Monday, February 8, 2016

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins


Genre:  YA Fantasy
The Great Hunt Series, Book 2
Expected publication date:  March 8, 2016

Description (taken from Wendy Higgins' website):
Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Aerity lives in a kingdom where choice and true love conquer all.  But with a brutal beast terrorizing her home and no one succeeding in killing it, she is offered up as the prize to any hunter who can kill the beast.  It is something she has learned to accept for the good of her kingdom.  But when she meets a mysterious hunter who could care less about the prize, she becomes intrigued.  And giving up her freedom to choose who to marry suddenly becomes that much harder.

Paxton loves his home, but he has never cared for the royals who govern it.  Their rules and abandonment of the people is all he's ever known.  However he is willing to kill the beast to protect his home and family.  But seeing Aerity as a person instead of a princess softens his heart.  And with the task at hand, pasts coming to haunt him, and the choice of killing the beast or walking away, suddenly nothing becomes free will anymore.

I have to start with this book felt too childish and sappy for me.  Yes, I'm a romantic.  But I'm not a soggy romantic (no one likes soggy bread).  I tried really hard to like the predictable story line, and it is a good story.  It's just I often questioned how old the characters really were throughout the story.  They acted a little too young for their age, and the theme of hopeless love just kind of left me with a nasty taste in my mouth.

I am one of those people who absolutely loved the Sweet Trilogy.  And that's honestly why I picked up this book.  I honestly wouldn't have believed the author wrote both books after having finished this one.  I suggest reading more reviews before deciding to read this one.


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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Queen by Aimee Carter


Genre:  YA Dystopian
The Blackcoat Rebellion Series, Book 3

Note:  This is the third book in a series.  Anything below could potentially spoil plots from earlier books in the series.

Description (taken from Aimee Carter's website):
PAWN…CAPTIVE…QUEEN?

Kitty Doe is a Blackcoat rebel and a former captive with a deadly connection to the most powerful and dangerous man in the country, Prime Minister Daxton Hart. Forced to masquerade as Daxton's niece, Lila Hart, Kitty has helped the Blackcoats take back the prison known as Elsewhere. But Daxton has no intention of ceding his position of privilege—or letting Kitty expose his own masquerade. Not in these United States, where each person's rank means the difference between luxury and poverty, freedom and fear…and ultimately, between life and death.

To defeat the corrupt government, Kitty must expose Daxton's secret. Securing evidence will put others in jeopardy, including the boy she's loved forever and an ally she barely trusts. For months, Kitty's survival has hinged on playing a part. Now she must discover who she truly wants to be, and whether the new world she and the rebels are striving to create has a place in it for her after all.

Kitty has been Masked to look like Lila Hart, the prime minister's niece.  She has been the spokesperson for both the rebellion and the current government.  But once Lila comes back into the limelight, Daxton no longer has a use for Kitty.  So he discards her in Elsewhere, a place he hopes will end her.  But instead, Kitty finds the full power of the rebellion willing to listen.

When Kitty tries to oust Daxton in front of his people, it's hard for people to believe her especially if they live a privileged life.  What she needs is evidence.  But is she willing to risk her life and the lives of her loved ones to get this?  As the rebellion leads a life of its own, key characters will come into play and choose to risk it all.  But in the end, will Kitty get what she wants?  A life without a corrupt ranking system?

This book is fast-paced and kept me hooked.  The story is easy to follow, and I don't remember a lot from the earlier books other than I enjoyed them.  However, there is something that happens in the story that bothered me.  I became so fixated on it that I kind of ignored the rest of the story.  And...  I don't know if that just made me get through the story faster or if I quit paying as much attention.  But regardless, I was happy with the ending.

I think this is a good dystopian series that people will like.  I was definitely glad I got my hands on it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin


Genre:  Adult Fantasy
A Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 1

Description (taken from George RR Martin's website):
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

This review isn't going to be of much help for those who have never heard of this book nor the tv series.  If you've seen the tv series and gotten yourself hooked, then you pretty much know if you're going to like this story or not.  I'm one of the few who had been holding off on reading the books for as long as possible.  Because they're super long, and I feel like I wouldn't have been able to keep the characters straight.  But I've finally read the first book.  And my thoughts?

If you've seen the tv series, don't hold your breath for much to change with reading the book.  The first season follows the book really well that I often found myself bored with the book and frustrated with how long it was.  I mean, sure, I found the hidden plot lines that foretell what's to come and I enjoyed the foreshadowing.  But I honestly wonder if I would have caught on if I hadn't already known the story and what happens.  There were definitely some moments where it was nice to make the connections in the book.  But I don't really think I gained anything extra from this book.

While I am absolutely addicted to the tv series, I am not quite sold on the books.  And it's probably because I started the books after the tv series.  However my husband is forcing me to read the next one, and he's told me things begin to deviate a lot more with that one.  So maybe I'll be surprised?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent


Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Menagerie Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Rachel Vincent's website):
When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she discovers a fierce creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Her handler is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions” are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Delilah lives in a world with paranormal beings.  And humans are still recovering from a brutal point in history between themselves and the paranormal.  In this world, the paranormal is put on display as creatures in a traveling carnival.  And as much as Delilah disagrees with the circumstances, she is still very captivated by it all.  That is until she finds out she's not human and the menagerie takes her as an exhibit.

When Delilah is forced into the traveling circus, she finds how lowly people think of the paranormal.  And how inhumane they are treated.  But as she and her handler try to determine just what she is, they find it's a race of wits and control to get what they want.  The menagerie is meant to scare the humans with the paranormal.  But what you find behind closed doors makes your heart break.

This book is shrouded in mystery.  The cover doesn't give any hints about the book, and the description is as vague as can be.  I will admit, I picked up this book because of the author and the title, and I was definitely blown away with what I got.  It was so different than what I expected.  The best description I can give is it's as if you told your favorite paranormal author to write The Night Circus.  Even though these two books are completely different and only have a common theme revolving around a traveling circus.  I have no other description for it.  But I loved it.

This is a book that didn't deliver on my expectations because my expectations were so off base.  I feel like paranormal fans just need to dive into this one and read it.  Hopefully, you won't regret it.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Soundless by Richelle Mead


Genre:  YA Fantasy

Description (taken from Richelle Mead's website):
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever....

Fei is a prestigious painter in her village on top of the mountain.  She paints the daily events for the rest of the village to see and as a record for future generations.  The village has no way of growing its own food, but a zipline from the village in the valley provides food as long as they give it precious metals from the mine in the mountain.  But when food supplies start to dwindle, Fei questions whether the current system will sustain her village.

Li Wei is a miner who has known Fei since they were young.  With his father's increasing blindness, the mine has become unsafe.  And he's convinced he can change the current system if he can only get down the cliffside into the valley's village.  And when Fei hears of his plans, she wants to accompany him and help.  Together, the two of them will change their village's way of life.

This book contains fantasy, romance, mysticism, bravery, and it's all based off of folklore.  And while the intriguing storyline had me excited to read this one, I found it kind of boring.  I tried really hard to like this book because the two main characters are just so easy to fall in love with.  And as the story progresses, we see injustices as well as fantasy.  But I just got really bored with it.

This definitely isn't one of my favorites of Richelle Mead's.  And I'm definitely happy it's not a series.  But I think you should read other reviews before deciding against this one.

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