Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Battle Lines by Will Hill

Battle Lines (Department 19, #3)

“The Catastrophic attack on the loop by Valeri and his vampire army had affected them all profoundly; Kate was still struggling to come to terms with the death of Shaun, the young operator who had been her boyfriend, and had made a decision in recent days that Jamie had pleaded with her to reconsider. Matt was buried deep in the bowels of the Loop, spending every waking second staring at a computer screen. And Larissa, the vampire girl who had become the most important thing in the world to Jamie, was gone.” So begins the 3rd installment of Will Hill’s Department 19 series.

In Battle Lines by Will Hill Dracula is rising and while everyone waits for that to happen several maximum jails around the world have been broken into and most, if not all, the inmates have been turned. The team has been split up: Matt is working on the Lazarus Project, Kate is working as internal security investigator for leaks, Jamie is in the Zero Hour team and Larissa has been sent to America for the Blacklight project. Secrets are going to be revealed. A war is about to ensue. Who is Albert Harker, and did he reveal Department 19 secrets? Freaking love triangles in the middle of a vampire war? Really? And is that prisoner someone we should know?

I love this series; I do not completely love this book. First, I thought this was the last book of the series… it seemed that way to me, but by 96% I realized that there had to be another book, there are 45 days until Zero Hour. Too much was going on in this book; it felt as if this book could be broken up into a couple of books. I have never felt this way about the other two books, even though other readers on Goodreads had mentioned it. To top that all off there were some crazy secrets revealed and that was twisted with present actions and secrets. I am going to continue the series, and I recommend this book even with the issues I had. Hill’s world building is crazy amazing, YAY Brits!

3/5 stars.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Consume by Melissa Darnell

Consume (The Clann, #3)

“It should have been perfect… Tristan and me and a remote log cabin with a crackling fireplace nestled on a west Arkansas mountain in December. No Clann or vampire council nearby to bother us. No more rules or secrets to keep us apart. No more risk of accidentally draining and killing Tristan with a kiss.

Instead, it was all wrong, and I was staggering under the weight of what we now faced.”

In Melissa Darnell’s Consume (the last installment in The Clann series), Tristan has survived the change from Clann Descendant to full vampire. Thrown out of the Clann by the new leader, his mother, Tristan is stuck in some remote place in Arkansas trying to maintain the blood lust with the help of Savannah and her father. Once that has passed they return to their homes and school. Tristan and Savannah are now together and they are the only two that can read each other’s minds. Contrary to the summary (and since it is the official GR’s blurb, I will not completely give it away) it is not Savannah who unleashes the fury within Tristan. Someone from the Clan will betray his family and Tristan will seek revenge. All this causes is a rift between him and Savannah… oh—and a war between The Council and The Clann. With the help of family, friends and some other characters that we would not have expected back, Tristan and Savannah must end the war to save the world.

I loved how HEA the whole thing was. Granted, there are some losses, but overall the ending was great. What happened between Savannah’s parents was pretty awesome, as well. Tristan’s sister definitely grows up and Tristan and Savannah move their relationship to a more mature (not talking about sex, people) pace. Their arguments and disagreements teach them to stick together even when faced with differences of opinion. There is also a lesson about loving freely. So happy, like Cheshire cat.

4/5 stars. Thanks NetGalley.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider has also been published with the title: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts. Ezra Faulkner (amazing last name ;-)) is the Junior class president, popular, and athletic until one night at a party he discovers his girlfriend cheating on him. Upset and wanting to escape, Ezra climbs into his Z3 BMW to leave; however, Ezra is struck by a drunk driver ending up in an accident that will not only haunt him forever but an accident that begins… everything.

Now going back to school Ezra is no longer athletic, the accident basically rendered his knee useless for an athlete (he can still walk). Becoming the brooding vampire (he is not a vampire but is described as one since he hasn’t been out in months and he wears black a lot now…) Ezra sparks back to life an old friendship. Out of this come new and exciting friendships. What ensues is Ezra discovering that he isn’t part of the masses, but an intricate detail in the greater whole. He also contemplates that everyone has a decided tragedy that shapes the rest of their life. What Ezra doesn’t realize is that sometimes we suffer through multiple life changing tragedies. He learns that sometimes when we are down we get kicked, that true love doesn’t always work out, six degrees of separation is not always a good thing and finally that he has the power to live his life how he pleases, so long as he wishes to live. There are too many twists and turns, some are easy to figure out, others not so much. I wouldn’t be able to do this book justice; however, I really did like this novel. At first it reminded me of The Sea of Tranquility, but that book was just too boss to compete with this one. A definite coming of age romance and life story.

The Morning Star by Robin Bridges

The Morning Star (Katerina, #3)

“The vampire princess had no tears… she cradled Konstantin Pavlovich’s body to hers. Then, seething in her hatred for the supernatural knight protector of Russia who had killed his own brother, she chated vile curses against the Romanovs…”

As you guessed The Katerina Trilogy continues in Robin Bridges final installment, The Morning Star, and Konstantin’s revenge is not fully done. Since the last book of the The Katerina Trilogy, some months have pass since George left for Paris and Katerina has started her medical studies under Dr. Badmaev. George has returned and has spoken to his father about his intentions to marry Katerina. The Tsar thinks it’s a great idea, but under one condition: Katerina must quit her pursuit in medicine. On top of that drama there is still the fear that Konstantin will rise and seek revenge.

The book is full of crazy proposals, dark/light court drama, medicine, kidnapping, possession, undead armies and Egypt. Oh, I didn’t mention there would be traveling afoot? Well, in order to defeat Konstantin, the Morning Star (a sword) must be acquired. If Konstantin finds it first he will be able to deal out his revenge; however, if a necromancer were to obtain it they would be able to thwart Konstantin’s plans. Needless to say, Katerina is kidnapped in order to find this sword, what ensues afterwards is creative chaos and action packed moments. Thank you for the nice little bow on the story Ms. Bridges; however, I researched George and I am saddened that he dies a few years later than the end of this novel, darn TB! Thank you for weaving history and supernatural together, I had fun!

4/5 stars.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unfed by Kirsty McKay

Unfed (Undead, #2)

Two things I like to see in YA literature or any genre really: British authors (they just somehow do it better… Am I wrong? I also like Aussie authors as well) and Zombies. Books about Zombies are my thing right now, I even have an “I heart (with a picture of a real heart) Zombies” t-shirt. I know I’m old but really… you don’t have to be young to love the undead. Unfed by Kirsty McKay has both things. It is the second book of her Undead series.

It is time for some British YA literature, Veggie Juice, and Zombies. Bobby is back and has landed in the clutches of the “big bad” Xanthro Industries, the same company that created the Osiris [zombie juice] and is also her mother’s employer. Bobby, Pete, Alice, and new addition Russ are in an underground hospital, following the end of the last book. If you don’t remember, we left our heroes [Bobby, Pete, Alice and Smitty] on a school bus full of kids. Apparently those kids had consumed the Osiris virus and became infected. After crashing, only 4 people survived from the crash, but wait! It has been six weeks since the crash and the first outbreak. This underground hospital is most likely connected to Xanthro Industries. Smitty and Bobby’s mother are missing, even though she was told neither survived, Bobby has found three new contacts saved on her phone. Each contact has a number sequence, which Bobby must crack, and the first message says to find Smitty. These are all the clues that her mother has left her. Bobby and crew begin to fight both zombies and Xanthro Industries in search for more clues and a way out of Scotland, because it has been quarantined; left to destruction.

What I like about this series is that there are clues everywhere but it is so hard to see the overall picture, due to double crossing, hidden agendas and finally basic human paranoia brought on by an irrational traumatic situation. Malice is still awful and hilarious, Pete is still the brains, Bobby is still trying to figure out her mother, and Smitty, well, he’s just Smitty. Good second book and I look forward to the next installment, especially with an ending like the one I just read.

3/5 stars.

Thanks NetGalley.

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Doon (Doon, #1)

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon opens up with Veronica. Veronica is a high school senior, about to graduate, and she is a cheerleader. She is also being replaced with her mortal enemy (head cheerleader) by her boyfriend. Upset, angry, and just plain sick and tired of her life Veronica agrees to go to Scotland for the summer with her best friend Mackenna, Kenna for short. Kenna’s aunt has passed away and left her home in Scotland to her. She needs to go there and do the paper work, and also to enjoy the summer before her acting internship in Chicago.

The Problem: Veronica has been seeing visions of a gorgeous man in a kilt, calling to her, making her feel wanted. No one else sees him, but she knows some how he is connected to her Scotland trip and soon she realizes he is connected to the Brig o’ Doon, which is just on Kenna’s new property.

Brig a' Doon: Apparently there was this kingdom called Doon, it was enchanted. Like many enchanted places (i.e. forests, castles, kingdoms, etc.) Doon was coveted by a witch. Long story short Doon is within a barrier/force field. It is no longer connected to the world as we know it and also the laws of physics (time is weird there) do not apply. Every 100 years the barriers become loosie-goosie and people from our world can cross over to Doon and vice versa. But on that same day, those that cross the barrier must make a choice of staying or going back, because once the barriers close Doon is closed off until the next centennial. This novel is loosely based on the musical Brigadoon, which I was not familiar with until now.

Veronica and Kenna are launched into this world with some rings left behind by her aunt, who was a resident of Doon, but came to live in the mortal world again at the last centennial. The girls are imprisoned, then let go, wooed, harassed, kidnapped, assaulted, wooed some more and finally used as puppets in the destruction of Doon. This installation was all about Veronica and Jamie (hot kilt guy, turns out to be the crowned prince of Doon… didn’t see that coming…). Veronica realizes that she is the key to the destruction and the salvation of Doon, she must sacrifice herself to save Doon and the one she loves. The next installation will have to deal with Kenna and Duncan (Jamie’s younger brother), and I will check it out, even though I feel like all of this could have happened in one book. Maybe I am wrong, hence why they are sucking me in for the rest of the series. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, but I can see the appeal for those that gave the book more stars… I do love men in kilts. The dialogue is funny and the characters are not so annoying, except maybe Kenna. The witch is annoying but she is the bad guy that’s her job, Kenna is just a hot mess.

Thanks Net Galley.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke is a difficult book to describe.  I did not love it nor did I hate it, and at times I was just so annoyed with the main character Violet and her choices.  I guess I should begin from the beginning:

"There's truths and then there's truths, Violet.  And some damn truths shouldn't be spoken out loud; or the Devil will hear and then he'll come for you.  Amen."

That's a good enough quote from the book that sums up what will appear in the novel.  Truth and the Devil (mainly evil doing) are huge in this story.  Let us begin with the main character, Violet.  Violet lives in an old mansion with her twin, Luke.  Their parents are some where abroad, spending the rest of the money left from her grandmother. Because the twins are in need of money for basic needs such as groceries, Violet decides to put an add out to rent the guest house.  This is when River West steps in, and insanity ensues. 

Something to understand is that Violet is lonely (Isn't she a twin, what about that bond?  Yes, she's a twin but Luke and Violet are really different in the beginning, they slowly come back to each other in the end... but in the beginning of the story, she's lonely.) Without her grandmother, Freddie, there is no one to fill the void.  Now that River is in the picture, Violet starts to feel calm, full and possibly happy for the first time since Freddie died.  River is the fourth to Violet, Luke and Sunshine's (Violet's neighbor/sometimes Luke's makeout pal/ Violet and Luke's friend) group.  River is funny, attractive, rich and smart; however, he has a secret and it's one to put the Devil to shame.

What would happen if you could cancel out free will?  What about creating addictive chaos every where you go?  Those are some issues touched upon in this story, and it is hard to give up a little information without giving everything away.  Just know that what you might think is true might not be, and that the novel ends with more confusion, of course this can be so that we as readers start anticipating the next book in the series.  Will I read it?  Of course, because I need to know if River's plan works, and if Violet is really crazy enough to fall for all of this, also... I would not mind seeing some more of River's brother, he's pretty alright. 

4/5 stars.  Thanks Net Galley and Edelweiss

Monday, August 5, 2013

This Girl by Colleen Hoover

This Girl (Slammed, #3)

This Girl is the third book in Colleen Hoover's Slammed series and it is written in the perspective of Will, for the past two books' story.  The novel begins with the honeymoon.  In between, certain... um... activities one does on honeymoons, Lake begins to ask Will questions about the life before her and the life before the wedding.  Layken will ask a question and then the headings cut to the scene she is referring to.  When Will is done the heading shows as "The Honeymoon."  It is always great to see the story in another character's perspective.  The reader gets to know what was going on with Will, not that he ever did anything to keep readers from completely loving him.  I think Hoover would have had to reach to make readers dislike this novel, since so many had loved her first two in the series.  All I can say is that it is a funny, heart-warming, and intimate look at one of the most loved couples, by the fans of Hoover.  I want to marry Will, it's not fair, but the epilogue people! THE Epilogue is what I live for.  It was the perfect bow.  Not everyone likes when an author wraps everything up in a nice little package, but some stories should be and deserve to be wrapped up like a present that will be presented to the readers.

Thanks Edelweiss for the ARC.

False Sight by Dan Krokos

False Sight (False Memory, #2)

False Sight is the second book in the False Memory series.  This book opens up with Rhys, Miranda, Peter, Noah and Sequel all trying to make a different life for themselves.  They are blending in-or trying to-to high school and becoming part of the norm.  The 5 are getting ready to go to a school dance, and at this dance the D.J. announces a special message:

"Mrs. North to Nina
Mommy misses you."

When that one phrase is said, all hell breaks loose at the dance.  Miranda and Noah go after a hysterical Sequel, but when they find her Sequel is no longer the girl that Miranda is friends with or the others.  Sequel is now Nina, and Nina just killed Noah!!!!  To better understand that I am not giving out spoilers and to better understand what in the world is going on, here is a quick synopsis of how and why Nina was Sequel and why she killed Noah. 

Miranda and Sequel were made together by Mrs. North, they are clones (this was covered in the first novel).  Sequel has an added component to her DNA structure, specifically to her personality that changes her from a clone to a deadly weapon, named Nina.  There is also a chance that Miranda has the same added component but with a different trigger phrase.  The purpose for making the Mirandas a weapon is explained later on in the novel, and it is the driving force for all that occurs for about 2/3 of the novel.  After Nina/Sequel kills Noah, the remainder of the team set out to figure out waht is going on.  This is where "The Black" is introduced into the story.

"You came through The Black."
"Which is what, exactly?"
"The Boundary between all universes.  A buffer, to keep them separate."

When the team travels through the Black, they are lead to an alternative universe to their own.  Apparently there are numerous universes like the one the team lives in and in each world there is a team like them... this is also key to the whole Sequel/Nina thing.

It took me about 1/2 the novel to reach the WTF train, and boy was that one crazy ride.  And the ending!  That ending drove me insane!

3/5 Stars because the first book rocked way harder... thanks Net Galley!

The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)

“I am not a ghost. I am a star. I spin a celestial magic now high, high above her, waiting for her to take notice and hear me.

Because she’s not a girl, really.

Actually, not at all.

She’s a dragon.

Poor lass. She only just found that out.” –Jesse

And so begins the second book in the Sweetest Dark series, The Deepest Night. Eleanor Jones, a poor orphan, and Lord Armand Louis are the only 2 Drakóns of their kind. In the first book, they both found out about their true identities. Not only do they have to deal with being a supernatural being, they also are dealing with the First World War. Set in a time of complete uncertainty and in the first war of its kind. The war is also used as a catalyst in the first novel, which ends with the death of two characters. One of the major characters for Eleanor is Jesse. Jesse was from the stars and when he sacrificed himself he went back to the sky to be one of the many that sing and communicate with the Drakón kind.

Now Jesse is back as a guiding star, one who speaks to Armand and his father about the second character killed in the first novel. Turns out that person is alive, and has been captured. It is up to Eleanor and Armand to go behind enemy lines to rescue this character. In the meantime Eleanor must find peace about the loss of Jesse and decide for herself what she would like from Armand. Armand must complete his transformation, but at what cost? This book really concentrated on these two and you are able to see how these characters are growing.

I really liked Eleanor and Armand’s growing relationship. They have a lovely bantering relationship, which looks like it could be developed fully, and now with no Jesse around there might not be an issue of a love triangle. I say might because the person they rescue is male and he is also the same and Armand and Eleanor, so there could be a chance that he falls for Eleanor. I really liked Jesse in the first book but in this book I just cannot take the cryptic messages. They are too much! The epilogue couldn’t be any more cryptic, bad things lay ahead…. Thanks Jesse!