Saturday, 30 April 2016

Down With The Shine

Presenting Down With The Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn.

Here is the summary of the book:

Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Really disheartened with this book. wishes gone wrong and the protagonist's desperate attempt to right it all. The idea alone scores a great plot and really has been done a lot before .... I get the author was trying something different with bootlegger Moonshine added in the mix but the finished product really doesn't give me that wow feeling of a great story I was expecting it to be. And I expected a lot too .....

Lennie Cash is our protagonist. She is the outsider, the daughter of a dangerous criminal father and niece ti her three illegal Moonshine brewing Uncles. Something happens, the automatic blame gets placed on her and many problem hence follow. In other words, Lennie for most parts can be constituted as a train-wreck. She tries but she is definitely not a goody two-shoes and I liked it about her. And there is that pesky little mystery of the brutal mutilation of her best friend laying heavy in everyone's mind too.

I actually liked how the story began. When Lennie discovers that not only is Moonshine a rather lucrative business to her Uncles, their silly rituals for a buyer to have the first toast and make their wishes come true is also frighteningly real ..... But of course its too late for prevention because of the massive wish-granting spree she stumbled on at a party full of drunk teenagers. Wish granting is a family trade and Lennie just came into her inheritance.

Kate Karyus Quinn touches on not only the silly and the crazy but also upon the darkness of murder and mutilation. But somehow the inherent balance of elements gets lost in translation. The first act of the book felt very well done, building it up to the possible crescendo and then the wish-granting party pretty much destabilized what it lead to from the beginning with all the crazy and the silly.

Suddenly it all just barrels forward with its insane plot, all interest forgotten. It touches upon the darkness (case in point - a particular scandalous scene with an adult) in the story but it doesn't stay and moves on to the next part. It also focused to much on the teen angst between Lennie and Smith. Not cool at all. Sorry didn't see the point of that. The ending itself felt like a cop out since apparently you can wish the bad away with another wish *sigh*. So no, this book wasn't for me, maybe you all with find it more interesting than my experience.

"The darkness, the humor and the crazy. Quinn's latest offering sadly looses my interest"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 26th April, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Zodiac #1 The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence

Presenting Zodiac #1 The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore & Andie Tong.

Here is the summary of the book:

Stan Lee presents a brand new, magical, super-powered adventure!

When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He'll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.

Stan Lee ..... who doesn't know the man that created so many of the popular mainstream superheroes of Marvel that we see today. Presenting something a bit more mystical. Partnered with Stuart Moore and Andie Tong, this is the first illustrated novel of the middle grade series called 'The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence'.

The Chinese zodiac isn't just symbols and meanings, it is a power onto itself and people, good or bad are after it. This is the story of young Steven Lee who goes to Hong Kong for a heritage tour with his class but winds up discovering a mystical power and a very dangerous enemy as well. The Chinese zodiac is frighteningly real and all of its spirit animals frighteningly awesome. And the nemesis Maxwell and his group called Vanguard prove to be more than efficient adversaries in their pursuit of this power.

So Steven, Jasmine and Carlos must find the four other individuals in whom the escaped Zodiac energy entered and keep them away from the evil of Vanguard. A pretty generic superhero team origin story. The style of writing also seems much more attuned for middle graders and very simple to follow for all ages as well, to enjoy a good old adventure.

The biggest attention grabber is definitely the red washed comic styled illustrations to go along with the narrative. As well as the beautifully illustrated hardcover jacket showing the tiger, which is Steven's Zodiac. 'Course I expected the characters to be a bit more complex instead of the straightforward way they are presented but I immediately grew vested int he journey of all the Zodiacs as thy grew to be a team in their maiden battle. Hopefully subsequent books will feature more than what we saw. Good start though.

"New thrill-seeking, page-turner romp from Stan Lee and Co."

Genre :     Young Adult, Action, Adventure, Middle Grade, Mythology, Superheroes

Publisher: Disney Press

Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: bought (hardcover)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Orphan Queen #0.1 - #0.4 Novellas

The Black Knife Origins more like - I know Jodi Meadows asks us to read these novellas before 'The Mirror King' but I decided to read it after the book. Definitely helped my big post Mirror King hangover. We saw the accomplished and master vigilante Black Knife in The Orphan Queen. We saw that the Skyvale Crown Prince Tobiah is that vigilante ..... And he is very good at what he does.

The Hidden Prince
The Glowing Knight
The Burning Hand
The Black Knife

These novella here show that like everyone else he too had a beginning. Like everyone else he too used to be somebody unaware of the nature of people outside the walls of their home. But he had the most burden of all. He was a Crown Prince, a future King in the making and he was not one to be spoon-fed.

So he endeavor to set out and right the wrongs of his land. And he was totally useless at it at first. Each novella 8 chapters long, gave us a glimpse in Tobiah's life. Being a Prince is not all glimmer and comfort when your every move is dictated by your King and closely dissected and analysed by everyone else. But when the corruption lies in higher places .... well Tobiah takes the initiative to save his kingdom ..... (Green Arrow's line 'You have failed this city' fits here *wink*)

The Orphan Queen & The Mirror King tells much about Wilhemina than Tobiah. Thus these novellas are a boon because not only do they delve into Tobiah's life before he meets Wil but also tells us how & why his need for vigilantism was needed and what all took place on his first major case. As always very well written by Jodi Meadows. As if that was ever called to question.

"The exciting look on Tobiah's life and the rise of the Black Knife"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, High Fantasy, Dystopia

Publisher: Epic Reads Impulse

Buy:         Amazon (link for all of her books) 

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         Newsoul #1 #2
         The Orphan Queen #1 #2

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Orphan Queen #2 The Mirror King

Presenting The Orphan Queen #2 The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows.

Here is the summary of the book:

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

Its intense. Its complex. Its intrigue and its magic. It is 'The Mirror King' by Jodi Meadows and the sequel and much coveted finale to the duology of the Orphan Queen. There is satisfaction, the chance of strong attraction, heartbreak & heartache, the contrivance and the conspiracies of court life. The hesitance of leadership, the ever approaching wraith and deadly enemies everywhere. This is a gorgeously detailed masterpiece in a gorgeously attired book.

Picks up right after the heart breaker cliffhanger in the Orphan Queen. The secret is out. Wilhemina must not only evade and overcome corporeal enemies but also battle the demons in herself. Does she what it takes to be Queen? Is she ready for Aecor? Is she ready to set things right. And that tenuous alliance with Tobiah when she know who is truly is. Meadows really left nothing out while she unearthed every other nuances of Wil. She is a strong and kick-ass heroine no doubt but the level of finality she reaches in this book and how she reaches it is what matters. She is definitely resilient throughout the ordeal.

Tobiah too showed much of himself here. Like Wil, he too had come far from the vigilante Crown Prince of Skyvale. Romance of course wasn't the focus but it was there and it was an excruciating slow burn. There are many hurdles in their way, some more heartbreaking than others. I liked the gradual development of his relationship with Wil. Tobiah wasn't only supporter but also her rock. Whenever she doubted her capabilities as monarch, he consoled and set her straight. What she is going through, he already did. Their to and fro bantering sure brought smiles on all of our faces.

 There is much more I want to say but I really don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't yet read it. But James was visibly the sweetest and kindest. And that wraith boy was definitely the creepiest of the lot. Jodi Meadows has created a whole world unto itself. Really you just need to .... no you have to experience this exotic manuscript by yourself too see. My only gripe ... no epilogue. I wanted one .... But loved it and i totally recommend it too.

"A highly satisfying, highly enticing and a breath-taking finale"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, High Fantasy, Dystopia

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: 5th April, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             5/5 (It was Awesome)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
         Newsoul #1 #2
         The Orphan Queen #1

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Black Ice

Presenting Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Here is the summary of the book:

Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

“Rife with psychological twists exploring themes of revenge, misogyny, and familial duty” (Publishers Weekly), Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Damn good book. I did not expect it would be so after all the mixed reviews I had heard of it. But it proved me wrong. Becca Fitzpatrick you have made a fan out of me. As this is my first time reading her book. Black Ice has some pretty great points to build up on. Good character growth and great amount of thrill to go on.

I liked Britt. She is cunning. she is clever. And she is resilient. Throughout the span of the book, she goes from trying to make her ex jealous by flirting with the mysterious stranger at the general store to being kidnapped and forced to guide two wanted men across the mountain in a snow storm. She is extremely terrified yes but she knows how to survive and she does it. Really liked her character development.

The best friend Korbie was just ... annoying. Stuck in the snow storm with Britt and forced to take shelter with two suspicious guys, her first instinct it to call dibs on one of them. She also comes across as rather petulant, mean and whiny. Caring much more about herself than the dire situation they were in.

Romance of course holds up a big part of the story. The mystery guy Mason from the store turned out to be one of the kidnappers. The obvious sign of Stockholm Syndrome are there, with the two growing closer in their forced circumstances. He is closed off, intense and very brooding. He has that mysterious draw to him that seems to attract Britt a lot. Their growing albeit very cliche in simple terms felt very right given what she comes to learn about him and through his actions. Which says a lot because Mason hides a big secret that may or may not change what she knew about those around her.

My only gripe would be that Fitzpatrick only focused on the characters because there is a mysterious serial killer running around. The instances where Britt found the rotting corpse in that storage room, or that human carcass in another location. Instead of balancing the mystery with the predicament of the characters, it just felt like the sad afterthought left to play in the back.

Although I very much liked the flashbacks and the role Calvin (Korbie's brother and Britt's ex) played in the story. Its much more complex and intrinsic than i'm making it out to be. Thankfully there is no love triangle here. It is admirable to see just how loyal Britt is to both Calvin & Korbie even if it was so misplaced... I liked what she had with Mason ... And I liked this book ..... very much.

"An intense & breathless psychological thriller"

Genre :     Young Adult, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Publisher: Simon & Schuester Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 7th October, 2014

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Penryn & the End of Days #3 End of Days

Presenting Penryn & the End of Days #3 End of Days by Susan Ee.

Here is the summary of the book:

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

Shit just got real. End of Days forms the third part of the series and this is a conclusive finale too. Penyrn & Raffe have come a long way from their forced mutual agreement from Angelfall to sustaining their unlikely alliance against Uriel and the other angels in a world bleaker than thou. If you thought the angels were content with just ruling above them all well think again because the decisive battle approaches. And Penryn & Rafe must decide on what to do.

Self-reliant, decisive and confident. There are some of the qualities I believe Penryn portrayed through this 3 book jaunt. She is a head strong heroine and those qualities have only grown through her adventures. Raffe, now he has shown changes most of all throughout the series. At first he came off as a jerk, the icy demeanor only thawing as we go from one book to another. 'World After' saw him be tricked with Beliel's demon wings on his back and his transplanted on Beliel. Now they are desperate for a Doctor to reverse the process. All the while angels are getting ready for the election of a new Messenger.

Out of all the three, this is definitely my favorite. It is well paced and well constructed. The plot is easy enough to understand and the characters are a marvel to follow, read and fantasize about. There was a creepiness in 'Angelfall' and 'World After' that felt sorely lacking this time but the monsters were no less scary and vividly portrayed. We still don't know how the angels came to be on Earth, maybe not necessary but would have loved to know more.

Nonetheless this book had something its predecessors did not. It finally does something to that tentative tension always apparent between Penryn & Raffe. They finally give in to the desires towards each other and GOD they were sizzling together. We always knew the connection was there but *sign-of-relief* they finally make good on that. These were definitely my favorite parts of the book. The next being the meeting with his allies in this other world was all fire brimstone but an interesting place. Susan Ee really did an amazing job with this series.

"A satisfying, unstoppable and fast paced conclusion to this dark and vivid tale of Penryn and Raffe"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Paranormal

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: 12th May, 2015

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Like It)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Angelfall  
           #2 World After

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 15 April 2016

The School for Good and Evil #3 The Last Ever After

Presenting The School for Good & Evil #3 The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani.

Here is the summary of the book:

In the epic conclusion to Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling series, The School for Good and Evil, everything old is new again as Sophie and Agatha fight the past as well as the present to find the perfect end to their story.

As A World Without Princes closed, the end was written and former best friends Sophie and Agatha went their separate ways. Agatha was whisked back to Gavaldon with Tedros and Sophie stayed behind with the beautiful young School Master.

But as they settle into their new lives, their story begs to be re-written, and this time, theirs isn’t the only one. With the girls apart, Evil has taken over and the villains of the past have come back to change their tales and turn the world of Good and Evil upside down.

Readers around the world are eagerly awaiting the third book in The School for Good and Evil series, The Last Ever After. This extraordinary conclusion delivers more action, adventure, laughter, romance and fairy tale twists and turns than you could ever dream of!

Love sure makes us the fools. 'The Last Ever After' takes its queues straight from the predecessor 'A World Without Princes', Agatha has finally chosen Tedros and Sophie in a fit of desperation chose the renewed and much younger School Master. 'The End' is written but why is the Storian(magic quill) at a pause. Why hasn't it begun another. This is the conclusion we deserve, this is the Last Ever After ..... and damn .. it was just too good.

In the essence of surety, Tedros, Agatha, Sophie and all the characters are at a crossroads. With the cunning School Master raising older villains and giving them the chance to redo their stories and the school now reading the 'School for Old and New Evil', everyone is doubting their roles and just what they are supposed to do. Agatha doubts her worth. Unsure about if she is the right person for Tedros. The Pendragon Prince himself doubts his happiness because what he and his Princess do is mostly argue whenever they are together. Sophie still pines and whines about what she couldn't have and resigns herself to second best and wearing his ring.

Well etched characters above most makes the story worthwhile. You have it to give to Soman Chainani. Not only does he succeed in putting forth his tale with such beauty and vivacity but also produced such noteworthy characters whether they be old or new. Agatha felt a lot more resolute this time. That sarcastic, witty and no-nonsense girl we saw in the first book rears her head here. Above all she wants to rescue Sophie and make things right with her. Tedros of course has come a long way from the pitiful state he was in before. Like Agatha, he also wants to save Sophie but also realizes that only with Agatha, he is stronger and not alone.

I know i'm not making much sense. My thoughts are in a disarray and i'm finding it very hard to articulate just how good this was. Agatha and Tedros could be such idiots at times. But whenever they clear their heads, they were at their best and just so adorable and sappy together.

Sophie, I just pitied. She just tires so hard to force fate and desperately claws for a better prospect that she doesn't care about what happens to those around her. Her jealous, selfish, and conceited comes up fully as she faces her best friends in a battle they may well make or break it all. But there is also good in her and that is more than enough.

This has been very much Agatha's story as well as Sophie's. Both have come far from the girls in Gavaldon. One of whom wanted to be kidnapped and takes to the School and the other wanted nothing but saving the former. Chainani's The Last Ever After pays on a lot of fronts. And the loose ends all perfectly tied up with surprising twists and revelations along the way.

Side characters are also given room to shine and well established boundaries shaken. This exotic and magical trilogy well just makes you fall in love all over again. I finished this weeks ago and still nursing a ginormous hangover .... I did not want it to end but oh well I foresee re-readings in the future a lot. I recommend this guys if you haven't read it yet.

"Sporting vivid imagery and a magical and a fulfilling conclusion. You just won't be able to stop turning the pages"

Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retellings, Paranormal

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 21st July, 2015

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 The School for Good & Evil 
           #2 A World Without Princes

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Snow Queen

Presenting The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.

Here is the summary of the book:

When Kay is cursed by a magic mirror, he can no longer perceive goodness in anything - not his best friend Gerda, nor the roses in the garden. One wintery evening, he is kidnapped by the wicked Snow Queen and swept away to live for ever in her kingdom of ice.

Friendless and shoe-less, Gerda must travel through inhospitable lands, with only crows to guide her and bandits for company, in order to find her beloved friend. And when she gets there, how will she melt the ice in his heart?

Nearly two centuries after its first publication, The Snow Queenendures as a tale of love and loss, good and evil, and loyalty in the face of great hardships.

It has been years since I read The Snow Queen, so I was pretty glad for this re-reading experience. This is one of Hans Christian Andersen;s most famous fairytales and also one of the longest and the most complex one too. Frankly, this was really not my favorite but I enjoyed it nonetheless. And this one has got some pretty great artwork preceding each of the chapters.

This is the story of Kai and Gerda (don't know if its a mistake but the synopsis says his name is Kay), best friends really. This is the story of sacrificial love and themes of growing up but still remaining children at heart. This is the story of Kai whose heart got pierced by the demon's mirror and got kidnapped in turn by the icy Snow Queen, forgetting everyone and everything .... even Gerda. This is the story of Gerda who would go to the ends of the Earth to rescue her best friend. And this is the story of Gerda growing up through said quest.

With vivid imagery, Christian themes and myths and lore combined, The Snow Queen is a complex and rich tale to be sure. Enjoyed by all of the young and the old. I just think that of the book had annotations and discussion questions and answers at the end alongside all the beautiful artwork then maybe this book would have been a compound experience.

"A marvelous edition and a marvelous fairytale"

Genre :     Classic, Fairytale

Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books

Release Date: 7th June, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Elementals: The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow (Cover Reveal + GIVEAWAY)

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

Title: Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa 
Author: Michelle Madow 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Release Date: June 29, 2016 
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing 
Series: Elementals #3 
Format: eBook and paperback 



Moving to a new town wasn’t supposed to be easy. But for Nicole Cassidy, it meant discovering she was a witch with never before seen elemental powers. Mysteriously given a mission that could help save the world, Nicole and four other gifted classmates journeyed to Greece, where they battled ancient monsters and barely escaped with their lives. 

Now Nicole and the Elementals have returned home, and while her relationship with Blake—the fire Elemental—is finally heating up, she can’t rid herself of the guilt that she’s responsible for the death of one of their own in Greece. But she must remain focused, because the portal to the prison world of Kerberos is weakening, and Typhon, one of Earth’s deadliest creatures, has escaped. Now the Elementals must retrieve the only object in the world that can destroy this dangerous monster—the head of Medusa herself. 

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue? 

Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals series, The Head of Medusa. 


Pre-order: Amazon 

The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To learn more about the first book, and to read the first four chapters for free, click here!

 The Elementals series is available on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free! 


Michelle is offering five (5) lucky winners an eCopy of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: 

About the Author: 

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! 

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship. 

Want all three parts of the Transcend Time Saga—Michelle’s first YA romance series—for FREE? Click here to learn about the series and claim your books. 

To get instant updates about Michelle’s new books, follow her on Amazon

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads 

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Soulfinders #2 Night Study

Presenting Soulfinders #2 Night Study by Maria V. Snyder.

Here is the summary of the book:

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue.

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

So I still haven't read the 'Study' and 'Glass' series books yet but only from 'Shadow Study' in the 'Soulfinders' spin-off series. Good thing 'Night Study' begins where Shadow Study ended, so I loved the fact that it jumps into action straight away. Yelena, Valek, Janco, Ari, Oonora and Leif return for another adventure. And Ixia has sure become the cesspool of stirring mysteries, revelations and conspiracies.

Night Study proved a fascinating adventure. Yelena after dropping that bombshell on Valek still moans the loss of her magic. She may have accepted that vulnerability but that doesn't stop her from rushing headlong into danger or do whatever she wants to to help her heartmate Valek and friends. Valek is definitely the best one out there for her too. He wants nothing more than to keep his friends and the love of his life safe but insurgents are exerting their presence here and there and the Commanderis keeping dangerous life threatning secrets. Valek, the noble guy that he is doesn't want to question it but he is having doubts about his loyalty. But the best part, Valek and Yelena ..... they were just adorable together.

They had a lot of defining and swoon-worthy moments between them that I wouldn't mind getting into the flow of those emotions at all and just sing their praises all day. Despite the enemies surrounding them from all sides and decisions that may very well alter their perspectives of those in higher positions and sifting of such alliances. Snyder really knows the exact way of spinning mesmerizing tales. Well paced and a wonderfully constructed world. The twists & turns hitting at the perfect instances ...... Definitely on board to see what happens next and hopefully ..... hopefully I will be able to read the full series this series.

"An exciting page turner sequel"

Genre :     Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Release Date: 26th January, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Series by Author(only those reviewed on blog):
         Healer #1 #2 #3 
         Soulfinders #1

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Fear Street Relaunch #4 Can You Keep A Secret?

Presenting Fear Street Relaunch #4 Can You Keep A Secret? by R. L. Stine.

Here is the summary of the book:

R.L. Stine has built his legacy on scaring children and teenagers. Now he's back with another spine-tingling tale of horror in this new Fear Street book about temptation, betrayal, and fear.

Eddie and Emma are high school sweethearts from the wrong side of the tracks. Looking for an escape their dreary lives, they embark on an overnight camping trip in the Fear Street Woods with four friends. As Eddie is carving a heart into a tree, he and Emma discover a bag hidden in the trunk. A bag filled with hundred-dollar bills. Thousands of them. Should they take it? Should they leave the money there? The six teens agree to leave the bag where it is until it's safe to use it. But when tragedy strikes Emma's family, the temptation to skim some money off of the top becomes impossible to fight. There's only one problem. When Emma returns to the woods, the bag of money is gone, and with it, the trust of six friends with a big secret.

Packed with tension and sure to illicit shivers in its readers, this new Fear Street book is another terrifying tale from a master of horror.

It felt like the synopsis promised one story but the actually story told something else entirely.

I seriously am no longer the right audience for this series. Be it Goosebumps or the Fear Street books. It is just too predictable and frankly not that scary at all, albeit very very gross. I have always loved R.L. Stine's books but this series isn't really mounting to much here. Although the author does try to shake things up a bit by adding more than one arcs this time.

On one hand there is the problem of the stolen money they found in a suitcase in the tree and on the other hand is the werewolf running rampant in Emmy's county. I liked how Stine tries to mix these two together .... but it fails miserably because as we proceed much more importance is given to the money problem that the wolf seems like an after-thought .... But the starting prose was so amazing. And really Stine just can't write romance at all.

The synopsis is also wrong about a lot of things. The girl is called Emmy, not Emma. They found a suitcase of stolen cash not a bag. Emmy & Eddie are not from the 'wrong side of the tracks'. They also don't leave the money in the tree they found it in but took it and buried it in a pet cemetery to be used when it was safe, No tragedy happens to family in the sense the synopsis points to.

So while the story itself isn't all that bad, aside from all the problems ...... Not sure I really want to recommend it but at your own peril people.

"Decent plot with the usual R.L. Stine band of horror but a terrible finish altogether"

Genre :     Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Release Date: 12th April, 2016

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Don't Stay Up Late 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Eurona Duology #1 The Great Hunt

Presenting Eurona Duology #1 The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins.

Here is the summary of the book:

“Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

She could only stare back, frozen.

When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.

'Kill the Beast. Win the Girl'. Simple enough task it may seem but what happens when the beast is a monster of magic and lore. The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is not only my first book from the author but it is also the re-imaging of the fariytale 'The Singing Bone'. And she does a marvelous job of not only reconstructing the elements from the 'old' but producing an equally adventurous 'new' story. I haven't had the chance of reading her Sweet series or her self-published works yet but The Great Hunt proved a spitfire find.

With a splendid eye to details, the author brings Lochlanach to life. In every way a peaceful country, if not without the attacking monsters to account for. Laying waste to innocent lives, shrouding them all in a constant panic of a vicious beast that only attacks at night. Desperate times call for desperate measures. A hunt is organized, inviting hunters to take a shot at killing the beast. The winner receiving the hand of the Princess Aerity in marriage. Where the royal family has no strict reservations against marriage for love but the safety of their subjects taking precedence. Princess Aerity proved a great protagonist like that.

Aerity was a great heroine. She maybe royalty but she didn't seem high-handed like they all think royals are. Selfless, kind, loyal, and an all round spitfire. She wants to marry for love, like her parents but knows her duty well. Somehow strong, silent, broody hunter Paxton Seabolt attracts her attention. He entered the hunt with his brother Tiern and they are in it to destroy the monster, not for the Princess. There exists a bit of a mysterious aura around Paxton. He maybe perpetually grumpy but is a competent hunter and really not all that he seems.

Aerity and Paxton lead the charge over a very subtle and sweet romance. Its slow and its excruciating. Gradually developing, kicking and screaming as we proceed into the story. Something about Paxton attracts Aerity from the first glance. Paxton thinks her proud and conceited but attractive too. He just can't help teasing her and she just can't help singling him out. Thank God for no triangles.

Its been sometime since I have read 'The Singing Bone' but I remember what it was about and definitely loved all the twists and the turns she (author) employs here. Family and relations played a huge part in this tale. The royal family is pretty big and siblings and cousins all playing their roles help further the story Of note is Aerity's cousin Lady Wyneth. It is with her the story begins when the beast kills her betrothed. Thus establishing what was at stake.

Well paced and nicely proportioned. The Great Hunt is the first part of the Eurona Duology and I loved every part of it. Especially after that shocker ending ... the sequel better come soon. I am so excited to see what happens.

"Spellbinding & Enthralling. This is a fantasy to be savored"

Genre :     Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 8th March, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

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