Sunday, March 31, 2013

Magical Me *1* - New Feature!


Magical Me is a new Lunar Rainbows feature I've decided to launch!  Every month I will feature a favorite magical theme or element from books - anything from awesome magical systems, favorite spells, magical items, best enchanted worlds...
 I thought it would be fun to discuss & share the magic :)  If anyone would like to join, you're welcome to whip up a post - all I ask is that you link back to me in some way - I've added a linky-link to the bottom if anyone's interested.

For my first ever Magical Me post, I've decided to spotlight :the Maurauder's Map from the Harry Potter books & films!  As the inaugrual post, I felt it was only right to pick something out of the Harry Potter books, since - as some of you hardcore Potter fans might have noticed,  this feature title owes it's name to J.K's genius ;) 
The Maurauder's Map
 *There will be some minor spoilers but nothing major, especially if you've read or seen the first 3 books or films*

Can we take a moment and thank the almighty J.K.Rowling for inventing the Maurauder's Map?!  It's cool, practical, a little bit naughty...but if you make up for it by thwarting evil & saving innocent lives it totally balances out.
Harry using the Map
The Maurauder's Map is an enchanted or charmed map that features the entire Hogwarts School & grounds, including any secret passages and *most* sealed of rooms.  It also happens to show the owner where everyone in the school is at any given moment.  Including the old headmaster Albus Dumbledore - who can often be spotted pacing in his office! 
Dumbledore pacing in his office as seen on the map
I love that the Maurauders are the ones responsible for it's existence to begin with.  That little detail just made me so happy in Prisoner of Azkaban and honestly, I think I enjoyed PoA all the more because of the inclusion of the Map as a plot device. I have fun imagining what mischief they were able to get away with because of it - and how much laughs they would have shared afterwards because of it :D  And if that isn't enough to put a smile on your face, the map was then inherited by the Weasley Twins!! It made them legends at Hogwarts & it certainly must have gotten them in trouble a time or two!
 
I solemly swear that I am up to no good...
 And then, rightfully so - it was inherited by Harry himself, and he probably made the best use out of it so far! I can only imagine what it meant to him to inherit it (when he found out it's origin)  That map is such in integral part of the plot & of Harry's character that it deserves recognition as one of the best magical inventions ever thought up of!

Harry with the map
Attending Hogwarts at all would be a dream come true, but attending AND having the Maurauder's Map in your possession sounds like just about the coolest thing I can think of!  What about you guys?  Are you still fascinated with the Map like me?  What's the first thing you'd do with the map?  Sneak out to Hogsmeade?  Spy on your crush or your arch-nemesis?  Keep an eye out on teachers so you can really cause some trouble? Let me know in the comments below :)


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *25*

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

Here's my pick this week:

Invisibility 

Release Date: May 7th 2013

Authors: Andrea Cremer & David Levithan


Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.
I just love the sound of this one guys!!  Thinking about poor Stephen being completely invisible since birth makes me sad but also really curious.  And even though it sounds a bit cliché, I love the fact that only that one girl can see him!  I'm already eager for the scene where it'll all go down XD Obviously, the world of cursecasters & spellseekers sounds right up my alley. I'm really digging that it's a male MC (I think?!). It's also kind of a neat twist that Stephen's grandfather sounds like this all-evil cursecaster. Yikes! Anyways, I haven't read anything by Andrea Cremer or David Levithan but I've heard good things, so yeah...this is my pick.

What do you guys think?  And what are you waiting on?
Link me up!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: The Holders by Julianna Scott


The Holders by Julianna Scott
Published March 5th 2013 by Strange Chemistry

17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.
Woah, my feelings about this one were all over the place when I finished it.  On the one hand, The Holders was definitely not the book I was expecting or that the synopsis made it sound like it would be.  When I first read the synopsis, my first thought was : cool like teen X-Men!  I figured it would have more of a fantasy feel, rather then sci-fi.  I wasn't wrong about that bit but I had seriously overestimated how big of a role the actual paranormal elements would have.  To me this read like a YA romance with some paranormal elements mixed in there.  I also thought the pacing could have been a bit more balanced.  That being said, I was impressed by the concise storytelling style used by author Julianna Scott and the well-developed & likeable characters did a good job of keeping me interested.  I think if I had known what to expect I might have enjoyed it more. It's always tough when expectations don't meet reality...

The Holders tells the story of children with special powers.  One such example is Becca's little brother Ryland how can hear voices.  Becca has had to protect him his whole life from people who wanted to 'help' Ryland, but only wanted to have him locked up or medicated.  So when two officials from St. Brigid's Academy show up at their doorstep & convince their mom to allow Ryland to attend their school for other children with abilities similar to Ryland, Becca goes into over-protective overdrive.  She convinces the officials to let her tag along so she can be sure they can be trusted.  Together, the travel across the ocean and begin to discover an entire race of 'Holders', other people like Ryland who have special abilities.  They learn that their estranged father has secrets of his own among this world, and as Becca begins to piece together pieces of her family history - she also begins to fall for Alex, a Holder who's oddly loyal to her and the rest of her family.  And just as things couldn't get any more weird, they do.  And Becca will never be the same again.

So, as I'm writing this I'm still undecided as to what I thought of The Holders as a whole.  I decided that writing my review might clear some things up & I figured outlining what I liked & what I didn't seemed like the simplest way to go so here it is.

-On the plus side:
  • As the first book in a planned series, there is enough potential here for me to want to read on. I felt like the story-telling was very concise and effective, never overly-descriptive or lacking.
  • The characters were all likeable and came off genuine. I especially liked the MC Becca. She was level-headed, noble & loyal though she could be rash even temperamental it never caused me to get really annoyed or frustrated with her. In fact it made her all the more real to me.  I thought her common sense and judgement a refreshing change from some of the more impulsive or brash female MC 's in YA lit.
  • The focus on her brother and his powers also gave the story a different feel than the usual.  And as seen from Becca's eyes as a normal albeit advanced older sister.  Sometimes a little detail like that can give a book a whole new feel.
  • On the surface, I liked the concept of 'Holders' and how their powers could be controlled with sciaths (special stones or gems worn on the person help hone & direct different abilities)
  • I LOVED the whole 'Boarding School' bit of it all. Especially the fact that the boarding school was in Ireland!
  • There were some beautiful passages about love & destiny at around 70% that had me highlighting in my kindle like crazy. Just really touching prose and effective wording to have me impressed with Julianna Scott's writing style, especially for a debut novel!
-On the minus side:

  • The special powers & the Holders elements really took a backseat to the potential romance that slowly emerges, and while the romance was fairly well developed and by no means insta-love, it just wasn't what I was expecting & it threw me off
  • There is not a lot of action in this one. At all.  The first half of it not much happens to be honest.  It was still compelling to read but I can see readers getting frustrated. I'll admit when I reached 50% I was like:nothing of substance has happened. And then BAM! Stuff started going down at around 51-52%!
  • While the love story was cute & I found it well developed, it was still kind of vanilla & I can see some people being put off by the whole thing.  For me, the issue was that the whole 'romance-aspect' seemed to be the big focus of the plot.  I was expecting a paranormal read with some light romance sprinkled in.  Instead, I got a romance heavy read with a little bit of paranormal sprinkled in.
  • The actual variety of special abilities used isn't overly original.  Don't expect to be blow away by their types or even the usage. Though the fresh-take on everything including concept of 'the Holders' and the usage of sciaths may be enough for some, it may not be for everyone.
All things considered, I'm still (obviously) of two minds when it comes to The Holders.  On the one hand, I do see a lot of potential for the series to progress & develop that has yet to be taped in to. While the story is lacking in the action department & on overall originality, the characters & overall writing style were big pluses and that mostly made it worthwhile for me.  Some passages were surprisingly touching and despite it's slow start, it still managed to keep me reading.  I do hope the next installment amps it up in the magic or paranormal department.   I'd recommend this one for fans of light paranormal reads with a penchant for more of a love-story mixed into it than actual action & magic.

My rating : 2.5 out of 5 stars ★★☆☆☆

*A copy of this book was provided via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.  Big thanks to Strange Chemistry for the copy*

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Obsessing On... *1* - Doctor Who


Obsessing On...is a new Lunar Rainbows' feature that I've decided to launch.  Every month I will spotlight one of my many fan-girl obsessions ranging from bookish themes to television & movies! One month I may showcase a book-boyfriend obsession, the next I could feature a classic television series I like to geek out on.  If anyone would like to join this MEME let me know & I'll add a linky-link so I can feature them in this post.  All I ask is that you link back to me/this post in your post somehow!

For my inaugural Obsessing On.. post, I've decided to discuss my freshest obsession.  I was considerably late to the party on this one, but in my defense: I'm like the only one out of all the people I know around here who are actually into this. (That's a lie my boyfriend watches with me & I have one cousin who's a fan, but that's like IT!)  Anyways - without further ado, I am currently   Obsessing On...Doctor Who.

Doctor Who - TV Series
Synopsis: The Continuing Adventures of a time-traveling alien & his human companions as they travel across time & space saving worlds, helping innocent beings & generally making things right all over the universe.
Cast:  Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill
2005-Present BBC UK
TV-PG, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Drama
Plot Key Words: Alien, Time-Travel, London
This Series is a direct continuation of the original Doctor Who Series which originally ran from 1963-1989.  

So, I kept seeing & hearing references to Doctor Who & how awesome the series was. Whether it be on the 'Geek' boards on Pinterest or on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory... the interweebs is even loaded with cool Harry Potter/Dcotor Who mash-ups...it seemed that nerds & geeks all over the world were united in the obsession on Doctor Who.  So I went hopeful but a little skeptical as to if and when I'd be jumping on the bandwagon...  I was SO not ready to LOVE everything about it as much as I do!!
Made of Win - especially coming from the mouth of Barty Crouch Jr. ;)
 I'm not going to try and describe the show much, because it's impossible.  Honestly, trying to explain this show can't be done.  I could tell you it's about this guy...well at least he looks like a guy but really he's an alien breed known as a Time Lord.  He has a cool time machine (The TARDIS), a sonic screw-driver (yeah!) and he travels through time & space helping the innocent (often humans), saving worlds (especially Earth) and generally just being awesome 24/7.

The 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston
 The show had it's original run way back in 1963 all the way up to 1989.  Then it was regenerated (get it?!) in 2005 and the show is preparing for the launch of the new 2013 season at the end of March!
The Whovian Dream
 Now I'll admit, I've only watched the episodes of the new 'continuation' series - the 2005-2013 episodes so to any hard-core Whovians : I am by NO means an expert!  I can tell you that you don't need to catch up on the old, original series to enjoy the newer episodes.  I can also tell you that if you are a fan of Sci-Fi, Time Travel, Adventures, the UK or freaking brilliant, intense, scary, exciting, sometimes weird and usually gut-wrenching television - THIS is the series for you!!


The TARDIS - The Doctor's Time Machine -&- a quote from David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

I'm compare my obsession to Doctor Who to that of Harry Potter & Avatar: The Last Airbender, so RIGHT up there with the big dogs.  I started watching the new 2005 season in January of this year and I was entirely caught up by early March.  We have already begun re-watching the series, so you can imagine that I am pretty much living & breathing Doctor Who right now.  It's simply brilliant & I can't stress that enough!

The new season is set to start March 30th (finally) so it seemed logical for me to feature it now.  If you've heard about this series but haven't checked it out yet, I urge you to. If you've never heard of the series before now, PLEASE look it up.  And finally, if you're a Doctor Who addict like me, let me know in the comments below - I'm always up for chatting about all things Doctor ♥

Promotional Poster for the new season launch 
featuring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Pure (Covenant #2)


Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published April 3rd 2012 by Spencer Hill


There is need. And then there is Fate...


Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do-- & sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants & attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants & to the gods, & that includes the Apollyon... & Alex. And if that & hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.
 Pure is the second (well 3rd if you count the prequel novella Daimon - and I do!) book in the Covenant Series and let me tell you it took ALL my willpower not to keep reading straight through this series when I finished Half-Blood.  This is one of those series you could easily plow through in like - a week.  See, but then you'd be all depressed because you've finished them all!!  So, I showed incredible (and rare!) restraint & I read a bunch of other books before moving on to Pure.  And, now that it's over it is once again taking ALL of my efforts not to jump into book 3 - Deity.  Like I mentionned, it's THAT kind of series.

So Pure picks up  right where Half-Blood left off: Alex is back at school training to become a sentinel.  On top of her extra training & classes, she is still training one on one both with Aiden & Seth.  She is also trying he best to come to grips with the horrors she survived at the end of Half-Blood.  Saying her plate is a bit full in an understatement.  And then things get a whole lot worse when Daimons begin to attack the Covenants & their students.  And then the Furies show up - and you can bet that means more trouble.  You can also bet that as usual Alex finds herself smack-dab  in the middle of it all.  Before the end though she will begin to understand that she is in more danger than she even imagined.

As far as a second book in a series goes - I have no complaints.  Usually second books tend to be on the 'meh' side for me (if you follow the blog I've discussed this repeatedly) but I am happy to say that it wasn't the case with Pure.  Firstly we get to know all the important characters so much better.  This book really gives you that up-close and personal feel, adding depth and layers to already well fleshed-out characters.  At the beginning I felt that Alex hadn't really grown as much as I would have liked, but as the plot advances she shows more maturity & restraint than she would have in the past.  She can still be over-emotional and impulsive though but it makes her all the more human...and relatable.  Aiden becomes more complex - albeit occasionally more frustrating.  But honestly everything he did made me end up loving him more!  We also get to know Seth a lot better too & even though I still have suspicions about him, I really loved his increased presence.  It probably helps that when I picture Seth, I see actor Cam Gigandet  like this:
James in Twilight
*swoon* - Moving on...as you may have guessed there is a love-triangle element going on in Pure.  Now I am rarely a fan of love-triangles...but let me tell you, I honestly didn't mind this one!  Not only is there a valid reason why an connection exists between Alex and these two boys BUT both boys unique and well-defined enough that you could see falling for either!  Miss Jennifer L. Armentrout certainly has a knack for creating some seriously amazing males.  Beyond that though, one of my favorite aspects of this series is the training bits and since Alex is being trained by both these guys you get to see them as more than just love interests... they become teachers, guides who often reveal more of themselves in these kinds of scenarios.  So does Alex though :)

More than all that though, this sequel was stacked with action, suspense & enough twists to give me whiplash!  I was on the edge of my seat from the first 10 pages on and truthfully, I pretty much inhaled this book in a couple of sittings.   The fight scenes are exhilarating & the plot was solid throughout,  not a dull moment to be found!  Some questions get answered but more new ones take their place.  The ending is pretty killer though so I definitely suggest having Deity handy...we'll see how long I can actually hold off before I gobble that one up too!  All things considered Pure was a thrilling addition to the Covenant Series.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Follow Lunar Rainbows on Bloglovin'

You can now follow Lunar Rainbows via Bloglovin'!  With the news that Google Reader is kicking the bucket July 1st (seriously, I almost just got used to using the freaking thing & subscribing and all that!) *sigh*  Anyways, I've decided to join Bloglovin'.  I was debating between Feedly & Bloglovin so I went Feedly for my mobile reader but to replace Google reader on my laptop I wanted to go with Bloglovin'.  Feedly makes for a better mobile reader I find, but I'm really loving how Bloglovin' has everything set up on my computer -  It's simple & I love the layout...and since a lot of my favorite bloggers made the switch to Bloglovin' too, well so have I!

I hope my Google Reader RSS readers will continue to follow :)


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Waiting on Wednesday *24*

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

Here's my pick for this week:

Chantress 

Release Date: May 7th 2013

Author: Amy Butler Greenfield

 
Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.
Though I have heard of old myths of tales where magic was weaved through song or music, I have never personally read a book about 'Chantresses'.  The concept sounds just brilliant to me and I can totally believe that men would both fear & want to destroy the power that a Chantress could wield.  It's a fresh twist on magic that has me wanting to know all the mechanics & details that surround this concept!  So when you take a tantalizing premise like the one we have here AND then you mix it with a historical London setting?  Well, I'm sorry but that is a winning combination in my books!!  To top it all off, Chantress has a gorgeous cover - don't you just love Cloaks...and all the magic & adventure that they seem to promise?!

Thoughts on Chantress? What are YOU waiting on??
Let me know/Link me up below :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves *23* - The Birthday Edition!!

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).

Alright, so last Sunday was my birthday!! I got totally spoiled with love, visits & other fun stuff (like $$ in cards) but I also got lucky book-wise!  I'm more or less on a book-buying ban and I didn't think I'd be getting books for my birthday (especially after my sweet Pre-Birthday Haul last week)  but I did :D

~*Physical Books*~


Weee!! All of these were on my Wishlist for 2013! Poison Study especially, I had to control myself and not order the first book Maria V. Snyder's Healer series too (next time...)  A Discovery of Witches is probably one of the books that had been on my Wishlist for the longest - too long.  I know some people have found it too long & descriptive but I say bring on lengthy history when it's about Witches!!  I'm already in love with this book & I haven't even read it ♥  And finally Elantris which finishes off my Sanderson specific Wishlist...those that are already out I mean >.< A big thanks to my fabulous boyfriend for all of these goodies - plus the key-lime cheesecake he baked me from scratch *drools*  I guess I'll keep him eh?!

Oh and my best friend actually got me a book for my birthday as well (which is unusual). But true to form, he bought me a funny book.  A funny cat-related book:


He actually had this at his house and after spending awhile giggling over it (too long maybe?) I should have known he'd end up getting me my own copy. It's filled with jokes & little comics and short-stories about cats and how their random feline behavior may be an indication that they are trying to kill!!!  It's actually a hilarious book, eery bit I've read so far had me gasping for air!


And then, the fabulous Kelsey over at Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf heard that I was dying to read Poison by  Bridget Zinn - presumably by my controllable gushing in the comments of one of her posts. Yep, sounds about right!  So she kindly offered to send me an ARC:
You can imagine when this pretty ended up in my mailbox right around my birthday that I was one happy camper!!  I'm thinking I'll be reading this one soon, it's fairly short & I just can't resist it anymore now that it's made it's way into my arms *stops hugging book*  So again, thank you Kelsey, you're the best ♥




Finally, I took advantage of a sweet e-book deal & got:

I'm still on a pretty big sci-fi kick (thank you Doctor Who) so I couldn't pass up the chance to read more sci-fi...especially for $3.33...and especially one I'd been wanting to read anyways!  I've read very mixed reviews about this one but I still felt curious about it.  Hopefully I'll get lucky ;)





Thoughts?!  Have you read any of these? Or even want to?
If you read any of these, what did you think?
More importantly, don't forget to link me up so I can visit your stack this week!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daughter of Smoke & Bone getting scripted!!

In absolutely thrilling (and kind of scary) news for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series: the book is now one step closer to making it's way to the big screen!!  This week I happened to be browsing Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and I came across a preliminary listing for the movie, categorized as 'in development' (see listing here)  Today comes an even more epic update:
The official announcement is out that Stuart Beattie, silver-screen scribe extraordinaire, will be responsible for adapting the hit YA novel for film.


The author herself Miss Laini Taylor had this to say about the news:
"I’m thrilled to have Stuart Beattie adapting ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’; it’s been fantastic to delve into the world of the book with a screenwriter of such insight and experience. Between Stuart, Joe Roth, and Universal Pictures, we’ve got a team with massive epic flair, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds as we move toward bringing Karou, Akiva, Brimstone and the world of ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ to the screen."
As much as I have mixed feelings about book-to-movie adaptations, I admit that I am very excited about this announcement!  I am already wondering who they could cast to bring Karou & Akiva to life.  And I think a lot of people might have avoided this book because it's not your stereotypical YA read, but making it into a movie will allow so many others to discover this magical world and it's captivating characters.  It will be hard to translate Laini's breathtaking prose but with an artsy gothic feel I bet they can make something really brilliant!

For the full news article & all the latest info, check out Hollywood Crush via MTV.com

What do you think about the news?
Are you excited? Annoyed?  Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *23*

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

Here's my pick for this week:

Acid 

Release Date: April 25th 2013

Author: Emma Pass

2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.




Acid has been characterized as a futuristic dystopian urban-fantasy. The synopsis paints a chilling picture of a future where ACID has a strangled hold on the entire population.  Jenna Strong sounds like a heroine I could REALLY like  - hell, she survives a killer-sounding imprisonment & manages to escape alive!  I love how mysterious the whole premise sounds too.  And let's be honest, that cover is all kinds of fierce!!

What are you waiting on?!
Link me up!    

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett



The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Published March 5th 2013 by Tor Teen
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
*An advanced copy was provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review - 
A big thanks to Tor Teen*

The Nightmare Affair was a book I was immediately attracted to as soon as I laid eyes on it.  Beyond it's alluring cover, the idea of a living Nightmare being a breed of  'Magickind' and what that entailed appealed to me very much.  Not only am I a HUGE lover of magical elements in my books but I have always been fascinated by dreams.  Needless to say that when the two themes collide, I'm in! Overall, I found The Nightmare Affair to be a light, easy-to-read fantasy.  I was quickly absorbed in both the fantasy world created & the dream world we get to explore though I wish we would have had even more 'dream-sequences' to enjoy.  For the most part the characters were diverse & memorable.  And even though some of the twists I was able to predict, the plot still kept my interest & left me eager to spend more time at Arkwell Academy.

The story begins with Dusty Everhart who is the MC and a Nightmare, meaning she needs to feed on other people's dreams. As a Nightmare, she feeds on 'fictus' the sort of 'fuel' of dreams made possible by human's imaginations.  So Dusty is on one of her bi-weekly sessions to quench her need for fictus, only this time she happened to land in Eli Booker's bedroom- a boy she used to go to school with.  A cute boy to boot!  Things go from awkward to scary when Dusty finds Eli dreaming of a murder. Going from bad to worst, Eli's dream turns out to have been prophetic, the murder he dreamed of becomes a reality...and it's no coincidence that Dusty witness it all! And so begins a quest to investigate what's really going on here, both in real life & in dreams, before the killer strikes again.

Easily the best part of this book for me was the creative world building.  I loved the different magical castes and how they are all brought together.  The dream-world was unique & brimming with possibilities which I hope we be explored in more depth in future books.  Needless to say those scenes were easily some of my favorites in the entire book.  Author Mindee Arnett does a good job of meshing her own unique ideas with other more familiar, well established tropes.  The resulting world felt fresh and enchanting but not overwhelming as some of the more high-concept fantasies can be.

I liked the assorted cast of characters too.  Dusty as the main protagonist was a very relatable snarky teenage girl.  I liked her attitude, her awkwardness and her determination.  Even though she made some mistakes along the way, it was easy to see where she was coming from and why she had acted the way she did.  Her story arc was well rounded & satisfying while leaving plenty of room to grown and change from here. I really liked Selene & Eli too, they were nice supporting players to help Dusty along and their personalities were distinct and memorable.  Some of the teachers & villains did come off a little too familiar for my taste, but it wasn't enough to really frustrate to the point of affecting my interest in any of them for too long.

The plot was engaging & honestly I found the whole thing fun from start to finish.  I never found my interest wavering or my thoughts drifting elsewhere. When I sat down to read, I was invested.  Some of the twists were a little obvious (and a few were a little too familiar *ahem*) but other really left me guessing how everything would play out.  Surprising or not, this was a fun read for me throughout.  The ending did a nice job of bringing the whole story together -   I loved the world Mindee Arnett created & the characters who inhabit it.  There certainly is room for the series to grow from here & I look forward to what is in store for Dusty & the rest of her friends at Arkwell Academy.

My rating : 3.5 out out of 5 stars ★★★★☆

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves *22* - The Birthday Prequel Edition

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 week I'll be sharing my 'pre-Birthday' haul - my birthday is tomorrow and I managed to get a few advanced treats! It's not a huge haul but I'm still really pumped about all of these since most were on my bookish-resolution list of books to get a hold of in 2013 :D

Here are the physical books I got this week:



My last two trips to the bookstore involved me looking up Dead Witch Walking and told there were 2 copies available in store, only for me to search around forever and unsuccessfully.  I'm happy to say that this time I found a copy!  I've had this one on my reading list for much too long so I'm pumped to finally have it in my possession.

The Alloy of Law is part of the Mistborn Trilogy Story Arc but this is set 300 years after the original trilogy.  Since I only have book 3 The Hero of Ages left to read, I was anxious to get my hands on anything else relating to the world I've come to care for so much!

And while I still haven't read book 2 of the Charley Davidson Series, I couldn't resist getting book 3 Third Grave Dead Ahead, just to have it handy :)

I also managed to get a few sweet e-book deals:



Now I've heard very mixed things about both of these books/series...but the thing is I keep hearing about them nonetheless.  And all the time too.  I'll admit to being more curious about Everneath, the concept just sounds appealing to me.  Shatter Me had gotten my attention when it first came out, but then I'd leafed through it in the bookstore and the strikeout bits really turned me off.  I'm hoping I'll be able to get passed it though, but we'll see!

That's it for me this week but I'm anxious to check out everyone else's haul!
Don't forget to leave me your link below :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Discussion: Favorite Inspirational Females from Fiction

Happy International Women's Day to all the fierce, amazing & inspirational women all over the world!!  

Honestly, I feel like we should strive to celebrate & acknowledge the fabulous females in our lives every single day...but, I thought this would be a perfect day to spotlight some of my favorite kick-ass heroines from fiction!

I've picked those which I find have the most admirable traits overall which really sets these ladies apart for me among the sea of other female MC's

Vin
Vin of the Mistborn Trilogy

Vin's character evolution from homeless, abused, paranoid street-urchin to fierce, fearless, mind-blowing warrior is nothing short of epic.  She's probably my top female MC and I admire her almost as much as the boy wonder himself: Harry Potter.





Karou
I loved this girl from the very first pages of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. How could you not?!  Karou is engaging, fearless, skilled, 
relatable, human & full of Hope. Easily a
favorite of mine, I can't wait to see what the
future has in store for her!






The Ladies of the Harry Potter Series: Ginny, Hermione & Luna

Our Queen J.K. Rowling is herself sitting on top of my 'real-people' inspirations but the female characters she brought to life in the Potter books are really something else.  What brave, strong, loyal and unique personalities they all have!  Honestly, I could have gone on to list many others like McGonagall, Tonks, Molly Weasley, Lily Evans...I'm so proud that past, present & future generations of woman will have these females to look up to.

The Woman (& Elves) of Lord of the Rings Books: Eowyn & Galadriel

In a world ruled by men, these two have always left quite an impression on me.  Eowyn for her bravery - she was really a pioneer feminist of the day; and Galadriel for her mysterious powers & wisdom.  I do love Arwen in the films, but since her presence in the books is next to none, I stuck with these two.


And finally, a little Anime/Manga with...

  
Girls of Avatar
I wish I'd 'known' these girls during my childhood.  These girls can fight as hard as any boy.  They are skilled, strong, determined and oh so brave.  They hold their own no questions asked!  For a show that's mostly seen as a children's program, I am still in awe of the valuable life lessons it features - especially the ones where girls are just as awesome as boys.

**Honorable mentions go out to Anne Shirley of the Anne of Green Gables Series, Lucy Pevensie of theChronicles of Narnia, Alex Andros of the Covenant Series and Mackayla 'Mac' Lane of the Fever Series (mostly books 3-5)**

So what do YOU think?!  What makes a inspiring female protagonist in your eyes?  What do you think of my picks?!  Did I forget anyone important?  I want to hear what you guys think, so let me know in the comments below!

 
International Women's Day Official Website: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *22*

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

Here's my pick for this week:

Apollyon (Covenant # 4) 

Release Date: April 9 th 2013

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

 Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.
 - Alex has always feared 2 things: losing herself in the Awakening & being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, & Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—& Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands & could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power & becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, & the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for 1 soul among countless millions, & then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.


 Alright, so I'm cheating a little bit here because I'm only reading book 2 in the series, Pure right now.  In my defense though, just by the title you know this one is going to be intense.  I'm really excited to be caught up so I can fully appreciate the synopsis and all but it IS exciting to think that it's coming out soon...I may have to cheat & pre-order this bad boy even before I finish catching up!  Oh, and I'm a big fan of all the covers in this series but I really like the fiery look of this particular flower - wow! ♥


What's your pick this week?
Link me below so I can check it out :D