Monday, September 28, 2015

Deadfall by Anna Carey

Genre YA Detective
Blackbird Duology, Book 2

Note:  This is the second book in a series.  Anything below might slightly spoil plots from the first one.

Description (taken from Anna Carey's website):
A week ago, you woke up in Los Angeles with no memory of who you are. The only thing you knew: people are trying to kill you. You put your trust in Ben, but he betrayed you and broke your heart. Now you've escaped to New York City with a boy names Rafe, who says he remembers you from before. But the two of you are not safe. The same people who are after you are tailing Rafe as well. As the chase heats up, your memory starts to return, but your past cannot save you from the terrifying circumstances of your present, or from the fact that one wrong move could end this game forever.

This book picks up right where the first one left off.  Sunny has been betrayed by Ben, who she was once falling for. And now she's in a train station trying to figure out where she should go next when she meets the boy from her dreams.  And he knows her name.

Rafe knows so much from her past, but she's not so sure she can trust him.  And as they head to New York, they find other kids like them.  Kids with targets on their backs.  And when Ben mysteriously shows up again with new information, Sunny isn't so sure who she should be trusting.  But as time lines begin to thin and pressure rises, all of these kids will run the risk of losing the game.

This series is definitely unique with the fact that it's all written in second person.  It's as if you are living as the main character and going through the events in her shoes.  And while I think adding the love triangle was a little cheesy and obvious to figure out, I still enjoyed going through the story.  Yes, it's a little outlandish, and I don't really think teenagers could outsmart a much older and richer group of adults.  But what do I know?  I've never played a game where my life is literally on the line.

I think this series is definitely a love it or hate it series.  And since the books aren't really that long, I'm going to recommend you read both books before giving a final judgment on them.  They might catch your interest...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Giveaway: A Fistful of Fire by Rebecca Chastain

If you haven't heard of this series yet, check it out.  The second book is coming out soon (both books displayed below).

A Fistful of Fire 
     by Rebecca Chastain
Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer Series,
     Book 2
Expected publication date:
     October 10, 2015

Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, defending her region against imps, vervet, hounds, and one lascivious demon. If her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.

Sizzling with adventure and sparking with magic, A Fistful of Fire is fused with Madison Fox’s trademark blend of humor and ass-kicking action.

A Fistful of Evil 
     by Rebecca Chastain
Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer Series,
     Book 1

Description (taken from promo email):
Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.

About the Author
Rebecca Chastain is the International Amazon Fantasy Bestselling author of A FISTFUL OF EVIL and MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats.


Mindwalker by AJ Steiger

Genre:  YA Dystopian
Mindwalker Series, Book 1

Description (taken from AJ Steiger's website):
At seventeen, Lain Fisher has already aced the Institute's elite training program for Mindwalkers, therapists who use a direct neural link to erase a patient's traumatic memories. A prodigy and the daughter of a renowned scientist-whose unexplained death left her alone in the world-Lain is driven by the need to save others.

When Steven, a troubled classmate, asks her to wipe a horrific childhood experience from his mind, Lain's superiors warn her to stay away. Steven's scars are too deep, they say; the risk too great. Yet the more time Lain spends with him, the more she begins to question everything about her society. As she defies the warnings and explores Steven's memories, it becomes clear that he's connected to something much bigger . . . something the Institute doesn't want the world to discover.

Lain never expected to be a rule breaker. She certainly didn't plan on falling in love with a boy she's been forbidden to help. But then, she never expected to stumble into a conspiracy that could ignite a revolution.

Lain is training to become a Mindwalker, one of society's elite doctors who help people forget traumatic events.  This helps keep the peace within society as well as gets rid of the mental disorders from the past.  The world is peaceful and no one is struggling, at least that's what the government wants you to believe.  And for those labelled as number fours, or troublemakers that the government decides isn't worth saving, there's a safe and easy way to end your worthless life.  And as wary as Lain seems to be with this system, she trusts it to be equal and put the greater good before all else.  But when one boy asks for her help, Lain's views are turned upside down.

Steven wants to forget his traumatic past.  Labelled as a number four because he was once abducted and tormented as a kid, society wants to pretend he doesn't exist.  The only handout he gets is a pill that allows him to commit suicide peacefully.  However he decides to seek out Lain instead and see if she'll help him forget his past.  And as Lain works with him, she finds disturbing pieces from hist past that makes her question the very people who are supposed to be keeping the peace.

So this book has an interesting concept and is a pretty interesting read.  It flows from beginning to end, and it seems like the reader can get very invested with this story.  But it was predictable for me.  And I had a couple of hangups with this story.  For example, Lain is supposed to be a clone of her father.  The scientist in me revolts at this idea because you cannot get a girl from a guy using the same DNA and call it a clone.  The sex change destroys the whole clone idea.

Leaving my rant aside, I do think there are going to be quite a few people who enjoy this story.  It's got a very interesting concept that makes us morally question things we see within our own society.  Definitely one to look into.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

Genre:  YA Fantasy
Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 2

Note:  This is the second book in a series and can spoil pieces from the first book.  You've been warned.

Description (taken from Josephine Angelini's website):
Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, and heartbreaking thrill ride.

Lily has returned home to her own universe after just surviving a brutal battle against her otherworld self: Lillian.  She brought Rowan home and is finally ready to settle into a life on Earth without magic and the Woven.  The only problem is it's hard to let another world that's dying go when you could possibly save it.  And not everything is as peaceful as it seems on Earth.  Will Lily get her happily ever after or will she decide to save Lillian's world?

While Lily is healing, Lillian enters her mind to show her Lillian's past.  This is literally living through memories that turned Lillian into the evil tyrant she is.  Only problem is Lily can see where she's coming from and begins to question what she once thought was black and white.  Meanwhile, Rowan is encouraging her to let her friends know about magic and witches.  She needs to gain mechanics to protect her in case Lillian comes after her.  Only Lily's not so sure that's all necessary yet.

It's hard to review this book without giving it all away.  Needless to say, stuff happens.  And it's been so long since I read the first one that I honestly forgot why I was supposed to hate Lillian.  Because this book made me sympathize with her.  If there was any hating to go around, I kind of hated the immaturity with the relationship between Lily and Rowan.  They do some pretty stupid and childish things to each other considering they're supposed to be soulmates or whatever.  Regardless, that's pretty much my only complaint to this book.  I was hooked from the beginning and in love with the multiple universe and magic concept.

Fans of Josephine Angelini are not going to be disappointed.  And if you're one who's interested in multiple universes, I'd suggest picking this one up.

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