Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead


Genre:  YA Fantasy
The Glittering Court Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Richelle Mead's website):
Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .

Okay, okay, so I didn't delve right into the synopsis and put two and two together.  I read Glittering Court; that's a title for fairies, right?  Yeah, my bad...  I didn't realize what I was going to get was a fantasy telling of a masculine people from a well-established society moving into a new world and searching for gold.

Adelaide is a sheltered countess on the brink of bankruptcy when her grandma announces a match to solve their problems.  But Adelaide doesn't want this.  Instead she escapes to a finishing school that eventually takes its women to the new world and sells them as wives to the highest bidder (irony, right?).  But somehow Adelaide makes the most of it and finds an unlikely friend in Cedric, the business owner's son.  And soon enough, Adelaide finds herself in the middle of controversy while trying to be her own person.

I really need to get something off my chest.  Richelle Mead is one of my favorite (if not favorite) authors, and I have kind of fallen flat with the last two novels of hers I've read.  But back to the story and my thoughts.  To me, it wasn't executed well.  The romance between the two characters was cute.  But I couldn't really get over the whole premise of running away from an arranged marriage into the hands of another arranged marriage.  That idea kind of bothered me.  And the back stories surrounding the side characters: it was left in mystery and not well-explained which left me with plot holes.  I don't like plot holes.  I want a perfectly executed story that has thought of every little detail and how it makes the whole story make even more sense.

Gah, I just can't.  And I found out it's a series.  A series?  Why?  Maybe to tell us more about those side characters?  I'm not sure I can continue though.  (I would suggest reading other reviews for this one.)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs


Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Mercy Thompson Series, Book 9

Note:  This is a well-established paranormal series.  Read anything below at your own risk if you've never read these books.

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

This book starts out like any mature, normal paranormal romance series starts: with the main character poking fun of her love interest.  That is until the supernatural gets in the way and demands attention.  As the werewolves go to fight a troll on a bridge in order to protect their city, they find Mercy demanding more than she bargained for.

Mercy meets what appears to be a human child, but he was once stolen by the fae.  In the process of offering him protection, she finds herself at a crossroads.  The werewolves disagree with her decision and do not want to put themselves in danger for some human.  But the fae have a lot of reasons to want this child back.  And they also seem to be hiding a lot more up their sleeves.  Will Mercy's cunning and Adam's strength be enough to protect the ones they love?

This book was easy to read and did not let me down.  I had fun going back to Mercy's world and following the new paranormal disaster.  I also felt like a lot was left unsaid in this story that might continue on in the next.  And while there are new characters entering the spotlight, it all ties together nicely in the end.

A series I fell in love with years ago.  I must continue it...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Giveaway: The Ceruleans by Megan Tayte


Death Wish by Megan Tayte
Ceruleans Series, Book 1
Amazon | Goodreads

Description (taken from Megan Tayte's website):
IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

About Megan Tayte
Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in the village of Standish, Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a paleontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and- spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.


Giveaway

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
The Dark Artifices, Book 1

Description (taken from Cassandra Clare's website):
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other — but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, one in a long line of Shadowhunters tasked with protecting the world from demons. With her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of a secret Los Angeles where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries start turning up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were murdered years ago, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge — and Julian’s chance to get back his half-faerie brother, Mark, who was kidnapped five years ago. All Emma, Mark and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks . . . before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. As she uncovers the past, she begins to peel away the secrets of the present: What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents — and can she bear to know the truth?

Emma is a wreckless shadowhunter who always protects her loved ones.  She lives in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family.  The Balckthorn family consists of seven siblings: one stolen by the Fae to join the Wild Hunt, one in exile for being part Fae, and one left to raise the remaining four.  Emma would move the world for her parabatai Julian who is raising his siblings.  However there's only one passion of hers that is solely hers, and it is figuring out  who killed her parents.

After discovering a random mundane killing that was caused by something supernatural, Emma has to investigate.  There are too many similarities between this one and her parents' deaths.  When confronting Julian about it, something else is thrown into the mix that suddenly makes everything very personal.  And while they've been cautioned by multiple downworlders on how to handle this case, they focus solely on it and dive head-first into the investigation.

I tried very hard to write a convoluted review that gave away nothing.  I really enjoyed this book.  But honestly?  It's Cassandra Clare.  You already know if you love her books or not.  I definitely fall under the first category.  And while it took me a while to like a few of the characters, I still loved the book.  Until the next one.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong


Genre:  Adult Paranormal Short Stories
Otherworld Stories, Book 3

Description (taken from Kelley Armstrong's website):
The first of three Otherworld collections pulling together previously published stories along with new material.

Collection Contents

1) Demonology – Adam’s mother discovers what he is
2) Stalked – Clay/Elena honeymoon story from “My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon” & The Hunter & the Hunted
3) Hidden – SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella
4) Twilight – my unfortunately-titled Cass story from “Many Bloody Returns”
5) Chivalrous – Reese’s backstory from SubPress’s long sold-out “Tales of Dark Fantasy 2”
6) Lucifer’s Daughter – Hope/Karl story from “Blood Lite 2”
7) From Russia with Love – Elena bonus story included with hardcover of Thirteen
8) Vanishing Act – brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after Thirteen

I'm going to keep my review very short because obviously, you're not going to read this collection of short stories unless you've read the series...  One of my favorite series to read, and it's one of those where I definitely did not feel like the last few books were lacking.  I was so sad to see it end.  But these short stories give us a small moment to go back to this world and see how the characters are doing.

While I would like to say I had never read these short stories until picking up the book, I have no idea if that's the case.  Either I had read some years ago and it still felt fresh this time around.  Or they were new.  But I loved spending an hour in Elena's world.  And then jumping into Savannah's world.  While some of the stories regarded other werewolves that I wasn't as familiar with, I still wanted more.

Definitely worth your time if you're already a major fan of the Otherworld series.  I'm going to have to grab the next short story book.

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