Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Shelf: Escape Aether (The Trinity Key Trilogy Book 2) by L.M. Fry


Valera longs to escape her sheltered life and overbearing mother. She just never imagines that her opportunity would arrive after being kidnapped.

Now she has a decision to make: face a world filled with danger and discover her own power, or return home where it's safe and live in a gilded cage.


More info on Goodreads....


Review:

Escape Aether is the second novel in The Trinity Key Trilogy by L.M. Fry and allows readers to explore the world of Aetherland even more as Fry continues to develop her exhilarating series. 

Picking up where the first novel left off, Escape Aether sees Valera Stein kidnapped by the recently discovered Aetherland-born Julia who is desperately seeking her part of the Trinity Key. Agreeing to help Julia find her missing piece allows Valera to do the one thing she’s always wanted; escape Aetherland Isle and see the world. Yet as Valera and Julia journey through both Aetherland and the human world, enemies change and dangers increase until both girls must decide to work together if they have any hope of finding Julia’s piece of the key.

Having enjoyed Into Aether, I found Escape Aether to be a fantastically written and wonderful follow up to its predecessor. Escape Aether explored different parts of Aetherland and allowed us to discover new areas of L.M. Fry’s dashing steampunk world, as well as get to know new characters. 

Unlike Into Aether which took place through Theo’s eyes alone, Escape Aether unfolds through the varying POV’s of Valeria, Theo and Julia, allowing readers to follow all three of Danu’s daughters and members of the Trinity throughout the book. The back and forth POV’s really do allow you to get to know all three girls and learn of their hopes, fears and motives as the story unfolds. Nothing and no one is completely black and white as we come to learn, especially Julia.  

I really enjoyed getting to know Valera and Julia in this book. I knew I was going to like Valera and she doesn’t disappoint—she’s just a happy, sweet person, plain and simple, although L.M Fry certainly takes her on an emotional journey with Escape Aether. While Julia on the other hand surprised me; she really was just misunderstood—someone who had grown up simply wanting her father’s love and someone who was willing to do anything is wanted in order to facilitate that. Julia isn’t really a bad person. She just needs someone to genuinely care for her and I think Theo and Valera can be those people if given the chance. 

Mixing all the characters from the first novel—Theo, Victor, Nessie, Vivi, Valera and more---with new and exciting additions—most notably Gideon as a love interest for Valera, Escape Aether is a fast paced and adventurous sequel that highly entertains and leaves me ready to read the next book in the series!

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by the author (Thank you LM!)
Publisher: Eleah Enterprises
Format: Kindle ebook

Release Date: March 31st 2016
Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts:
Another great read--you can bet I'll be diving straight into the next book.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Blitz: The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

I'm thrilled to be featuring the Book Blitz for The Gender Game by Bella Forrest on the blog today thanks to YaReads Blog Tours. I recently read and reviewed this book and absolutely LOVED it---one of my favourites so far this year!
_____________________________________

A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender.
Women rule the East. Men rule the West.

Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus.

Ever since the death of her mother, Violet's life has been shadowed by bad luck. Already a prisoner to her own nation, after two unfortunate incidents resulting in womanslaughter, now she has been sentenced to death.

But one decision could save her life.

One decision to enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit.

Everything about the patriarchy defies Violet's identity, but she must sacrifice many things if she wishes to survive the forbidden kingdom... including forbidden love.

In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive...


Add on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review!
 
Purchase:

What Early Readers are Saying:

“Bella takes this genre to a new level. Imagine the intrigue of Divergentthe suspense of The Maze Runner and the heart-pounding excitement of The Hunger Games. That is the magic Bella is working with her new novel The Gender Game.”


“The chemistry between the characters is INTENSE. Forbidden romance at its best!”


“You can never predict where Bella Forrest will take a story!”

Intriguedanger and mystery at every corner.”

“Once I started reading, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop. My heart raced along with Violet’s […]

The twists and turns so far in this book have left my mouth hanging agape.”

“Intrigue, espionage, and a strong, smart female at the center of it all. Had me sucked in from the get go.”



Best known for writing fantasy, Bella Forrest is a lover of romance and mystery-infused stories with twists you won’t see coming. She has sold over five million books since her first novel was published in 2012.

Visit Bella:
 
Having released on the 24th of September, I cannot recommend The Gender Game enough! The Gender Game is really fabulous and Bella guaranteed I'm dying for the next book in the series. Be sure to check it out yourself!
 
 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Shelf: The Witch's Kiss (The Witch's Kiss #1) by Katharine Corr & Elizabeth Corr

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.

Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

More info on Goodreads.....



Review:

The Witch’s Kiss is the debut novel for sisters Katharine and Elizabeth Corr and is an intriguing twist on a classic fairy-tale.

Sixteen year old Meredith "Merry" Cooper is a witch…..technically. After a series of bad decisions, Merry has sworn off using her magic, but that doesn’t mean she can control the magic that shoots out of her fingers when she’s stressed or upset. When Merry begins having a series of dreams about a handsome young man named Jack, she soon learns that her family is connected to a centuries old curse placed upon Jack by a wizard out for revenge; a wizard that Merry is expected to defeat by using the very magic she’s sworn off using. But with lives on the line and the wizard growing more powerful every day, will Merry be able to save Jack and stop the wizard? Or is Jack fated to be doomed forever?

The Witch’s Kiss is one of those books that leaves me really conflicted. The concept is brilliantloosely based around Sleeping Beauty, but where Sleeping Beauty is actually a prince not a princess who has been cursed by a wizard, not a witch that was wronged by the prince’s parents. Yet everything else about this novel seemed to fall flat….

I was hoping for a really fast paced story, but The Witch’s Kiss seemed to drag on for me. There was, what seemed to me, like a lot of unnecessary build up to a battle that is short lived and anticlimactic. Unfortunately, I found our main character Merry to be a little lacklustre. She got the job done as the heroine, but I failed to connect with her, as I did the rest of the characters.

Considering the curse put on Jack and the connection to the Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale that The Witch’s Kiss featured, I was anticipating this really heartfelt romance during this story, surely if some kind of true love is supposed to break the spell? Yet no. There is little to no romance between Merry and Jack that impacts on the story and the romance and connection between them seemed forced on the author’s part. I feel like Katharine and Elizabeth Corr had a brilliant idea, but the execution just isn’t there.

The back story surrounding The Witch’s Kiss was really interesting; lending a new twist on Sleeping Beauty. I personally would have loved to see more of Jack and his timeI actually quite liked this part of the book and thought his sweet character had potential.

Though it was a slow read that could have soared, but ultimately didn’t, The Witch’s Kiss wasn’t necessarily a bad book. It just didn’t do enough for me. Overall a good attemptjurys out on whether Ill read the sequel. I may simply because the curiosity in me cant be satisfied with anything but a true happily ever after..


Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
$16.99
Release Date: June 30th 2016
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
The storyline held promise, but fell flat. Keen to see if the authors turn it around in book too though.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Tour: Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross


Welcome to the Book Tour for Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! Blood of the Prophet is the second book in The Fourth Element series and is as brilliant as it's predecessor!

I'm thrilled to showcase this amazing series and hope you enjoy the excerpt I have to share today. If you missed it, be sure to check out my 5 star review that went live yesterday too :)
________________________________

Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That's what happens when you've been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It's only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King's dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius's mother with it. But they're not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…


Add on Goodreads or check out my review!


 
From Blood of the Prophet........

Night fell on the city.

Torches flickered in the windows of the magi's temple, although the Imperial Archives grew dark, its scribes having departed for home. Araxa tucked his hands into his sleeves and made his way down three circular flights to the level of the street. Most of the Numerators he passed in the corridors avoided his gaze. They were the record-keepers, the bureaucrats who made up the bulk of his order. But two or three gave him a deferential nod.

Like Araxa, their robes bore the sigil of an eye with a flame where the pupil should be. The Hands of the Father. The daēva-hunters. They strode down the middle of the torch-lit passages, knowing they would be given a wide berth by the others. No one, not even their own brother Numerators, wished to catch the attention of a Hand. Especially not now, with their new powers of arrest and dispensation of justice. 

Araxa's octagonal study was in the main building for practical reasons, but he conducted much of his business in another part of the Numerators' sprawling warren. Three wings of the Hall were devoted to administration of the empire and its vast resources, but the fourth belonged exclusively to the Hands. It had no windows, and the walls were particularly thick, muffling any sounds that might arise within. To the people of Karnopolis, it was known in hushed tones as the Grestako, which meant cave of the demons. Few who went inside were ever seen again.

Araxa barely noticed the smell, although it had made him lose his breakfast the first time he'd encountered it more than a decade before. Old blood, sweat, despair. It had sunk into the very stones of the place. At least it wasn't summer. The smell became much worse then.

Two Hands of the Father awaited him outside one of the cells. Unlike the stoop-shouldered clerks, both had muscular builds and the stolid faces of soldiers, which was more or less what they were. By tradition, the head of their order held no formal title, but most of the Hands respectfully called him Patar, an affectionate term meaning father.

"Magi from the Barbican, Patar Araxa," the first said with a scowl. "One's already soiled himself." He gave a coarse laugh. "So much for the Purified."

"Keep them waiting," Araxa said. His voice was high and soft and oddly affectless. It was a voice made for whispers in the dark. Those who survived his attentions tended to remember that voice more than anything else. "Let them stew. Separately, of course. By the time I question them, they'll be eager to please. Now, what of Magus Roham? Is he here?"

"Since this morning. He's been demanding to see the Hierarch. Says he's nothing to hide, but knows of a few others who might be involved."
Araxa gave a thin smile. "I'll start with him. Bring him to the Chamber of Truth."

The Hands nodded and strode off down the corridor, scarlet-hemmed robes billowing behind them. Araxa followed at a slower pace. He could hear faint moans drifting through the fist-sized iron screens set into the doors on either side. The cells were small and dark. A prisoner had once told him an hour inside felt like a week. Zarathustra had no idea how lucky he was to have been given over to the magi instead of the Numerators.

Well, that reprieve was about to end. 
 

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

Visit Kat:

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Shelf: Blood of the Prophet (The Fourth Element #2) by Kat Ross

Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That's what happens when you've been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It's only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King's dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius's mother with it. But they're not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Blood of the Prophet is the second novel in The Fourth Element series by Kat Ross and follows on where its predecessor left off; drawing readers into another wonderfully depicted tale of danger, magic and exhilarating romance!

Having escaped the King’s clutches, former Water Dog Nazafareen and her daeva Darius set out in search of the Prophet Zarathustra before Alexander of Macydon invades their land and burns the city of Persepolae to the ground. Joined by their friends Tijah and Myrri, Nazafareen and Darius journey across sea and desert to a small city believed to house the Prophets prison, hoping to discover his whereabouts. Hiding in plain sight, Nazarfareen and Darius bide their time before they can act, even as a dangerous enemy also seeks the prophet and Nazafareen battles the unexpected powers that seem to surface within her. With lives on the line and danger looming, will Nazafareen be able to protect those she loves or are she and Darius doomed to be torn apart forever?

Kat Ross is back with a very addictive sequel in the form of Blood of the Prophet! Blood of the Prophet sees readers join Nazafareen once again after the events of the first book, The Midnight Sea saw Nazafareen reassess her loyalties and decide upon following her instincts and her heart rather than her Kings instructions.

As she did with the first novel, Ross continues to depict an alluring desert world within this story. Religious sects, powerful individuals and demonic creatures abound in this instalment and I continue to love the overall feel of the series. Ross keeps the stakes high and the plot forward moving, weaving romance, danger and unexpected loss into the story with our heroes doing everything in their power to locate the Prophet before Alexanda invades Persepolae.

Nazafareen continues to be a strong lead to follow. She’s deeply in love with her daeva-- even though the two of them are still navigating their recently acknowledged feelings, trying to protect innocent people who will die if Alexandra invades, even if it’s the only way to stop their brutal king and also beginning to notice changes within herself as a result of the bond. In Blood of the Prophet Nazafareen begins to display abilities she never has before and Ross indicates big things in store for Nazafareen with the next book.

I continue to adore Nazafareen’s friends and the supporting cast in their series. Darius and Nazafareen have such a sweet and strong relationship and I love seeing them in all their glory together. A loss of someone close throws the characters, but I’m intrigued to see more of Tijah who I believe has a larger role in the third and final book.

Fast paced, exciting and endlessly well written, Blood of the Prophet ends a little too abruptly for my taste, but leaves me none-the-less dying to get my hands on the final novel Queen of Chaos as soon as it releases to see how Kat Ross concludes Nazafareen and Darius’s story!


Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by Xpresso Book Tours and the author (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Format:
Kindle ebook
Release Date: September 12th 2016

Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts:
I LOVE this series and can't wait for the third and final book!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #149

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Releases on: March 28th 2017
 
The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.
 
Thoughts:
What can I say? I'm addicted to fantasy, especially YA fantasy. And Blood Rose Rebellion sounds sound oh so good. I'm really looking forward to reading this when it comes out in March next year.
 
What do you think of Blood Rose Rebellion?
Is it something you would like to read?
 
 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Shelf: Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose "afflicted" blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite.

When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Destiny Soria’s debut novel Iron Cast is a delightfully lush and captivating tale of magic and mayhem set in a vivid world of gangsters, dames and opulent parties where con-men and mobsters linger and no one is as they seem.

Iron Cast introduces readers to Boston in 1919 where Prohibition is about to come into effect and individuals with special abilities known as hemopaths work their magic in seedy underground clubs and behind the closed doors of popular establishments. Able to weave illustrious illusions and affect the emotions of their victims thanks to an affliction in their blood, hemopaths are hunted by government agency’s hoping to quell their abilities and study what makes them do what they’re able to do. For best friends Ada and Corinne, this world, and the Iron Cast club is home. Being hemopaths means living largely secretive lives, but at the Iron Cast Ada and Corinne are part of a family thanks to infamous gangster who Johnny Dervish took them in and made them a part of his inner circle. Yet when a job goes wrong, Ada and Corinne quickly realise that not everyone can be trusted and betrayal is just around the corner.

From the opening page of Iron Cast, I knew I was in for a really good read and Destiny Soria doesn’t disappoint. Reminding me of The Diviners by Libba Bray (which I love!) Iron Cast was a well fleshed out tale that seemed to come alive as we followed two strong and promising main characters. Boston came alive in Iron Cast and I loved the vibrancy Soria brought to the bookthe setting, the characters, the plotline; all of it managed to keep me highly entertained and on my toes.

I was really impressed by the hemopathy Destiny Soria wove into Iron Cast. At their base hemopaths are individuals with magic-like abilities that give them the ability to weave illusions, affect emotions, change shape and a whole sleuth of other things. Weakened and affected by iron, hemopaths hide what they can do, lest they be discovered by those who would see them sent to asylums or experimented on.

Iron Cast unfolds through the back and forth POV’s of best friends and hemopaths, Ada and Corinne. Both girls couldn’t be more different, with Ada of coloured skin and Corinne from a powerful and wealthy family, but the bond they share really shines throughout the novel. Ada is a songsmithable to affect emotions with the help of music and her violin, while Corinne is a wordsmithable to make you see and believe anything she wants as she quotes poems and tells a powerful tale.

The strength of Ada and Corinne’s friendship was wonderful to read about and I have to commend Destiny Soria for writing two lavishly likable heroines. Corinne had pluck and flair, while Ada though kinder of the two managed to hold her own. In such a vibrant world, they complimented each other.

Fast paced and weaving strong friendship, romance and betrayal into the mix, Iron Cast was an entrancing read that seemed to have it all. Plenty of twists, discoveries and haunting betrayals kept me on my toes and with the ending leaving me wanting to know what happens to Ada and Corinne next, Destiny Soria has won a fan in me.

Reminiscent of Libba Bray’s The Diviners, Iron Cast is a wonderful way to kick start a promising new period series that I highly recommend to those looking to kick up their heels and get lost in a world of hemopathy and gangsters.


Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley

Release Date: October 11th 2017
Purchase:
Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
I was really impressed with this book and am very much looking forward to the sequel after the ending!