Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison

Genre:  YA Detective

Description (taken from Margot Harrison's website):
Hasn’t he lived long enough? Why not? I could take him like a thief in the night.

This is how the Thief thinks. He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. He’s always waiting. Always there.

Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.

Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.

But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?

Nina has been plagued with the life of someone else in her dreams.  A boy she learned to get used to until he began to do the unthinkable.  He became the Thief and killed people.  All Nina has to do is close her eyes and sleep in order to see the unthinkable happen.  And she's determined to get the victims justice.

Nina travels with her friend, Warren, across the country in search of this killer.  She's going to out him once and for all.  But when she gets to New Mexico and comes face-to-face with him, suddenly she's not so sure anymore.  Could this ordinary family-man really be that vicious killer at night?  Before she outs him, she's determined to test him to figure out if he really is the reason for her night terrors.  But what is finally revealed in this story is so much more than just a serial killer.

Starting out with this story, I was super creeped out.  It didn't help that I read this at night.  However, once the story developed and the paranormal aspects came out (with the serial killer-ness), I was so engrossed.  And the closer I got to the end, the more worried I became.  I mean how do you create a perfect ending for this story?  I'm not sure you can.

Honestly, this one's a thriller.  I think you should give it a try.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Genre: YA Fantasy Fairy Tale

Description (taken from Jessica Khoury's website):
When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

Aladdin, the thief, has entered a city of diamonds in search of something.  He doesn't know it until he sees it, but it calls to him.  And Zahra, the jinni in the lamp, can hear his arrival.  When he finds the lamp, he knows he has found something important.  He doesn't realize what it is until he rubs the lamp.

Zahra has been tied to her lamp for thousands of years.  But when she's offered the chance for freedom, all she must do is trick Aladdin into helping her.  And Aladdin does exactly that all in the name of revenge.  But the closer Zahra gets to getting what she wants, the further Aladdin is from what he wants.  In the end, can Aladdin's wish be enough for happiness?  And will Zahra's power be enough to satisfy the thief and herself?

This is a beautiful fairy tale retelling.  And the romance starts very small until it releases at the right moment.  So it's not as annoying to read.  And the past that Zahra kept running away from?  I was so curious to know what happened until I finally knew.  But it still goes full circle to explain everything beautifully.

This is such a sweet standalone novel.  If you're a fan of Aladdin or fantasy novels, give this a try.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Genre:  New Adult Historical Romance
His Fair Assassin Series, Book 3

Note:  This is the third in the series, and while each book is from someone else's point of view, I'm warning you now that the plot builds from the previous books.  Although I do think this is a series that you could read out of order and still follow easily.

Description (taken from Robin LaFevers' website):
Because Love is stronger than Death…

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

But across Brittany, the tides of war are drawing ever nearer, with France pressuring the beleaguered duchess from all sides. Annith’s search for answers threatens to rip open an intricate web of lies and deceit that sit at the heart of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and risks an unforeseen chance at love, one that she can no longer deny. Annith must carefully pick a path and, gods willing, effect a miracle that will see her country—and her heart—to safety.

It's been quite a while since I've touched this series.  But I've been wanting to dive back into this story.  We are at the end of the 1400s where Brittany is struggling against an invasion by the French.  And Annith is a follower of Mortain, the god of death.  But she's never left the convent until one day she takes matters into her own hands.  She's lost faith in the Abbess of the convent, but she refuses to lose faith in Mortain.

As Annith works her way across France to confront the Abbess, she runs into quite a few characters.  We've got the minions of death who chase bad souls as well as lost souls in order to bring them to the Underworld.  We've also got another group of girls who follow another god.  And as Annith works her way to the Abbess, she finds the Duchess in quite a political battle that is threatening to become an all out war.  Needless to say, a lot happens...

Although I find these stories a little long-worded and slow in the beginning, I quickly fall into them and am engrossed by the story.  While I did find some bits and pieces quite predictable, I enjoyed learning the history of Brittany.  A lot of historical characters are thrown around.  I just wish I got to see more intertwined into the main story.  But at least there's going to be more books to this series coming.

I like this series.  It's like a breath of fresh air compared to what I normally read.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pure by Jennifer L Armentrout

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Covenant Series, Book 2

Note:  This is the second book in a series.  You've been warned.

Description (taken from Jennifer L Armentrout's website):
Some rules are made to be broken, but breaking the ultimate rule can change everything.

Alex lives–and loves–recklessly, until a single decision leads to a heartbreaking revelation.

As a mysterious threat closes in and she confronts a Council that wants to see her in servitude, Alex faces a choice between love that is fated… and love that is forbidden.

Alex is back in school after killing daimons who were trying to turn her.  And with the scars and constant attention from Seth, the Appolyon, there's going to be rumors spreading.  But as Daimon halfs start to appear, no where is safe and it's hard to trust people.  And Alex must face the Council to tell them what she knows.

The closer Alex gets to Aiden, the more danger they put themselves in.  And it takes a brutal wake-up call from Seth to point out everything they are risking for each other.  Seth, who is so full of himself, yet he wants to see Alex succeed and ascend into the next Appolyon (did I mention this also benefits him?).  And as the mythology pieces are slowly explained during the Daimon and Council crises, we get a little more hooked to this series.

While the first book had a lot of action that pulled you straight into the story, I felt like the second gave a little more information on how this world works.  My biggest complaint with the first one was I didn't understand the whole mythology concept.  But this one began to explain and leak a little bit out.  I just hope the next book gives even more.  Because I definitely want to keep reading this series and am waiting to be wowed.

I think this series is fun.  I'm enjoying it, but I can't say I'm head over heels in love yet.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Half Wild by Sally Green

Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Half Bad Trilogy, Book 2

Note:  This is the second book in a series.  You have been warned.

Description (taken from Sally Green's website):
"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

This story picks up right where the last one left:  with Nathan on the run from White Hunters.  He was separated from Gabriel in the last book and now he's waiting to meet up with him.  While he did have his Giving ceremony, so many other things have gone wrong.  And it's going to take a lot to make them right again.

This story is more about Nathan exploring his gifts and meeting his father, Marcus.  It's also about a rebel group of Black and White Witches uniting against the Council.  But it's going to take a lot of powerful witches to overcome the Council and Hunters.  And with Nathan trying to figure out how to control his Gift, a lot of things can go wrong.

I love the grit that comes with the main character.  This book is very different from what I'm used to reading.  It's from the point of view of a teenage boy who isn't that sociable.  Yet he's still very much in love with a girl and willing to do anything to be with her.  But he's also got a power that comes from a history of witches who have done terrible things.  So he doesn't want history to dictate his future.  I enjoyed reading this.  And I'm looking forward to the next one.

I think this is a fun and easy read.  You're either going to love Nathan or you're not.  But at least give the series a try.

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