overused or overdone or same old same old at all. It felt fun and entertaining and oh so unbelievably hard to put down.

I didn't want to take a break from it. Once I picked it up and started, I was completely and utterly hooked. And the only thing I regret about reading it, is the fact that this was an ARC and now it means I have to wait even longer for the second book to be out. I wasn't ready for this to be over, I didn't want to say goodbye and more than anything, I already feel like I need to know what happens next.

I'm invested, I care, I'm a fan already.

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