Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Genre:  Adult Paranormal Romance
Alpha and Omega Series, Book 4

Note:  This is the fourth book in a series, not to mention the twelfth in two series from the same universe.  If you haven't started it, beware that anything said below kind of let's you know what happens in earlier books.

Description (taken from Goodreads):
For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Anna, an omega werewolf, is living the dream with her mate, Charles.  Only thing is they haven't really taken a real vacation.  So when Charles gets a call from an old friend, they decide to make their way to Arizona with the sole purpose of buying a horse.

But all things supernatural tend to follow Anna and Charles anywhere they go.  While the Fae have all but left the human world and holed up on their faerie reservations, Anna and Charles soon find out not all of them have left for good.  In fact, one has been released, and he is hell bent on doing what he's always done: feeding off of children.  As the two race to figure out what's going on and protect their own, they find a war is brewing.  Only question is which side will the werewolves be on?

I really don't have anything negative to say when it comes to Patricia Briggs' novels.  I love diving into her stories.  And I find I enjoy the Alpha and Omega series more because it changes points of view in order to get the whole story.  It actually makes it flow better and has no confusion when switching narrators.  And there's nothing bad to be said of the relationship between Anna and Charles.  This book definitely appeases the paranormal romance lover in me.

If you're a paranormal romance lover and you haven't read Patricia Briggs, shame on you.  Consider this as me throwing my copies of her books at you and telling you to read them.  Now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tether by Anna Jarzab

Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Many-Worlds Trilogy, Book 2

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Tether, the sequel to Tandem, continues the captivating tale of rebellion and romance that spans parallel worlds.

Everything repeats.

Sasha expected things to go back to normal once she got back on Earth. But now that she knows parallel worlds are real, and that an alternate version of herself exists in a world called Aurora, her old life no longer seems to make sense . . . and her heart breaks daily for Thomas, the boy she left behind. Troubled by mysterious, often terrifying visions and the echoes of a self she was just beginning to discover, Sasha makes the difficult decision to journey once more through the tandem.

Thomas is waiting for her on the other side, and so is strange, otherworldly Selene, Sasha’s analog from a third universe. Sasha, Selene, and their other analog, Juliana, have a joint destiny, and a new remarkable power, one that could mean salvation for Selene’s dying planet. With Thomas’s help, Sasha and Selene search for the missing Juliana. But even if they can locate her, is Sasha willing to turn her back on love to pursue a fate she’s not sure she believes in?

Sasha has finally come home from Aurora.  She's back to her normal life on Earth, but she misses Thomas.  And the connection between her and Juliana has begun to grow.  Sasha's beginning to experience visions of Juliana in Aurora, and it's blurring her own understanding of reality.  This can only mean one thing: she has to go back.

Sasha's not the only analog to journey to Aurora.  Selene has made the journey and awaits for Sasha.  Once they're both there, they will make their way to Juliana.  Selene has plans of saving her own world by using the power that she and her two analogs can generate.  And it benefits Sasha because all she wants to do is break the connection between the three of them.  But in the end, will she still be able to return to her Thomas?  Or will the demands of the various universes keep them apart?

This book is definitely a second book feel.  The story continues and gets a little more in depth by adding a third universe.  But I kind of felt like I forgot the little nuances from the first book, and all of those side characters.  So without this connection, I felt disconnected with all of the characters.  And while I really enjoyed Sasha's story, I felt like that little extra oomph was missing for me.  But I still like all the universal time travel and the analog power that comes with it.

This is a series that I believe needs to be read one right after the other.  I'm definitely planning to read the third one.  I just hope I've remembered enough by then to enjoy it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

I've kind of been away for a while.  It's been nice doing other things in the world and not reading all of the time.  But I'm sure behind on my reading now.  Happy Saturday!!

For Review from Around the World ARC Tours:

  • The Leveller by Julia Durango
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • This was a good gaming novel.  It would definitely be something different to be stuck in a virtual gaming reality.  It's definitely a quick and fun read.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • A Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it's set in a world of faeries.  I definitely enjoyed this book more than Sarah J Maas' other series.
  • Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • The second book in a series.  While I definitely found the first book in this series interesting, I'm not so sure I was still interested after finishing the second.  This series is definitely one to read one after the other.

From the Library:

  • Tether by Anna Jarzab
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I'm almost done with this one.  It's the second one a parallel universe series.  And while I've been confusing it with another series, I'm still enjoying it.
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
  • The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I enjoyed the Incarnate series so much so that I had to grab the author's next piece of work.  Looking forward to an awesome fantasy.

manda-rae's Past Six Weeks


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Until the Beginning by Amy Plum

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
After the End Series, Book 2
Expected publication date:  May 5, 2015

Note:  This is the second book in a series.  Anything below can reveal plots from the first book.

Description (taken from Goodreads):
When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

This story picks up right where the last one left off: with Miles dying and Juneau trying to save him using the only thing she knows can save him.  As he enters a death-sleep, Juneau tries to help him through it by singing and keeping constant watch over him.  But they're on the run from dangerous people trying to capture them.  And Juneau must use her abilities to keep them hidden until Miles wakes up.  Even with the Miles' looming death, she still has to find and free her clan as soon as she can.

When Miles wakes up, he's a changed person.  And their journey has become a little more clear.  The people they are trying to save are in New Mexico.  But the closer they get, the more they realize the guy holding them hostage is a little more dangerous and eccentric than they first thought.  And while Juneau's elders are riddled with secrets, she finds it's not enough to give up on them and feed the hurt and betrayal.  In the end, sometimes what happened in the beginning is better left unsaid.

I must say I've been wanting to read this one ever since I finished the first.  I had to know more about the Yara and see Miles and Juneau's story to completion.  But I felt like the two points of view kept confusing me, and I wasn't as vested in it as I was with the first book.  Having more explanations about the magic, or Yara, and the medicine that everyone's after: it felt like a hippy meets technology war.  Yes, I was slightly disappointed that it wasn't as bedazzling as the first one, but I still enjoyed it and thought the ending was worth the read.

I still hold to my statement from my first review: read the first and second one together.  Hopefully that will make the second one more enjoyable.  And you won't have lost the sparkle like I did.

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Genre:  New Adult Fantasy
A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Book 1
Expected publication date:  May 5, 2015

Description (taken from Sarah J Maas' website):
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

When I first picked up this book, my immediate thoughts were why did I want to read this again?  I was not the biggest fan of Sarah J Maas' other book, so why would I want to read this one?  Quite honestly, it was the description that caught my eye.  We're in a world of faeries and magic.  What more could a girl ask for?  How about a Beauty and the Beast retelling?  Score!!

Feyre promised her dying mother that she would look after her older sisters and father.  So she's off hunting for food in the middle of winter in the woods where wolves have been known to prowl.  Due to her need for survival, actions occur that bring home food as well as a certain faerie's wrath.  In order to pay for her actions, Feyre ends up on the other side of the wall in the Spring court.  While she tries to figure out how to get home, she finds she needs to learn more about her captor, Tamlin.  And the more she learns, the more Feyre seems to blur the lines between fae and human.

I feel like this is one of those books that ripped the Y from YA (young adult) and replaced it for an NA (new adult).  But I can't really complain about that because I felt like the story had a little more depth.  In the beginning, I thought Feyre (and her older sisters) were setting me up for disappointment.  I mean, what mother in her right mind demands her youngest kid to take care of her elders?  But once I got out of the human world and into the fae world, the fantasy part of mind quickly over-ruled that doubtful one.  This story is a beautifully laid out Beauty and the Beast retelling that doesn't take a lot of thought to get through.  There were parts of the story where I was  absolutely swooning over the characters.

I think Sarah J Maas fans are going to enjoy this one.  And for those who despised Throne of Glass, you might enjoy this one.  Yes, I will say the characters can be a little one-dimensional, but the story pulled me in and forced the characters to grow on me.  I will be reading the second one...

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.
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