Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers get together and spotlight what upcoming release we're most excited about!

Happy Halloween Everyone!  Man,do I ever love this time of year: Witches, Black Cats (like my little black cat- Nox), Broomsticks, Pumpkins and Nocturnal Mayhem...what's not to love?!  

Here's my Poisonous Pick:


Release Date:  October 30th, 2012 (Today!)
Author: Fiona Paul

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

So, the Venice backdrop had me instantly intrigue, it's always been one of the places I dream to visit.  I'm also a huge fan of the mysterious tone the synopsis seems to be setting.  It's apparently got some fantasy/paranormal elements worked in there as well!  And let's face it; the cover is absolutely spectacular ♥  I'm cheating again a bit this week because this is out today (Tuesday) as I'm writing this post...but I've been waiting on it for awhile now and I wanted to feature it!

So...what are you waiting on?  Link me up below and don`t forget to mention if you`re a new follower! 

Top 10 Tuesday (4)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which features a variety of bookish top ten lists!

This week's Top 10 theme is: Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines!  I love this theme, and I love me some kick-ass heroines!  So without further delay, let's get to it :)

 1. Vin from Mistborn:The Final Empire I may have only read book one of the trilogy (I own book 2 & 3 and I'm ever so eager to read them!) but I think anyone who's read Mistborn would have Vin on their list.  Her transformation from poor abused and mistrustful street urchin to full fledged Mistborn is beyond epic!  Brandon Sanderson is truly gifted when it comes to creating relatable female characters who are just plain awesome.  Team Vin!

2. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Trilogy.  I don't even think I need to explain myself here. Katniss defines kick-ass.  She's beyond tough, determined and so brave.

3. Tris from Divergent.  Talk about a girl stepping out of everything she knows...voluntarily!  She doesn't come off as tough to start, but don't let that fool you: she's tough as nails.  She may have gotten lost a bit during Insurgent but she was still awesome and I have a feeling she'll be pretty impressive when book 3 comes out!

4. Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone.  Karou owned even before she had any idea about who she really is and her past.  By the end of DoS&B she had exceeded my expectations! I can't wait to see how she'll progress in Days of Blood & Starlight.

5.   MacKayla 'Mac'  Lane from The Fever Series.  Sure, she starts off like one very plastic Barbie girl but Mac quickly morphs until she's almost unrecognizable.  She still has a touch of Barbie,but mixed in with some mega ass kicking!

6. Melanie/Wanderer from The Host.  Both are the main protagonist of The Host in my opinion and both are awesome.  Melanie for resisting & continuing to fight. And Wanda for her willingness to change & her receptiveness.

7. Liesl from Liesl & Po.  What? Little girls in fairytales can be kick-ass too!  Liesl was feisty and determined...as well as pretty freaking brave.  

8.  Cassia from The Matched Trilogy.  Sure she was annoyingly innocent when Matches started off,but who wouldn't be in the world she was living it.  Soon enough, she shed those blinders & started thinking for herself.  I can't wait to see what havoc she'll cause in Reached!

9.  Sara Crewe from A Little Princess.  This little girl endured more in her young years than most of us do in our entire life.  She was truly inspiring every step of the way ♥

10.  Hermoine & Ginny from the Harry Potter Series. Ok, so this IS technically cheating...because neither is the main protagonist....but honestly how kick ass are these ladies.  I really wish I had read Harry Potter growing up.  These girls would have been THE best role models. (I'm referring to the books of course, not the movies where Ginny just ties Harry's shoes & wipes the drool off his chin.)

 Who did YOU pick as your top 10 kick-ass heroines? 
 Link me up below so I can check it out!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The Sound and the Echoes

The Sound and the Echoes
The Sound and the Echoes by Dew Pellucid

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ★

If you consider yourself a fan of high fantasy stories, for middle-grade/young adult readers that are both insanely creative and most definitely offbeat then you really should check out The Sound & The Echoes by Dew Pellucid. Coming from someone who has read her fair share of fantasy books, I have to admit that most of the time I was in awe (honestly!) as to how Pellucid came up with such mind-boggling ideas. From the world building, to the premise, to the characters; The Sound & the Echoes offers a nice vacation from mundane reality. There were a few minor bumps here and there, but for someone who's read as much of these types of books as I have... it's almost impossible not to notice some minor details that I'd have liked to see fleshed through a bit differently. Overall though, this story was thoroughly enchanting and enjoyable.

The Sound & the Echoes introduces the reader to a magical world where everyone has a mirror image living in another realm. Our world would be most similar to the Sound World but when a Sound is born, his Echo is simultaneously born elsewhere. But the Echo Realm is governed by a cruel rule. If a Sound dies, his Echo must die as well. So, if you're an echo and you wanted another echo out of the way...there would be an easy way to do so: kill his sound. And so the prince's sound, Will discovers that his life is in danger. Fate Sealers & Fortune Tellers want him dead to keep the crown prince away from ever gaining the throne! Before long, Will's world is completely thrown upside down as he learns the truth about his identity and the truth behind his own sister's mysterious disappearance.

When I started this book, the tone it had right at the beginning gave me an impression of something of a cross between Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, while being something different and seperate all-together. There some a bit too familiar elements featured here (like the wizened omniscient 'teacher figure' or even the Faith Sealers themselves which were reminiscent of the Nazgûl in LotR or even the Dementors in HP),but most of what Pellucid brings to the table is beyond unique. The world-building, especially in the Echo Realm is a perfect example of the epic inventiveness at the authors disposal. The Sound & the Echoes is filled with beautiful descriptions of the icy, translucent, shimmering world of the Echo Realm. The wintery setting was a definite plus for me; snowy landscapes just feel more enchanted. I don't know if that's just my Canadian showing? haha

Dew Pellucid's approach to magic wasn't your average 'spells or powers' type of magic either. Heavy on crystal balls, secret passages, mysteries and cryptic clues, it's more inherently magical items or that the world is itself enchanted. There's a Lake of Eternal Ice with hidden treasures in it's depths, there are Cold-Fire Mushrooms, Warming Snowflake Blankets & millions of crystal balls used for anything from magic to spying to fashion. The characters themselves though don't really display any magical abilities (for the most part.) I really appreciate this take on magic, something I'd last encountered when I read the Narnia series. It's uncommon but it offers a variety of outcomes & possibilities. I thought the characters were well-developed & likeable, though I would have wanted some of them to be a bit more developed(like Emmy & Fortis Fortuna). Will as the main protagonist was relatable and also realistic in his thoughts & actions. I thought he displayed bravery, curiosity and persistence throughout. I also really liked his best friend in the Echo Realm; Peter and the two of them were fun in a quirky and offbeat kind of way. Two other standout characters were Aurelius & Valerie :) To be honest, most of Dew Pellucid's characters are a bit odd, but I've always loved things a bit odd anyways...

The plot of The Sound & the Echoes is what you'd expect from an average middle grade high fantasy in terms of complexity. With some characters I had an easy time figuring out whether to trust them or not but with others it wasn't so easy. I found that the pace did slow for a bit around the halfway mark, but only for a very short duration. Soon enough, I was eager to see how the story would end up and how Pellucid was going to tie things up. There are a few scenes in the end where I would have wanted even a little more detail, not because I was confused but everything happened so fast that I hardly had time to fully appreciate what had happened and how neat it was. But even that can be a good thing because at the end, I felt like I wanted more. I don't know if Dew Pellucid has plans for more adventures for the Sounds & the Echoes but she he does, count me in! I'd definitely recommend this book to any and all middle grade and YA high fantasy fans looking for something different. As of now, it's only available on Amazon for Kindle but hopefully soon it'll be able to get published so more people can experience the Echo realm!

A free copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

This was a pretty awesome week for me if I do say so myself; I bought 2 books I`ve been pretty much climbing the walls to get my hands on :D  I also managed to get my first 2 Netgalley book approvals - yay! -so you could definitely say I'm pretty excited all around!

First, I`ll start with my two purshases:

I've been wanting to read Grave Mercy since I first heard about it.  I haven't read any historical fiction in a little bit, but come on: assassin nuns!  Assassin nuns trained by Death himself!  Yeah.  How could this not be compelling?  I also think the cover is beyond spectacular, it looks pretty and lethal at the same time.  

Masque of the Red Death has been on my reading list for awhile but it was after I started blogging and reading other bloggers reviews that it moved WAY up my 'to-buy next' list.  I've heard the author mixes steampunk & dystopian elements (both of which I'm a fan of) But wait, it gets better: it's a retelling of the classic Edgar Allen Poe (♥!) story of the same name.  Oh I am so in.  I hope I can start it before or on Halloween!

And here's the pretties I`ve gotten from Netgalley:

Ever since I first set eyes on Seraphina I've wanted to get my greedy little hands on it. It has dragons & I adore dragons (I even have a dragon tattoo)!  But it's not just that, Seraphina is a ya fantasy that's been getting great reviews & the premise is full of potential to me.  I also simply adore the cover, it has a Gothic, classic feel.

Devil's Bargain is another book I discovered through fellow book-bloggers.  It's an adult urban fantasy featuring mystery, a secret society, magic & psychic powers.  Definitely something I'd be into!  I also really like the main protagonist's name: Jazz, I have a gorgeous tabby cat named Jazz :)  The cover on this one is also really pretty I think.

That's my haul this week guys!  What goodies did YOU manage to get?  Link me up bellow & don't forget to let me know if you're a new Lunar Rainbows follower so I can return the favor.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers get together and spotlight what upcoming release we're most excited about!

Here's my pick this week:

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012

Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it's hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she's lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human--something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile. 

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn't fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers--livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.
To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person's memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers' next move. But Leon, her mother's bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won't let Audrey out of his sight.
When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything--and everyone--she loves.
So, this is released today but in my defense, since I write my posts beforehand I was still anticipating when I wrote it ;)  Dark Star almost comes off like a superhero book at first glance but the genre is a mix of fantasy, paranormal & dystopian...with demons thrown in the mix!  I can't wait to see how everything will mesh together!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Link me up below & don't forget to mention if you're a new follower so I can follow back ;)

Top Ten Tuesday (3) Halloween Edition

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which features a variety of bookish top ten lists!

This week's Top 10 theme is:  Top 10 books to get into the Halloween Spirit!  I absolutely l♥ve Halloween!  Eeek I'm so excited, it's almost here!  Funny thing though (and some of my followers may already know this): I'm not big on gore or super scary stories.  I can do intense, suspense & creepy but out right gore is not my thing.  So this TTT may be on the boring mild side for some...but if you're like me and you prefer your Halloween books on the fantasy/paranormal with a touch (or more) of romance...then this list is for you :D

1. Darkest Powers Trilogy (The Summoning, The Awakening & The Reckoning. The main protagonist is a necromancer and after a particularily vivid encounter in her school she's sent to a 'special' house for 'disturbed' teens...but the house is not at all what it seems.  Oh & she's friends with a warlock, a werewolf and a witch!  There are some majorly creepy ghost scenes everywhere in this series so that's why it made the top of the list.

2. Daughter of Smoke & Bone -  If the gothic setting of Prague isn't perfect for Halloween I don't know what is.  Oh wait, there are demons too?  Yup this is a perfect Halloween read, if you haven't read it yet I definitely recommend the series!

3.The Harry Potter Series - Hogwarts all decked out in enchanted Halloween decorations, tons of wizards & witches in one location, magical creatures & beings...did I mention it's the greatest story ever written?  Oh, right, I have. :D

4. The Twilight Saga - Vampires & Werewolves is the perfect combination of magical beings in my opinion...especially when one of them looks like Robert Pattinson. *sigh*...and there's some blood and minor suspense/action so it makes the list lol

5. The Warriors Series -  ok so these aren't really Halloween but the main protagonist is a...cat.  And cats count as being Halloween...right?!  Anyways yeah, is this HUGE series that I used to think was strictly children's books, but with all the battles, and plotting, and injuries and death these are definitely at least YA in my opinion.  These are wild cats that live in structured clans, with leaders, and healers and everything.  They have prophetic dreams and some have magical abilities (in the later series).  So it made the list because there are some creepy bits (like a swarm of hundreds of evil rats, or spirits of dead warriors haunting and controlling your dreams), for the surprising brutality and yes because they involve cats.

At this point, I'm going to cheat *gasp* I know...I know...since it's obvious that I didn't use to read many Halloween themed books (except for re-reading the Harry Potter series...which I've done quite a bit especially close to Halloween)so I've split the list in half to feature 5 books I'm most anxious to read a.s.a.p in time for this year's Halloween!

1.Masque of the Red Death which I am hoping will be in my mailbox on time for October 31st *crosses fingers*

2.First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) 
Paranormal romance about a chick who's a Grim Reaper?  Yup anything about ghosts makes the list, and this has been on my reading list for way too long!

3.Shadow & Bone  I've heard nothing but good things about this one even from friends who aren't as into straight up fantasy like I am so I can't wait to read this one!  Monsters who feast on human flesh sounds like a Halloween read to me!

4. A Discovery of Witches In case my blog design wasn't clear: I think witches are AWESOME!  Can't believe I haven't read this one yet, but I'm sure hoping to get my hands on it before next week :D

5. Iced: A Dani O'Malley Novel (Fever World #1) this made the list because it actually comes out October 30th...how perfect would it be to start reading it on the night of the 30th and well into Halloween?!

What are your favorite books to get into the Halloween spirit?  
Link me up bellow so I can check it out 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Divergent Movie has a Director...& gets closer to casting Tris

Veronica Roth, author of the amazing dystopian  Divergent Series, has made an official announcement via her blog: the book-to-film adaptation of the first book Divergent has a director!  It's Neil Burger, writer & director of one of my favorite movies of all time: The Illusionist
which stars Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti.  Seriously if you haven't seen this movie, go out and rent it RIGHT NOW!  Neil Burger also directed Limitless staring Bradley Cooper.  Veronica Roth herself is thrilled about the choice and also a huge fan of Neil's previous works.

Though the casting for the main protagonist in Divergent  has not yet been finalized Shailene Woodley is in final negotiations to bring 'Tris' to the big screen.  You may have seen her in The Descendants or the t.v. series The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  According to Veronica, Shailene has proven her acting skills and more importantly looks the part of Tris.

To read Veronica Roth's official blog post on the subject check out:  http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.ca/2012/10/movie-news-director-and-casting-update.html

So what do you guys think?  Are you satisfied with these choices?  Are you excited for the Divergent movie?  Let me know in your comments below.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly MEME hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring new books we've either received or bought this past week.

This week, I was lucky enough to be able to pick up 2 books I've been very eager to read & 1 e-book I'm super curious about that was impossible to pass up ;)


I've been oh-so-anxious to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own making ever since I heard about it earlier this year.  So about a month ago when I discovered that Catherynne M. Valente was releasing a 2nd book in this series (which is out since October 2nd!) I had to rush out and get the first one!  I mean fairyland!?  Girls taking charge and building their own ships!?  And look at the cover with that gorgeous artwork; I love the dragon ♥ *squee*

As for Leviathan, well what can I say?  I love steampunk and I don't read nearly enough of the genre.  A few trusted Goodreads friends absolutely LOVE this series so I'm pretty psyched to see what the fuss is about.  And this alternate history style adventure seems pretty exciting and original!

I also got a steal-of-a-deal- ebook for my kindle this week:

 Ahhh wolves, magic and romance.  Sounds delightful! There's some pretty good buzz about this one as well and I'm anxious to read a werewolf story from a female POV.  The synopsis boasts this is a 
YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 and up. So I'm thinking it might even be steamy!  Woot :D

What books did YOU get this week?  Link me up bellow & don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower so I can return the favor :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers get together and pick our most anticipated upcoming book releases!

Here's my choice for this week: 

Fyre (Septimus Heap #7)
Release Date: April 16th, 2013
Author: Angie Sage

Synopsis: Now that Septimus, Jenna, and Beetle are fourteen years old, they have assumed larger roles in their Magykal world. Beetle has become the Chief Hermetic Scribe of the Manuscriptorium and Jenna is waiting to be crowned Queen, but Septimus is still battling the remnants of the Dark Domaine, which will remain until the power of the evil Two-Faced Ring is destroyed forever. To accomplish that, the ancient Alchemie Fyre must be relit—a task that sends Septimus to the very origins of Magyk and Physik, testing both his skills, and his loyalties to ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand, and Alchemist Marcellus Pye.

In a journey that encapsulates the entire Septimus Heap series, Septimus will continue to discover the truth of who he is and expand upon his Magykal power and skills. Septimus Heap, Book Seven: Fyre weaves together every singular character from the entire series and incorporates many of the Magykal places from each book. Written with Angie Sage’s distinctive humor and heart, Fyre is the grand finale that celebrates the greatest Magyk of all: When the Fyre inside is kindled and when the Time is Right, anything is possible.

Fyre is the 7th and final book in the Septimus Heap series and it's been a pretty long wait to the finish.  With the release finally drawing near(er) and looking back on the previous 6 books I realize I have close to no idea where Sage is going to go with this final chapter of her tale.  The way book 6 ended was the way I had imagined the series ending so I'm ready for big surprises and some nostalgia while we revisit everything Septimus has accomplished in his Magikal training.  While the series as a whole was somewhat hit-and-miss for me (especially at the begining), overall I still really enjoyed the story; especially book 6... but I'm even more anxious to see how it will all end!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which features a variety of bookish top ten lists!

The theme for this week is; Top Ten Favorite Authors In X Genre (Ex- Top Ten Favorite Science Fiction Authors, Top Ten Fave Contemporary YA authors) so I chose to list my Top 10 Favorite Newer YA Authors but I did cheat a bit this week cause some of my picks are not exactly that new but could still be considered new-ish ;-)  So here goes!

 1. Laini Taylor , author of the brilliant Daughter of Smoke & Bone easily my top read of 2012.  Laini really impressed me with her poetic writing style & the gothic, magical and and original world she created.  Plus Karou the main protagonist kicks some serious ass and I definitely feel the butterflies for Akiva ;-)  Who else is counting down to book 2: Days of Blood & Starlight?!

2. Veronica Roth, who's responsible for the epic dystopian Divergent.  I felt like Veronica managed to keep her series fresh & real (Insurgent anyone?) in the ever popular dystopian genre.  But with no hint of a cover or official release date in sight for book #3, it looks like we may have to wait awhile to see what Miss Roth has in store for the finale of Tris' adventures.

3. Lauren Oliver.  Ok, I'll admit I'm basing this pick on one book alone.  But come on, that one book was Liesl & Po, an absolutely enchanting & endearing modern fairytale...and also a close second favorite read of 2012.  Even if she'd never written anything else in her life, she'd be on this list.  Just writing this is making me want to re-read Liesl & Po!  I probably should just check out Delirium soon.

4. Ally Condie author of the Matched Trilogy. With the final book Reached coming out in less then a month's time, I'm really curious as to how Ally Condie will deliver.  I especially love how the author puts an emphasis on the value of creative expression & how powerful words can be, so I hope she offers even more in those respects in the conclusion of Matched.

5. Suzanne Collins.  See this pick is not that new but in my opinion it could still be considered recent. And I mean come on, The Hunger Games deserves a spot on this list by sheer awesomeness alone!  The series that launched the dystopian craze that's still sweeping the 'reading' nation.  This series was by far the biggest emotional and nerve-wracking roller coaster ride I've ever taken.

6. Angie Sage.  If you haven't heard about Angie yet, you soon will.  With the 7th book in her magical (magikal?) Septimus Heap Series coming out next year...and her deal to translate this series onto film well underway, Septimus Heap could be the next magical series to take the world by storm.  While I've had my ups and downs where the series is concerned, overall I've still very much enjoyed reading about this quirky & enchanting world.  I'm definitely eagerly anticipating book 7, Fyre's release some time in 2013.

7.J. K. Rowling.  It's official: I can't make any kind of list without putting J.K. Rowling on it. Even if I myself specify this list to be of recent authors, I cheat & throw her in there anyways.  I can't help it, the brilliance that is the Harry Potter will never fade for me.  I'll forever be re-reading the series, listening to it on audiobook, re-watching the movies (while picking apart everything that's different from the books), and playing on PotterMore.

8.Kelley Armstrong.  Again, not really recent but a recent discovery for me.  And while I've only read her Darkest Powers Trilogy I instantly loved Kelley's writing style, characters and PG-creepiness.  I'm eager to get into her adult Women of the Otherworld series!

9.Rick Riordan.  Mythology = win in my book.  Greek, Roman, Egyptian; you name it, I'm in!  Rick Riodan's got a handle on all 3, almost simultaneously coming out with a series for each mythological system.  I've only recently finished the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series but I really enjoyed it!  I have the first book of his Egyptian inspired Kane Chronicles series.  I'm dying to check out The Heroes of Olympus series where Riodan meshes both Roman & Greek myths but I think starting to read them now would involve too much torturous waiting...

10. Stephenie Meyer. Yup, again.  She gave us (me) Edward Cullen...which led to Robert Pattinson, she makes the list. ;-)

What authors made YOUR list this week?  Link me up below so I can check out your list 
& don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower so I can return the favor ♥

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

 Stacking the Shelves
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring any new books we've received or bought this past week.

This week I have no arcs to feature, but I did get some mail-order goodies as well as a few wickedly priced e-books!

Here's what was in my mailbox this week:

Can you imagine that I *still* haven't checked out Graceling!?  I mean it's RIGHT up my alley: ya fantasy and a kick-ass female protagonist.  I kept wanting to pick it up but never did and then it was $5.00 on Amazon.ca so honestly it was impossible to pass up!

Ashfall is an 'end of the world' type dystopian and most of my friends on Goodreads absolutely LOVED it so I'm really excited (and a little scared) to check it out.  The author posted on Twitter that it was on sale for $3.99 in the Kindle store so I had no choice but to take advantage of such a sweet deal! 

Darkness Falls is an e-book I've had on my radar for awhile and a Facebook friend posted that it was FREE through Amazon Kindle <--- it still is!!  Honestly, I wanted this one for the cover alone (I mean, look at it!!) but it's supposed to be a vampire/dystopian type fantasy that's creepy & fun!

So, what goodies did YOU get this week?  Link me up bellow and don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower so I can return the favor :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers get together and choose our pick for our most anticipated upcoming book releases!

Here's my choice this week:

Iced:A Dani O'Malley Novel (Fever World #1)
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Author: Karen Marie Moning

Synopsis: The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike...Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.
Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.
When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.
Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

This is the first in an expected trilogy and a spin-off of the Adult UF Fever Series featuring narrative by Dani instead of the usual Mac.  I really liked Dani throughout the Fever series and I'm anxious to see what KMM has in store for her as a lead character.  I will miss Mac, despite how long she took to grow on me (and I'll definitely miss Barrons) but I'm hoping they'll be around!  And even if not, KMM has agreed to do 2 more books for the original Fever series...but that's another WoW ;-)

What are YOU waiting on this Wednesday?  Link me up below and don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays (1)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which features a variety of bookish top ten lists!

Theme this week: Top 10 Tuesday Rewind - Since this happens to be my 1st TTT, I figured I'd go ahead and do last week's theme: Top Ten "Older" Books You Don't Want People To Forget About.  Since my blog is still fairly new, it seems like a good way for my followers to know what kind of books I'd read and obsessed over in the past.

1. The Harry Potter Series - While I know almost every book lover out there has read about Harry Potter's amazing quest, it's on the top of my list to urge everyone who has only read the series once to read it again. I know there are incredible books coming out every week, but nothing was ever as amazing to me as the Potter Series, and every single time I re-read them, I discover a detail I hadn't noticed before, or a clue that I hadn't quite caught the first time.  I am always touched by different moments in a different way every time...but there are also those classic moments that just get me every time.   And honestly, this series has done more to inspire, move & consume me than any other story before or after; it just makes me dream and it makes me happy! Oh and don't ask how many times I've actually read the series ;-)

2. Lord of the Rings - Yup, I'm sticking with the classic fantasy quests for the top picks.  Honestly, I know a lot of big readers who've never even read the LotR series...or they started it and never finished because of the long descriptions (which are especially heavy during the first 50 or so pages of book 1. But honestly, this is fantasy fiction at it's most classic form.  I feel like a kid again when I'm with Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Argorn and all the rest of the Fellowship.  I feel like this gets overlooked because it's been around forever or because the movies did such an amazing job (in my opinion) at capturing the grand scale & breathtaking scenes. *I'm including The Hobbit in this as well.

3. Anne of Green Gables -  Another old series but this one I actually grew up with.  Anne of Green Gables is a series that takes place in Prince-Edward Island, Canada. A mere hour drive from where I live and when I was little we would vacation there in the Summer.  It's such a beautiful place and the AoGG series did such a brilliant job capturing the charm and whimsy of the place.  Anne herself was so endearing to me growing up.  Always imagining and pretending :)  While the series does lose most a lot of it's steam as it goes on (I think I never finished the 6th book) the first 3 books at least are worth it, they have a charm that I'll never forget falling for that first time, and they continue to charm me as an adult.

4. TheTwilight Saga -  I might get hate mail for this one but I'm ok with that LOL...  I inhaled these books in record time.  Stephenie Meyer has what I find to be an incredibly addictive style of writing.  I can relate to Bella (in the books) for being an awkward, clumsy brunette who never fit in in high school.  I loved Edward just as quickly as she did, no kidding within seconds I was obsessed. (Team Edward!)  This book made me get excited every time I've taken a walk in the woods since then.  Especially right after, I'd get all dreamy and imagine running into a golden-eyed vampire or a giant wolf-pack.   and I'd tell my boyfriend that if we meet a vampire I was going to try and get bitten...ahhh *swoon* 

5. The Secret Garden - I had actually read this book as required reading in high school.  It was the first required book that ever enchanted me as much.  (We'd even watched the BBC mini-series, it was awesome!)  I've re-read this recently, and I'm delighted to say I loved it just as much as an adult.  There are no fantastical elements to this story, but it feels magical enchanted anyways.  The characters are so rich and innocent, and their lives are so totally changed for the better by just discovering a secret garden.  And honestly, how adorable is that?

6. A Little Princess
- Another book by Frances Hodgson Burnett ( see #5) I actually only discovered this one recently and I loved it just as much as The Secret Garden.  It's much more heartbreaking and stark, but it maintains the same innocence & sense of wonder that made me love this author in the first place.

7. The Warriors (Original Series) -  This is a series that is often overlooked as being a children's series. I know others have found it odd because it's told from the perspective of a...cat.  But not just any cat.  A feral, warrior-cat that lives in a clan amongst other cats; cats that have leaders and healers; an organized, structured society of cats.  Cats that fall in love, fight in horribly bloody battles (no kidding, its brutal)...cats that are betrayed, and cats that scheme and lie.  It's like nothing I've ever read before, I think this series was easily one of the most emotional experiences of my life.  If you like cats, drama and action; you have to check out the original series at least. (There are 6 books in the original series but then also 3 other spin off or sequel series...not to mention super-editions and manga!) The original series is the best but I honestly enjoyed all the other books as well.  I was reading this for like months LOL

8. Mistborn: The Final Empire - I've only recently read the first book in this adult high-fantasy trilogy that was released in 2007 but I instantly ran out and bought the other 2 books in the trilogy.  This is an absolutely amazing read!  The setting is dark and cruel, the characters are amazingly relatable, inspiring and likeable, the magical system it operates on is unlike anything I've ever read before.  It's a truly epic high fantasy that features a kick-ass heroine (and hero) with tremendous character evolution and a truly engaging & surprising plot.

9.The Host - Another book by Stephenie Meyer *shakes fist at haters then runs and hides*   This book had the same addictive writing style as Twilight (only no Edward boo) but still.  We get Jared & Ian.  I'm definitely in the minority here because I am SO Team Jared.  But moving on, The Host is more of a sci-fi or even dystopian novel.  Though I have NO idea why it's considered an 'adult' novel, because we don't get anything more in this one that we did in Twilight.  We just get teased...again! *sigh*  Anyways this book is massive but I finished it as quick as can be.  And I loved it, I'm super excited though also kind of scared that SM will apparently right two more books the 'The Host' universe.

10. The Fever Series - Warning this is an ADULT fantasy read.  And when I say adult, I mean SEXY.  I have to admit it took awhile for this series to grow on me. You definitely have to be able to get past the initial set-up.  The heroin Mac has a truly remarkable character evolution arc.  In the first half of book 1 she's a total shallow Barbie girl and author Karen Marie Moning spends a little too much time describing how perfect Mac looks.  By the end of book 1, she hadn't fully impressed me...yet, but I knew I was going to have to keep reading.  Book 3, 4, and 5 are some of the most addictive, inventive and sexy books I've ever read.  I love the combination of fantasy elements mixed in with incredibly hot and steamy stuff.  This series is quite the adventure to read anyways ;-)

 Link me up below & don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower ♥

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Bloodfever (Fever #2)

Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
Fever #2
Published October 16th 2007 by Delacorte Press

I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.
What can I say about Bloodfever, the second book in the fever series? It's definitely an addictive read pretty much from start to finish. I am officially a fan of Mac's since she has become much fiercer and stronger. Even when she lapses into Barbie Mac from time to time I find her all the more endearing. There are so many more layers to her now; she's sharp tough as nails... and still evolving. I am anxious to see how she will transform as the series progresses, how she will come into her powers; what she will accomplish with that fire inside her head.

The suspense and curiosity factor in Bloodfever are staggering. It's like a complex labyrinth of endless questions. And when you finally get an answer the price is high. Your reward? MORE questions. Everyone knows some big chunks of the puzzle, everyone is desperately oblivious to other parts and NOBODY is revealing much of anything. To me, it made the plot seem stagnant at times...even with so much going on, the story didn't really progress the way I had hoped. Moning keeps building and adding things to the world, without making much headway in actually advancing the plot. On the one hand it enhances my curiosity...but on the other hand, I found it a bit of a let down.

Speaking of never getting any answers. Jericho Barrons. While parts of him infuriate me to no ends. Like the chauvinistic, egomaniac and control freak parts. On the other hand...he's so freaking sexy I can't even wrap my head around it. He's a mystery more than anything and I'm a sucker for a dark mysterious man. Always have been, and always will be.  I can not wait to unravel the mystification that is Jerricho Barrons. And I hope he takes off his clothes more. Throw V'lane in there too for good measure, cause that hour in Faery was something else! *fans self*

Bloodfever has a quick pace and showcases unforgettable characters in a complex and well put-together world that is unlike any I've ever visited in a book. While I felt the action did drag a bit, it made up for it in character development and intrigue which is why I rated it infinitesimally better than it's predecessor I would have gotten rid of the pointless recaps during the first few chapters for sure. I mean come on we've read book one, skip to the new stuff! But other than that it was a fun, fast paced, addictive and dead-sexy read. I can't wait to see where Moning will go with this in book 3, Faefever.

My Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
(I struggled with my rating for this one, it wasn't quite a 4-star read
but it improved on the 1st book, hence the annoying rating)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

What goodies did I get this week?
 I've been so caught up in the new blog, so I've been neglecting (and missing) my reading a bit again this week...but that doesn't mean I didn't manage to get a few pretties this week ;-)

Books I received:

The Sound & The Echoes
Author: Dew Pellucid
 The Synopsis:
Imagine that everyone around you has a mirror image living somewhere else. Your world is like a sound, which produced that other world of echoes. And in this land men are governed by a terrible law: every Echo has to die, if his Sound dies.
One Sound especially must die. The Prince's Sound. The Fate Sealers and Fortune Tellers will make sure of that! Because after this Sound dies, the Echo Prince will have to die too.
Now, 12-year-old Will Cleary is about to discover that he is the Sound the Echoes are hunting.
And so begins his perilous adventure into a see-through, sparkling world, filled with spying crystal balls, an eerie fortress of castaway children, a hunt for clues in an ancient book of riddles, and a last-chance escape through a frozen gem-studded lake into a secret land that holds the key to placing the Prince on the throne and returning freedom to the Echo.

When author Dew Pellucid offered me a copy of his her high-fantasy children's book in exchange for an honest review, it was impossible for me to refuse.  The story seemed so original, inventive & just plain fun. I mean: crystal balls, sparkling worlds, see-through doppelgangers & eerie Fortresses...  Where do I sign?!  I'm always looking for the next enchanted children's tale to escape into and make me dream, and judging by the blurb I'll get exactly that with The Sound & The Echoes.

Books I purchased:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver & Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Since I absolutely adored Lauren Oliver's children's fairytale offering Liesl & Po , I've been eager to check out her other offerings, so I picked up Delirium this week.  I'm hoping I'll love it but I'm a little scared because ...well let's just say the reviews have been mixed where my Goodreads friends are concerned.  But I know a lot of people have loved it so we'll see!

I have heard nothing but good things however, about Cinder, and at first before all the buzz, I wasn't sure if this would really be my thing.  But glowing review after glowing review finally convinced me (it was pretty easy actually) and I caved.  I mean Cinderella was my absolute favorite fairytale as a little girl and I think the sci-fi twist with the android bits should keep it fresh and interesting!

What goodies did you get this week?  Link me up & if you're a new follower let me know :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: Liesl and Po

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
Published October 4th 2011 by Harper Collins

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice,until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.

Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.
Words can not describe how utterly heart-warming, how completely enchanted and how truly ineffably happy Liesl & Po made me feel. Out of all the fairytales I have read in my youth and my adulthood, this modern tale tops them all!   Truly it was an absolute joy to read. The prose is breathtakingly beautiful and absolutely delightful. The characters are exceedingly loveable; instant classics. The story itself is simple enough, though layered with deep and rich lessons about love and loss. I am truly enamored with this tale and upon finishing, I find myself wishing it was a series of books; that I could remain inside this world for longer...even though I know the story has ended.

Had I read this when I was a child, I know it would be one of; if not my favorite story of all time. As it is, the adult me knows that I will read this story again and again. Liesl, a truly lovable orphaned girl is confined to living in her attic by an evil stepmother. One night a ghost appears to Liesl. A ghost name Po and his ghostly pet Bundle. Through a random series of events a story is born and Liesl, Po and Bundle will embark on a journey to bring Liesl's father ashes to their rightful place; so he can finally rest. A journey that will prove much more complex...and magical than either could have possibly imagined. All the while, the evil Alchemist, the Lady Premiere and Liesl's own evil stepmother are hot on their tales; each with their own diabolical agendas. With the help of the Alchemist's own poor and mistreated apprentice Will, Liesl, Po and Bundle will race against time to complete their journey.

While the orphaned protagonist and the evil stepmother may not seem all that original, Lauren Oliver has woven a genuinely unique & touching story that is not to be missed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys magical fairytales; both young and young at heart. 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we book bloggers get together and pick our most eagerly awaited upcoming book releases!

My pick for this week:

Reached - (Matched #3)
Release Date: November 13th 2012
Author:  Ally Condie

Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the  Matched Trilogy.
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising--and each other--Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.
In this gripping conclusion to the #1 "New York Times" bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I've really enjoyed the Matched series and while I know some dystopian fans were let down by this series; Ally Condie's unique brand of dystopian-lite has won a place in my heart all the same.   I am quite frankly dying to see how everything will conclude!  What does Condie have in store for us in her final installment?  Will Cassia continue to impress, evolve and finally break free?  What faith awaits Ky? Will he fulfil his destiny? (team Ky!)  And what about Xander (which I really like too!): What will happen with him?  SO many questions and we've waited SO long, but Reached is finally almost within reach :D

What book are you anxiously awaiting?  Link me up! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Crossed

Crossed by Ally Condie
Matched #2
Published November 1st 2011 by Dutton

The Society chooses everything.

The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.

And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.

But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems...

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.
Crossed, is the second book in the Matched trilogy and while I know many Matched fans were let down by this installment. Personally, I found it equal to it's predecessor. It didn't blow me away but I enjoyed reading it.  As it was with Matched, the cover is simple yet insightful: Cassia is beginning to break through...

Crossed features dual narratives; while we keep Cassia's POV, every other chapter features Ky's. I thought this was done very well. Anyone who follows my reviews knows I love getting the boys perspective after the fact. Especially the way it was done in Crossed with both narratives intertwining together. It added depth, suspense and added insight into Ky's character. This played a huge part in my overall impression of the book, and it's subsequent rating. Girls can usually relate to how the girl is feeling, but like with the forbidden excerpt from Midnight Sun, it's always much more interesting from the boy's perspective ♥ ...once you already know the girls side of it, to see how they fit together. And Ky is such a GREAT male character.  I'm so in love with Ky; even more so with Crossed that I was during Matched. And in the case of Crossed, much of Ky's chapters involve flashbacks of some kind. Of his childhood, of his memories in The Society, of Cassia. So you get to relive their romance in little bits through his memories while getting to know in a way that would have been impossible if Crossed had only featured Cassia's POV. I thought it was very well done...even so it was sometimes frustrating to have to switch narratives right when the story got interesting ;) It certainly stopped me from putting the book down one more than one occasion!

On of the ongoing highlights for me throughout this series has to be Cassia's ongoing transformation. She's stayed true to her inherent nature in all the ways that count, but she has really begun to break out of the control & oppression that 'The Society' has been delving out for far too long. She's become brave, resourceful and a little unpredictable but never really reckless or stupid. She knows things need to change, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to make those changes happen. I was so impressed by her evolution in Matched and I continue to be impressed by her in Crossed. Ally Condie has developed Cassia and the rest of the characters in this world very consistently; in a believable and real way. It's so easy to relate to them and to feel for them. It's definitely one of the strong points of this series.

As with Matched, Crossed is about words, and their power to evoke, to move, to change and to create. Creation did not exist within The Society, but somehow it has survived all this time and it gives people hope; it helps the hang on and moves them forward. Ally Condie has a simple style that is still poetic and evocative just as it was in Matched. I can't wait to see how everything is going to play out with Reached and I can't believe we have to wait till NOVEMBER to know how it all ends!

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars