October 30, 2012

Review: Friday Night Bites, by Chloe Neill

Author: Cloe Neill
Title:  Friday Night Bites
Series: Chicagoland Vampires (#2)
ISBN: 9780451227935
Publisher: NAL Trade (September 2nd 2009)

Buy your copy: Kindle | Paperback

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story of a young heiress's initiation into the dark society of the Chicagoland Vampires continues:

Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves--mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle--the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.

So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them--someone with an ancient grudge.” GoodReads’ blurb

I’m beginning to see a pattern with me and this series: basically, for the first two hours and a half or so of listening, I fall promptly asleep. For the last two and a half hours or so, I can’t disconnect. The middle is interesting enough, even if I’m beginning to find bothersome bits.

The bit that bothered me most was Morgan and Merit. And you probably don’t want to read the following paragraph if you haven’t read book one, but I’m going to complain anyway:

Review: Twice Bitten, by Chloe Neill

Author: Chloe Neill
Title:  Twice Bitten
Series: Chicagoland Vampires (#3)
ISBN: 9780451230645
Publisher: NAL Trade (July 6th 2010)

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit, Chicago's newest vampire. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene-and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Unfortunately, someone is gunning for Gabriel, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals-not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries-old master vampire.” GoodReads’ blurb

Short and sweet. Or short, in any case.

By this point, I’m beginning to have some issues with this series. Nothing big, but it’s the kind of stuff that makes me lose interest. The biggest thing, I figure, would be the plot itself. Okay, it’s an overabundance of Weres hate Vamps since most of the storyline is about Merit and Ethan working their way into the folds of the pack, but cliché is cliché because it works. Nope, my problem here (and I admit I might have missed something, due to my inability to stay awake for long during the first hour or two of the audiobook) is... why?

October 26, 2012

VBT Review: Building from Ashes, by Elizabeth Hunter

Author: Elizabeth Hunter
Title:  Building from Ashes
Series: Elemental World (#1)
Publisher: Elizabeth Hunter (October 23rd 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Kindle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to.

Brigid Connor has known about vampires since they rescued her from a painful childhood. But not even their vast elemental power can save her from the demons that torment her.

As loyalties are tested and new paths are forged, a lurking danger slowly grows in the Elemental World. Carwyn and Brigid will learn that even secrets revealed can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

A continuation/spinoff of the Elemental Mysteries series. The timeline in this books stretches from BEFORE A Hidden Fire starts (so you see a little character history) until AFTER A Fall of Water finishes. As I’m sure lots of you could tell, Carwyn had quite a few things going on in his life that didn’t make it into Gio and Beatrice’s story. So Building From Ashes explores that storyline and also sets up the Elemental World for some new adventures..."
GoodReads’ blurb

First off, I’d like to thank the author, Elizabeth Hunter, for allowing me to be part of this Book Tour. Building from Ashes was such a treat! But let’s start at the beginning, right?

My first sentence here is a confession: I love Carwyn, I really do with his hidden strength and easy smiles... but much like Brigid herself, I had some mental blocks when trying to paint him in the light of a romantic interest. He was a priest! Totally not designed to be lusted after... right? Right?!?

Except that by the time we reach Building from Ashes’ turning point, I was ready to believe it. I blame Hunter’s magic for my sinful thoughts, because she’s always had this way to build characters, this touch that makes the story turn around them and not the other way around, even when plot events are as big as they are here.

October 24, 2012

Review: Obsidian, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Title:  Obsidian
Series: Lux (#1)
ISBN: 9781620610077
Publisher: Entangled Teen (November 29th 2011)

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.” GoodReads’ blurb

This particular review is going to get me fried by my bookish friends. Greatly whacked over the head stuff... But well, here goes:

I liked Obsidian.

... Which, yeah, it’s good news, but also means I didn’t love it either. Which is a bother, because everyone loved it so, and I did enjoy the prequel Shadows (read about that here) a great deal more than I enjoyed the actual first book.

October 22, 2012

Spooktacular: Giveaway Hop

It's this time again. Halloween, Scary Stuff, and lots of fun. Thanks to I am a reader not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm for hosting this... you seriously rock, folks! But yeah, I digress. You want the important part. The part where I mention the PRIZE, right? Well, here you go:

You get to pick any one of the following titles... all of them involving the deceased in one way or another and all of them faves of mine. 
(If you'd rather have an earlier installment of the series I'm offering, you can ask for that too, provided there's availability)

October 20, 2012

Review: Flicker, by Kaye Thornbrugh

Author: Kaye Thornbrugh
Title: Flicker
Series: Flicker (#1)
ISBN: 9781477479292
Publisher: Amazon Digital (February 25th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When sixteen-year-old Lee Capren is spirited away to Faerie, she is forced to serve capricious faeries as a prized portrait artist… and live as their prisoner.

A chance encounter with the charming Nasser grants Lee a chance for freedom—but what felt like mere days in Faerie spanned years in the human world, and Lee no longer has a home to return to.

Nasser is a Seer—a human with magical powers—and Lee is quickly plunged into his world: a sprawling city teeming with magic and mystery, where supernatural creatures walk hidden among humans. With the help of a rag-tag group of teenage Seers, Lee must master her newfound magical talent and outwit a cunning faerie determined to destroy her” GoodReads’ blurb

This is to be one of those books where, no matter how hard I try, I can’t bring my point across in a sufficient manner. But I’ll try:

October 18, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince, by Julie Kagawa

Author: Julie Kagawa
Title:  The Lost Prince
Series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten (#1)
ISBN: 9780373210572
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (October 23rd 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

This novel is one of Julie’s books that will have you demanding for the second one as soon as you finish your read.” GoodReads’ blurb

You don’t really know how much you truly loved a series until you’re given the chance to go back when you thought it was over. Frankly, at this point in time I can safely say that if Julie Kawaga wrote anything at all in the Nevernever, I’d read it and it’d feel like coming back home.

That’s what happened when I read the Lost Prince, and I want to say it right away so you understand how truly difficult it is for me to be objective about the story—The Iron Fey are the single reason I’m reading YA, writing YA these days.

October 16, 2012

Review: Dust & Decay, by Jonathan Maberry

Author: Jonathan Maberry
Title:  Dust & Decay
Series: Benny Imura (#3)
ISBN: 9781442402355
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers (January 1st 2011)

Buy your copy:  Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive” GoodReads’ blurb

Once more, I thought this would be a four-star worthy book. Once more, the raw emotion I felt made me push it to five. It also made me pushing back the writing of the review until I could actually do it without feeling torn apart anew, which is pretty impressive in my book.

But let’s talk about Mr. Maberry’s book now.

October 12, 2012

Review: Some Girls Bite, by Chloe Neill

Author: Chloe Neill
Title:  Some Girls Bite
Series: Chicagoland Vampires (#1)
ISBN: 9780451226259
Publisher: NAL Trade (April 7th 2009)

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.” GoodReads’ blurb

A disclaimer here: I got the audiobooks for this series on impulse. I didn’t know how to spell Cadogan House until I was well into the fourth book... in my mind, it was (and probably will always be) Cardigan House—which wasn’t very glamorous. So, I’m sorry about misspellings and possible typos. Now, on to the actual review:

What a promising start! Vamps are out of the closet, with all the glam and appeal you can imagine, and these ones have all the potential to draw me.

This is going to be a short review for several reasons, the most important being that this book has been around for ages and most of you already know about it... The next most important one being that, me being me, I went and kept reading the series before I reviewed and now I got a jumble of when a book ended and the next began in my head.

Ahem. Let’s try to replicate the feelings I had when I finished listening to this audiobook for the first time, shall we?

October 11, 2012

Book Trailer: Silent Song, by Ron C. Nieto

The princess of the school, Alice, is keeping a secret that could strip her of her highschool fame. She is obsessed with the school's outcast, Keith, but not just him--his music. It takes you to places you've never dreamed of, makes you forget who you areally are. His songs have a life of their own, and it isn't just the princess who has noticed. As Keith and Alice learn of one another, they also discover someone else is listening and intends on keeping Keith to herself, possibly for an eternity.

Shameless promo? Yeah. But it's my book blog and it's my book, so sue me *winks and grins*

There are a few things I'd like to share about my debut novel, Silent Song. Ready?
  • If you have bought the book, you can now enter a giveaway to win SWAG. It's signed, it's super pretty, AND there's a surprise or two not listed as prizes. You can find the info following this link
  • If you haven't bought the book yet, what are you waiting for? Well, probably you waited for this chance: starting today and until October 15th, it'll be on sale: 0.99$ for Kindle and on Smashwords
  • Today's the official release of Silent Song's Book Trailer. Complete with an original soundtrack. And I think it turned out beautiful! 

What do you think? 

October 10, 2012

The Protectors Blog Tour: Promising Hope Soundtrack

Hey, everyone! I'm Emily, and my YA Epic Fantasy series is on tour right now. I was here on Ron's blog not too long ago with the book soundtrack for Promising Light and now I thought I'd do the soundtrack for its sequel, Promising Hope. Check it out!  

October 8, 2012

Review: Demon Eyes, by Scott Tracey

Author: Scott Tracey
Title:  Demon Eyes
Series: Witch Eyes (#2)
ISBN: 9780738726458
Publisher: Flux (October 8th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Demons don't die without a fight...

After destroying the demon Lucien, Braden—son of Belle Dam’s most powerful warlock, Jason Thorpe—doesn’t need the power of his witch eyes to see that everything in his life is turning against him: friends, family, and even his visions. When disturbing nightmares of Lucien’s return haunt him, Braden discovers that the simmering feud between the city’s two witch dynasties is fast approaching its explosive boiling point.

While struggling to come to terms with his attraction to Trey, Catherine Lansing’s son who should be his mortal enemy, a diabolical plan starts to unveil before Braden’s eyes. Young women are disappearing from Belle Dam, and as he investigates, Braden is forced to explore the dangerous unknown power within himself. But when the truth about his family is revealed, Braden must pay a terrible price.” GoodReads’ blurb

Last year, I fell for Witch Eyes (review here). It was a fast read, it was original, it had well-developed characters, and there was a wink to Romeo and Juliet to boot. It was perfect, and as such it was incredibly difficult to life up to it in a sequel. Demon Eyes is another book I loved, another peek into an interesting world where I’d be scared to live but would love to explore nevertheless. The only not-so-smooth part was, perhaps, the one part that utterly bought me in book one: the love story.

But let’s take it one thing at a time, shall we?

October 6, 2012

Review: Alchemy, by K.J. Wignall

Author: K.J. Wignall
Title: Alchemy
Series: Mercian Trilogy (#2)
ISBN: 9781606842652
Publisher: Egmong USA (September 25th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Hardcover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the thirteenth century, William, heir to the Earl of Mercia, was attacked and turned into a vampire. For 750 years, Will has spent his life in the shadows. Until he met Eloise.

Together, Will and Eloise must destroy an ancient evil that has led them to Marland Abbey, where Will’s ancestors lived and Eloise attends school. Here they uncover the truth about the four vampire kings, Will's past, and an uncertain future.

But the mysterious sorcerer, Wyndham, is still hunting Will and using Eloise as bait. To protect the girl he loves, Will goes in search of answers—but does that mean walking right into the enemy's trap?” GoodReads’ blurb

Alchemy is the second volume in the Mercian trilogy, and I for one believe it outdid its predecessor. Since I did like book one (you can find my review of that one here)to begin with, this is wonderful news!

The biggest change I found when coming back to Will is the style, the “voice” itself. Perhaps it’s because it’s been a year between one book and the next, or because I’ve read so much in the interim that my brain’s saying something silly, but I think that Wignall has truly improved. The story is presented in journal like entries, this time pertaining to the “villain”, and third-person narrative. In book one, the narrative was good but felt slightly out of tune... This time, I totally believed in Will. Simply put, I bought him, his past, his fear, his love, his bleak future... it convinced me in ways Blood couldn’t have. And that’s before we get into the plot: just style!

October 5, 2012

September hiatus and news

So, I'm sure you've noticed that very little stuff has gone up through the month of September. Do not despair: things will be back to normal!

However, during this month, I've been doing some changes. Some, you can already see: do you like the new design? Hopefully, it's much more streamlined, dynamic, and clear than before!

Other changes won't hit the blog until January the 1st, because I'm a firm believer in significant dates and what's better for new things than to start on New Year? Look forward to the novelties ahead, because I've been working hard on them!

Meanwhile, though, I plan to keep running the blog as it was before. Which means my reviews will be back, yippeee! I hope we'll get to reconnect again after this short hiatus, and that everything will be even better than before.

Thanks for your patience!