Monday, July 30, 2012

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s

Genera: Sci-fi Dystopian/intergalactic/futuristic

Subjects: Princes, space

Length: 337 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “You’d think being a privileged Prince in a vast intergalactic Empire would be about as good as it gets. But it isn’t as great as it sounds. For one thing, Princes are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Khemri discovers that the moment he is proclaimed a Prince.
He also discovers mysteries within the hidden workings of the Empire. Dispatched on a secret mission, Khemri comes across the ruins of a space battle. In the midst of it all he meets a young woman named Raine, who will challenge his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.”

My Rating: êêê

My Review: This book had a very confusing start for me. I don’t really like Garth Nix’s narration. I’ve tried reading 2 on of his short stories before, and they have never been very interesting to me. It could be because he’s Australian and has a different vocabulary. He made Khemri sound too mature in the narration, even when he was immature. Dialogue was few and far in some part of the story. It felt like the story was being told rather than shown. It had a similar sci-fi feel to S.J. Kincaid’s Insignia in some parts (the naval school) and James Patterson’s Daniel X series. It took forever to get to the romance with Raine. I feel like this should have been a trilogy instead of a stand-alone. The story felt rushed. The ending was wrapped up, but I feel like the story could have broken into 3 books, based on the 3 deaths…maybe? The world building was amazing, of course. The trinity of tek, Princes and Preists….it was pretty amazing. Sometimes it felt way too sci-fi. I usually like my sci-fi with a lot of humor, survival and romance. This was too spacey, like Star Wars. I recommend this to people who like Star Wars, Startrek, and anything in outer space with space travel. It’s nothing like Across the Universe or Glow. More like Insignia.

Cover Art Review: Beautiful sci-fi graphics. The guy doesn’t look like he’s from the future, but her looks like a hero. It’s cool.

~Haley G

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm getting a Nook Tablet!!!

For my birthday, which is August 16th, I'm getting a Nook Color 16 gig Tablet! Now I can finally read ebook without having to sit at my laptop. I can watch shows on Hulu plus and Netflix. It's gonna be so awesome! I'm so excited. I'm getting a $50 gift card with it. I can buy ebooks. I can read egalleys. I'm gonna buy some novellas buy authors I like. I'm so excited!!!!

~Haley G

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The White Glove War by Katie Crouch

Publisher: Poppy (Hachette)

Series: Magnolia League (bk. 2)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Hoodoo, Georgia, debutants, ghosts, spirits

Length: 294 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Every society has its secrets.
The members of Savannah's Magnolia League have it all: money, beauty, power, and love. Some may call them lucky, but we know better. Spells, potions, and conjures are a girl's best friends, and thanks to the Buzzards -- a legendary hoodoo family -- the Magnolias never run out of friends.
Golden girl Hayes Anderson would never dream of leaving the League or Savannah, where there's no problem that can't be fixed with a cup of Swamp Brew tea -- served in a bone china cup, of course -- and no boy who can't be won over with a Conjure Up a New Love spell.
But when danger lurks and family secrets are unearthed, Hayes discovers that her life may not be charmed after all.
Don't miss the second novel in Katie Crouch's enchanting and mysterious Magnolia League series.”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: Here was my short little review for the 1st book: “The book was pretty funny. Alex is a great character. I was hoping for more magic, but it was a pretty light, nice read. Love the way they portray the setting. I've never been to the south (except Kentucky), so the atmosphere was pretty awesome. And Madison's so funny. Her and Dex? lol.”

For this sequel, I’d say I still think the narration is pretty funny. It switched between Hayes and Alex’s perspectives. I love the characters. The southern atmosphere. The hoodoo and voodoo (rather than witchcraft). This series is very unique and different from other paranormal romance series I have read. It’s very fun, and sometimes has a dark edge. There’s a lot of weird vocabulary and phrases that relate to hoodoo or southern sayings. And the ridiculous rituals. I don’t think I’d go along with them.

This book had some power-related themes in it that could probably be open to discussion. The plot was well done. Alex did what she could to be a good MG so she could eventually free her mom’s spirit. And then the Gray Man that was rooted on her. You’ll find out if you read it…

Can’t wait to find out what happens next. Stay tuned for the 3rd book, which I assume is titled The Final Ball, coming in spring or summer 2013.

Cover Art Review: Just a beautiful as the 1st one. I love the necklace! I really like the color, and the cover typography. The girl’s dress looks ridiculous, and you can tell she’s not naturally blonde. She does look like Hayes.

~Haley G

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Series: Soul Screamers (bk. 6)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Banshees, supernatural, death, afterlife, reapers

Length: 339 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

Summary/ product description: “I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school... Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life…”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: This is probably the best book in the series yet. Can’t wait to read the conclusion. This book had so much more Tod in it than the other books. I love Tod. He’s been my favorite character since the beginning, and now that he with Kaylee, and we get to see his romantic side, he’s even been. He said some amazing quotes, and I either cracked up or awwwed each time. I love this ridiculous pizza-delivering grim reaper character so much. Rachel Vincent really created an amazing, swoon worthy guy.

I think it was interesting how Kaylee was dealing with being dead, and faking being alive. How she was trying to stay corporeal in class so she wouldn’t freak out her classmates by disappearing. And how she didn’t have to sleep at all. The author portrayed this in a pretty realistic way. She did a good job. And then there’s the Hellions. Avari and his new plot to get what he wants. I won’t give it away, but it did blow me away.

And there’s a new character! One that sees dead people…lol.

Really, if you read the books in this series, you know this book will be awesome. But just how awesome…you have to find out for yourself. If you haven’t read the series, you should I you love paranormal romance. This is probably the best (non-angel, non-werewolf), most unique, paranormal romance series that I’ve read. What other series have a bean sidhe (banshee) as a protagonist? I love books with reapers though…(Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harris)

There’s a short story after the book ends, about a Day in The Afterlife of Tod (pre-If I Die). It’s pretty funny.

Cover Art Review: Just a girl in a pink dress? At least she has the same hair as Kaylee. I liked the last 2 cover way better. Like the title typeface though.

~Haley G

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Publisher: Macmillan: Feiwel & Friends

Series: Of Poseidon (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Mermaids, supernatural, magic, fish, New Jersey

Length: 324 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.”

My Rating: êêêê1/2

My Review: Another great mermaid book! Yay! Loving the merfolk stories this summer…of course Galen does not appreciate being called a mermaid. They’re called Syrena. I love this very unique take on the mermaid folklore. The Poseidon and Triton were brother Syrena generals rather than a God and his son. That all Triton descendants have dark hair, olive skin and violet eyes, while the Poseidons have lighter coloring. I’m not really spoiling anything, just clarifying any info dumps about appearances (it’s better to know how the characters look ahead time).

I thought that Emma’s ability to talk to fish and sea creatures/swimming creatures was pretty funny at times. It doesn’t seem like a very useful ability (Aquaman…ehhem….). But apparently it comes in handy if your drowning, being attacked by a shark or in need of sea food….yeah, I’d say the holding your breath for a very long time seems much more useful. But how cool would it be to talk to dolphins and penguins, and have them understand you? I’d be able to take some amazing photos…

I really did like Galen. He sounded very hot, even though he had a lot to learn about how to act human. He wasn’t up with the lingo we use. It was pretty funny. And Rayna, the feisty, girly Syrena sis of Galen. Her and Emma hated each other so much at the beginning. The relationship really changed later on. And Toraf, Rayna’s mate, he seemed like a nice guy.

I recommend this book if you enjoy mermaid books, or even paranormal romance. This book has a great (forbidden) romance. Also good if you liked Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed series.

Cover Art Review: The cover looks greener in person. It looks blue on the computer screen. I love the image of the girl floating upwards, and the title typeface. The typeface looks art-deco, but a more modern, girly kind. I really like the cover. Teal and pink always look amazing together, because they’re almost complementary (but really would be a triad if yellow was added. Very well done cover.

~Haley G

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

Publisher: Source Fire Books

Series: The Vicious Deep (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Mermaids, mythology, folklore, supernatural, magic, New York

Length: 370 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.
He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.
Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.”

My Rating: êêêê1/2

My Review: This book was very entertaining. It reminded me a bit of the Percy Jackson series, only no camp and no demi-gods. Merfolk, and various other creatures. It’s really cool to read a mermaid book from a guy’s perspective when the guy just so happens to be half merman. There was lots of humor in Tristan’s voice, tons of amazing quote. Tristan was very much a guy, even though the author is a lady (and kind of based Layla off herself, a little..).

I like the other characters to. Kurt and Thalia were interesting, getting to see was human school is like. I really liked Tristan’s friends. Angelo is hilarious (I’m quarter Italian, my grandpa’s name was Angelo.) and very stereo-typed, kind of like Jersey Shore’s The Situation (which I never actually watched).

It was nice to read about the beachy side of NYC, Cooney Island. Never been, but now it sounds really awesome. So this book was pretty perfect for this time of year. A summery read/beach read. There’s a lot of awesome mermaid books out this summer, and this one is not to be missed! It is to be savored and enjoyed.

Cover Art Review: I love that powerful wave on the cover and the Triton is so well done. Even the Typography is beautiful. The inside cover/case have this wave texture.

~Haley G

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blazing the Trail by Deborah Cooke

Publisher: Penguin

Series: The Dragon Diaries (bk. 3)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Dragons, shape-shifters, magic, mages, supernatural

Length: 300 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

Summary/ product description: “It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and Zoë Sorensson’s love life is heating up. Cute, loyal, and understanding, wolf shifter Derek is pretty much the perfect guy. He likes Zoë, and he knows what it’s like to have to keep a secret. Yet, Zoë can’t help but wish it was rebel rocker Jared asking her to the Valentine’s dance instead. But Jared’s too busy playing hot and cold with her heart, calling Zoë his dragon girl one minute and then taking special interest in her best friend the next.
Zoë is just about ready to breathe fire, especially once she uncovers a new threat that targets her friends. Although Zoë thought the Mages were defeated, they’re back and have invoked an old spell to give them new power—they plan to eliminate all shape shifters on the night of the big dance. Now, Zoë must lead an alliance of young shifters to battle the Mages and figure out exactly what—and who—she wants, before it all goes up in smoke…”

My Rating: êêê1/2

My Review: Note that this book series is set in 2025 because it is a spin-off series of the author other dragon series (the one about the Wyvern that was before Zoe).

This book was better than the 1st two. I like the humor and some of the characters, but sometimes I found myself confused with all the dragon stuff. Zoe’s a strong character, but the others aren’t as much. I want to like this series, because it’s in Chicago and I really love the Firelight series, but there’s just too much confusion, and the narration can get annoying, even if it is funny and snarky. I feel like the author’s trying too hard to be snarky. They didn’t portray Chicago in 2025 any different from what it is now. Messengers instead of cell-phones is like nothing. There needs to be more technology advancements!

I still did enjoy the book. I loved learning about all the other shifter species. Especially the cat-shifters and their Egyptian ancestors. I would love to hear Jessica’s story as a Bastian.

Overall, I recommend this series to people who like reading about shape-shifters or dragons.

Cover Art Review: I like the dragon art on this book’s cover. The smoke and swirls, but everything else is kind of boring and generic.

~Haley G

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mirage by Kristi Cook

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Series: Winterhaven (bk. 2)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Vampires, love, psychic ability, supernatural, boarding schools

Length: 374 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Seventeen-year-old Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven, and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But when a violent and disturbing vision begins to haunt her, Violet suddenly feels unsure of everything: who to trust, if she is in danger, and—worst of all—whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: I really love this series. A boarding school for psychics, a girl who’s destiny is to kill vampires, and a really hot vampire who’s ambitious to for the cure for vampirism. Not your typical vampire book, but kind of typical for the paranormal romance + boarding school genera (Similar to Hex Hall, Vampire Academy, Dead Beautiful…ect.). I really love paranormal boarding school books.

So, in this book Aiden is really eager to find the cure to vampirism so he can be human and live with Violet and grow old together,  so he starts injecting himself with this serum he’s working on. It seems to ward off the bloodlust, but after a few changes in the serum, so ill-effects appear. And also, there’s a “Vampire Stalker” on the loose in Manhattan. Murders that seem like they were done by a vampire, but could just be mimicking a vampire.  

This book introduces 2 new characters: Tyler, a micro-tellie guy who’s a really great fencer, and Matthew Byrnes, a science teacher who’s a precog and Violet’s new mentor. Tyler’s a bit of a egotistic player, and Mr. Byrnes is trying to help Violet deal with her visions. I would go as far as to say that any love triangles develop between them, Violet and Aiden, but they do make Aiden a bit jealous. Violet only has eyes for Aiden. He does have the Aiden Effect (which I actually got a pin from the author at RT  that say “Aiden Effect” on it.)

This book has some really great mystery and who-done-it in it. I can’t wait till the next one comes out. This is a trilogy, right? I wish it was a quartet. Aiden is the new, improved Edward (and not sparkly and creepy).

Cover Art Review: Really simple, and to the point. Mirror for mirage. Love the butterfly. And love the title.

~Haley G