Sunday, 29 November 2015

Hollowgirl (Twinmaker #3) by Sean Williams

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Hollowgirl (Twinmaker, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The mind-bending conclusion to the Twinmaker trilogy.

Clair’s world has been destroyed – again. The only remaining hope of survival is for her and Q to enter the Yard, a simulation as detailed – and as real – as the home they have lost. But in the Yard there are two Clair Hills. The other Clair is headstrong, impulsive, suspicious – just like Clair herself used to be, and their very existence is causing cracks.

As Clair searches for a solution, a surprising new ally emerges from the ashes. Together they fight their way through the digital and political minefield in the hope of saving Jesse, her friends and the whole of humanity.

‘Williams marries accessibly explored moral ramifications of future technologies with a strong, capable teen heroine and heart-pounding action.’ Kirkus Reviews.

Hollowgirl by Sean Williams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hollowgirl (Twinmaker, #3) “You’re still the girl who killed d-mat. We’re not giving up on you just yet.”

This was probably my least favourite book of this series, as I got quite confused as to what was going on.

Claire went above and beyond the call of duty in this book, not only did she have to contend with duplicates of herself, but she even went to extreme lengths to change her own appearance to pretend to be someone else.

The storyline in this was about Claire and the crew trying to undo the problems caused by the whole d-mat machines in book 2, and trying to get back to the real world. This did prove quite difficult though, and I got a bit confused as to what was actually going on, as I just couldn’t quite follow exactly what was happening.

The ending to this was okay, and things seemed to end fairly happily, but I am still a bit confused as to what exactly happened in this book.

6 out of 10

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Illusion (Chronicles of Nick #5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Be careful what you wish for…

You just might get it.

Nick Gautier is tired of his destiny. He doesn’t want to be the son of a demon who’s fated to end the world. Nor does he want to see another demon or other preternatural creature who wants to kill or enslave him. He just wants to be normal and have normal problems like everyone else.

But normality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When he gets sucked into an alternate reality where his mother has married his mentor and his Atlantean god best friend has become a human geek, he begins to understand that no life is free of pain, and that every person has a specific place in the universe… Even the son of a hated demon.

Most of all, he sees that his powers aren’t the curse he thought they were, and that the world needs a champion, especially one its enemies can’t imagine rising up to defend the ones he should destroy.

Old enemies and new friends square off for a major battle that will either restore Nick to his real world, or end him forever.

Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5)This book followed a similar pattern to the previous 4, with quite a slow pace, and a paranormal/fantasy storyline, but this one was a bit more confusing as we had 2 different Nick’s, and two different realities, and I found it a little hard to keep up with what was happening.

Nick did have it rough in this story, waking up as a different version of yourself in an alternate reality would be bad, but knowing that your original body has the power to bring hell on earth, and is in less than capable hands would be even worse!

This story was mostly concerned with Nick trying to work out how to get back to his own reality, and knowing who he could and couldn’t trust, which proved to be more difficult than expected.

The ending to this was okay, although we were once again left with a cliff-hanger.

6 out of 10

Friday, 27 November 2015

When Stars Burn Out (Europa, #1) by Anna Vera

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Anna Vera.
When Stars Burn Out (Europa, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When a plague turns people into monsters, the only safe place left to live is the Ora, a spaceship lingering beside Earth’s moon. Aboard are the specimens of the next generation, modified genetically to develop powerful, supernatural abilities, which they must use to exterminate those infected by the plague and stop the apocalypse.

From the day Eos Europa was created eighteen years ago, she’s cared about little else. But despite being a formidable opponent with a rule of never backing down, her lack of a supernatural ability disqualifies her from becoming a soldier. Stripped of the title she’s worked a lifetime for, Eos feels she’s lost everything.

But that changes when soldiers start disappearing. Just seconds after landing on Earth, they begin falling off the Ora’s radar without a trace. Desperate for answers, the Ora’s leading officer deploys Eos as their replacement, regardless of her deficiencies—and in the end, it’s not her deficiencies that stop her. It’s the realities she faces, which cause her to question everything about who she is, where she’s come from, and how the apocalypse really began, leaving her to decide whether she’ll continue to play the puppet she was created to be, or disappear like everybody else.

When Stars Burn Out by Anna Vera

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

When Stars Burn Out (Europa, #1) “We are evolved – immune to the plague that’s on the cusp of surfacing. And as such, we are the only beings capable of fighting what comes next.”

This was an interesting YA sci-fi story, with some pretty major twists!

Eos was a really strong character, and I really felt for her when it looked like she wouldn’t be able to follow her dream of going to Earth. She didn’t give up though, and I liked that about her.

“She failed her exam!” Onyx brays. “It’s illegal to send her.”

The storyline in this was pretty good, and I liked the twists we got thrown! Even before the crew left the spaceship there were unexpected deaths, and strange conspiracies coming to light, and clues as to what was really going on, and as the story progressed things only got more intriguing.

“He’s trying to kill me,”

The ending to this was pretty good, although it was obvious that this wasn’t the end of the story for these guys.

7 out of 10

Thursday, 26 November 2015

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #7) by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has her hands full dealing with every sort of undead and paranormal creature imaginable. And after being betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must not only deal with a new man in her life—the shapeshifter Quinn—but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit.

The summit is a tense situation. The vampire queen of Louisiana is in a precarious position, her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans. And there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she'll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.

And with HBO's launching of an all-new show, True Blood, based on the Southern Vampire novels, the demand for Charlaine Harris and Sookie Stackhouse is bigger than ever.

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7)I quite enjoyed this book, although it did remind me a bit of ‘Living Dead in Dallas’ where Sookie is also asked to go with the vampires to use her telepathic abilities, and finds another telepath called Barry, who also shows up in this one.
This book was a bit slow and heavy-going in places, but I still enjoyed it, and I liked the unexpected twist at the end, as I really didn’t see it coming! (highlight to view spoiler - Who knew that the Fellowship would blow up the hotel, leaving loads of vampires burned or missing limbs?! Shocking! )

7 out of 10

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.
How to Be Brave
Blurb (from Goodreads):
An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How to Be Brave “The Do Everything Be Brave List
In no particular order
Dedicated to Diana Askeridis”

This was a really good coming-of-age story, and I really liked Georgia.

Georgia was a girl who I could relate to; she was overweight and unhappy, and not brave enough to wear an orange dress that she loved. She was bullied, and had to cope with that as well as the death of her mother, which was really sad.

“6. Learn how to draw, like Mom.”

The storyline in this was pretty good, with Georgia writing a bucket list of sorts, of things that she wanted to be brave enough to do, things that her mother would encourage her to do if she was still alive, and I thought it was done really well.

“7. Try out for Cheerleading”

There was some romance in this, and I liked it, even if we got a sort-of love triangle popping up at one point.

“13. Ask him out.
14. Kiss him.”

The ending to this was also good, and I was pleased with the way things worked out for Georgia.

“15. See what happens from there.”

7.5 out of 10

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Shadow Study (Study #4) by Maria V. Snyder

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley.
Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.


‘A compelling new fantasy series’ – Rhianna Pratchett, SFX on Poison Study

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)First, apologies to Harlequin (UK) Limited that it took me so long to get around to this book! And now, the book, well, it was… slow.

I liked that we were back following Yelena in this book, and yay… Valek!! Lots, and lots of Valek! However, there wasn’t enough of Yelena and Valek together, which as it turns out, are the bits I like.

Anyway, the storyline in this reminded me a bit of the books focusing on Opal, as this time Yelena lost her magic, similarly to Opal losing hers. We also got lots of flashbacks of Valek when he was first training to be an assassin, which I found a bit boring. There wasn’t much romance either, and the pace was way too slow for me.

The ending to this was okay, but I didn’t feel like much was resolved, I was also expecting that cliff-hanger.

6 out of 10

Monday, 23 November 2015

Castle of Sighs (Forest of Whispers #2) by Jennifer Murgia

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley.
Castle of Sighs (Forest of Whispers #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
"Despite my bloodline, I will always be the one the others watch carefully. I will always be a witch. And I feel such a stain will never wash away."

Free from her dead mother’s vengeance, fledgling witch, Rune, finds her new life is as haunted as her past when she uncovers horrifying secrets about the dark forest she once called home, and the boy she thought she knew.

Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Castle of Sighs (Forest of Whispers #2) “I couldn’t understand her because when she opened her mouth she didn’t have a tongue.”

This was a bit of an odd story, and I’m not sure I really understood all of it.

Rune was an okay character in this story, and it was admirable the way she cared for children who weren’t her own, I just didn’t get the same feel for her as I had in book 1 though.

The storyline in this was a bit strange, and we had one part of the story which followed Matilde when she was younger, as well as 2 parts following Rune. There were some odd things happening in this book though, especially concerning human bones!

The ending to this was okay, although I’m still not sure I really understood everything that happened in this book.

6.5 out of 10

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Unexpected Alpha by Bethany Wicker

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Bethany Wicker.
Unexpected Alpha
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Female Alphas are unheard of in werewolf society, and the Sapphire Pack is no different. So when Lena’s father dies, no one is more shocked than she to discover that his Alpha powers have transferred to her. Lena has her hands full protecting her pack from hunters and rogue wolves, while simultaneously facing prejudices and power-hungry males who want to mate with her just to steal her title.

But when the uber-sexy Kane enters the picture, Lena gets a lot more than she bargained for. He irritates her to no end, while giving her butterflies at the same time. With his interference and her new-found power bubbling under her skin, something inside her changes, leaving her confused as to what she truly is. She soon discovers that searching for answers is most difficult when the last person she can trust is the only one who has them.

Unexpected Alpha by Bethany Wicker

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Unexpected Alpha “Time to find out what you can do,”

This was an interesting werewolf story, and I liked the twists.

Lena was a character who was maybe a little too much like an alpha! She was very bossy, rude at times, and liked to be the one in charge of every situation, she really could have been a little smarter and a little more mature as well.

The storyline in this seemed a little rough around the edges, and the reader seemed to be just dropped into the middle of things. There were some things that I thought were a little odd, such as celebrating birthdays instead of sorting out problems, but I did like the twists that we got a bit later on in the story.
There was some romance in this, which was a little obvious, but it did improve as the book went along.

The ending to this was a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I look forward to the next book in the series!

7 out of 10

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) by Amy Engel

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.

The Revolution of Ivy
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty-forced marriages and murder plots-for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.
But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.

The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Revolution of Ivy “My father, in all his endless lessons, never spared a single second talking to me about how to survive beyond the fence. He never taught me how to start a fire or catch a small animal. I suppose he never considered the possibility that all his planning might come to nothing, that we might be caught, that he might need to give me some kind of alternative training.”

This was a really good sequel, and I was pleased with the way things turned out!

Ivy was really strong in this book, and she really fought for what was important to her. I thought she did well to survive the way she did, and became a strong role model later on in the book.

The storyline in this was really good, with Ivy’s fight to survive in the wild, and the way she eventually found other people and also found someone who she thought she had lost. I liked the action, and the unexpected deaths as well!
There was some romance in this, and it was pretty good! I won’t say anything else though.

"That's what love is, though, isn't it? You don't stop loving someone just because they disappoint you."

The ending to this was satisfying, and I was pleased with the way things played out.

8 out of 10

Friday, 20 November 2015

Untamed (Thoughtless #4) by S.C. Stephens

Sponsored post: I received a paper copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Little Brown Book Group.
Untamed (Thoughtless, #4)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
#1 New York Times bestselling author S.C. Stephens brings us the next book in her Thoughtless series!

The spotlight doesn't only shine. Sometimes it burns.

Being the bad-boy bassist for the world's hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife, Anna. The one thing it hasn't brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.

Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he's caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos. One that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he's seen an ache in her eyes--and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers...

Untamed by S.C. Stephens

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Untamed (Thoughtless, #4) “Kellen is hogging all the glory and I’m being shoved into the background. He is the talent, my ass.”

I expected this to be one of those books where you dislike the main character at the start, but grow to like them as the book progresses, but having finished, I still don’t like Griffin, so I kind-of liked this book even though I didn’t like him.

Griffin was never my favourite character, and he didn’t grow on me during this book at all. He was rude, crude, selfish, and had no idea the consequences of his actions. He seemed to go out of his way to mess up other people’s relationships, and didn’t even seem to care that much about his own relationships with people. He lied, did things behind people’s backs, and couldn’t even be honest to his own wife! I mean really?!

"You lied to me for months?"

The storyline in this was basically about Griffin thinking that he was more awesome than anyone else, and wanting to prove that by doing things on his own. He totally screwed things up though, as expected, and drove everyone who cared for him away, and it was easy to see why when you considered the things he was doing.

"Dude! Lighten the f*ck up,"

The ending to this was okay, but in my opinion things ended far too well for Griffin, which wasn’t what he deserved at all.

7 out of 10