30 April 2013

Blast from the Past Reviews - Renegade by Erica Stevens


Blast from the Past...! Renegade (The Captive Book 2)

What they say: Though she is free of the palace, rescued from her position as a blood slave, Aria is haunted by the memories of her time spent within the fortress, tormented by memories of Braith, the prince that betrayed her and shattered her heart.

Every day is a struggle to get through, and the only solace she is able to find is with Max, her best friend, and fellow captive. Though Max does not understand her bond to Braith, he knows some of what she endured, and helps to ease some of the tattered pieces of her soul. Aria slowly begins to salvage the broken parts of her wounded spirit by throwing herself into the wonder of the woods she had so greatly missed, and the secure and reassuring love that Max freely gives her. Her world is thrown into a tailspin again though when a marauding group of vampires destroy the caves she had found temporary shelter in.

Scattered about the forest, seeking to stay hidden and find her family, Aria is stunned when Braith, the monster that savaged her heart, reappears. Stunned by his sudden arrival in her world, Arianna is uncertain if he has come to recapture her, or to kill her for daring to escape.


What I say: After the dramatic ending to Captured, I was anxious to see if Aria and Braith could discuss their misunderstandings or if they'd be kept apart by their interfering families. Aria thinks that Braith was using her and was planning to marry a vampire, where as Braith believes Aria's words of love were lies to help her escape.

I have to say Braith's reaction really annoyed me the first time I read the story. His extreme rage at Aria fuels his descends straight into bloodslaves/whores, sex and violence. However when I reread the book I had more empathy towards him, because he genuinely felt betrayed by the only person he's ever loved. Although extreme, for a vampire I supposed his reaction is almost justified. Aria on the other hand suffers in silence out in the woods, I guess it's really a matter of coping techniques. I really like Max, yet I really didn't want Aria to end up with him and wonder how trustworthy he is now. 

The scene where the former lovers came face-to-face was really interesting and very different to my expectations. Their love story is intense and slightly twisted. It has the whole 'burn the world down' vibe going on. At times they reminded me of that couple who really shouldn't be together because everybody around them also suffers. They are each others cryptonite!

There are some really sweet moments in Renegade and Braith's protectiveness is endearing (for the most part, unless he goes too far). I liked the introduction of the other vampire siblings and meeting more of the rebels.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot more the second time. I think it's simply because on my first read I was really stressed about Aria and Braith's separation and wanted to know how it panned out.

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • He was simply staring at her and Braith as if they had just sprouted two heads, jumped on a table, and started dancing a jig while singing at the top of their lungs.
  • He would always own a piece of her heart. But it could only be a small piece as he had succeeded in shattering the rest of it.
  • She looked like a warrior, she was a warrior, he realised. She had always been a fighter, but now she was so much more than that.
  • He had to get her out of the damn tree. And once he did, he was going to throttle her.

29 April 2013

Blast from the past reviews - Captured by Erica Stevens


Blast from the Past...! Captured (The Captive Book 1)

What they say: Blood Slave. Captured, taken from her beloved family and woods, Aria’s biggest fear is not the imminent death facing her, but that she will be chosen as a blood slave for a member of the ruling vampire race. No matter what becomes of her though, Aria knows that she must keep her identity hidden from the monsters imprisoning her. She has already been branded a member of the rebellion, but the vampires do not know the true depth of her involvement with it, and they must never know.

Though hoping for death, Aria’s world is turned upside down when a vampire named Braith steps forward to claim her. He delays her execution, but Aria knows it’s only a matter of time before he drains her, and destroys her. Especially once she learns his true identity as a prince within the royal family; the same royal family that started the war that ultimately brought down humankind, reducing them to nothing more than servants and slaves.

Aria is determined to hate the prince, determined not to give into him in anyway, but his strange kindness, and surprising gentleness astonish her. Torn between her loyalties to the rebellion, and her growing love for her greatest enemy, Aria struggles to decide between everything she has ever known, and a love she never dreamed of finding.


What I say: I read Captured back when it was first released, but decided it was worth another read and so it makes it onto my blast from the past post!

The book is set in a dystopian world where vampires rule and humans are basically bagged and tagged for food. A small group of human rebels fight against the viscous vampires, refusing to be bloodbags. The rebels live on the run, in hidden communities. Daughter of the rebel reader, Aria is captured and packed off to auction where she either faces instant death or a slow death as a blood slave. Her brother's friend Max is also captured trying to help her (you can imagine why).

Vampire Crown Prince Braith claims her as his blood slave, yet is surprisingly kind to her. Braith is blind, yet can somehow see when he's with Aria. As a vampire Prince, Braith is startling different to Aria. He's experienced in both sex and blood drinking (although she's his first ever blood slave). Aria is a seventeen year old virgin who has been through a lot, yet remains adorably naive.

I really enjoyed the love story between these two enemies. It was a slow burn, which I appreciated as I'm rather fed up of instant love at the moment. Aria takes a long time to soften to Braith as he's one of the evil monsters she's been rebelling against. She lives in fear of the vampire's discovering her identity. Braith is equal parts annoyed and intrigued by Aria's attitude. Humans are taught to know their place and be submissive to vampire's, especially to the vampire royalty, but Aria's stubborn and very different to what Braith is used to.

Along with Aria, the reader starts to trust Braith. He's not as much of a monster as she expected (or is he?) and he's definitely nicer than the evil King and his brother.
 
Oh boy, the ending! I won't say any more but make sure you're prepared for the ending to shout and cry!

3.5 Stars in my Sky!

May fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • She was not cruel and manipulative like him, she would never understand why he had done this to her.He didn't know what it was about this girl, but she fascinated him, intrigued him, and captivated him in a way that no one ever had before.
  • Was she actually beginning to have feelings for a monster? Feelings for one of the creatures that she had hated, and fought against her entire life?"
  • They're both hotheaded and reckless," Jericho explained further when Braith still did not fully grasp what she was saying. "I personally blame it on the hair.

28 April 2013

Lover Revealed (The Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 4) J.R. Ward Review


I'm taking part in the Goodreads group SOS: Serious Overload of Series 'Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Read'. The challenge is to read or J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in prep for the 2013 release of Lover At Last.
Book 4...!

What they say: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now, an ally of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will face the challenge of his life and the evil of the ages.

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers. 


 But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.


What I say: I really love this series and the challenge is not really a challenge at all, I'd gladly read these books! Lover Revealed picks up where Lover Awakened finished, this time telling Butch and Marissa's story.

I really liked Butch before this book and in the past three instalments I felt sorry for the lonely and reluctant former cop. I have to say at times in Lover Revealed I found his constant moping over Marissa and his 'just a human' status slightly irritating. I wouldn't want to be the only mortal/human in a mansion of superhuman vampires, but I did fall slightly out of love with Butch in this book. I wanted him to truly be considered worthy and believe in himself as human before any loophole was found.

On the other hand I have always found Marissa kind of annoying and have struggled to like her. Yes she's naive, pure, beautiful and sweet, but I can't help thinking that her obsession with Butch is purely focused around the simple fact that he's the only guy who shows interest in her (until Revh's slight interest). I also wanted Marissa to develop like the other female characters in the series have done. Beth becomes Wrath's equal, Mary overcomes adversity to save Rhage and herself, Bella fights society and truly helps Z. Marissa hasn't really done anything except being unwanted by Wrath and controlled by her brother. I was whooping for joy once Marissa told Havers to shove it and stood up to the vamp Glymera. She eventually found her strength and became far more like able.

The secondary characters were as good as ever. There are numerous hints to Vishous's past, his self loathing and his kinky BDSM side. V and Butch's relationship changes as Butch himself changes and battles for Marissa. Without giving too much away, V seems to develop more than friendly feelings for Butch. And there's once scene where they both sort of acknowledge, yet decide to ignore it. I think V is confused by their close friendship and Butch's ability to show his love for Marissa. Part of me would rather J.R. Ward had gone down that less predictable route as I would have totally shipped Butch & V, but I guess she couldn't suddenly turn characters gay just because people like me would have liked it! Plus that's not what their connection is about, they are true friends and brothers!

We're again reminded of how territorial bonded males are and see Wrath's bad ass killer King potential when Beth has to feed another male. Wrath's reaction was brill, it reminded me that these are not sparkly, vegetarian vamps, but ruthless warriors.

Even with my personal problems relating to Butch and Marissa together in this book, I still really enjoyed Lover Revealed and the twist (although somewhat predictable) was awesome!

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "Sorry, you need to go taste the rainbow somewhere else."
  • Neither of them looked at the other as V broke away... and the parting was complete and irrevocable. A path that would not be walked. Ever.
  • But when your best friend was doing the tombstone two-step with the Reaper, you kind of didn't give a shit about a lot of things.
  • Butch closed his eyes, thinking Mr. Worthy was really rising to the occasion now.
  • Man, he going to have to readjust his definition of hard-core after that eyeful.

27 April 2013

J.R. Ward's Lover Awakened (The Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 3) - Review

I'm taking part in the Goodreads group SOS: Serious Overload of Series 'Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Read'. The challenge is to read or J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in prep for the 2013 release of Lover At Last.

So on to Book 3...!


What they say: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.


Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her


What I say: Lover Awakened is my favourite book in the series so far. I think it's quite clear how obsessed I'm becoming with The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Now, before this book, I'd always been intrigued by the dark and scary Zsadist 'Z', but had never been sure why. Well Lover Awakened explains a lot!

In book 2 (Lover Eternal), Z meets the beautiful aristocratic vampire Bella, who was kidnapped by the lesser 'O'. This book focuses on Zsadist's mission to find Bella (as expected he goes completely 'dark-side' mad) and their ensuing relationship.

Former blood (and sex) slave, Z is tattooed, damaged and violent. For 100 years his twin, Phury has been trying to help him cope with his long life in captivity. It seems that nobody can save Z from his self destructive and viscous tendencies. Until Bella!

The sex scenes were different from in the other books quite simply because Z has a lot of issues. Throw in a 'needing' = crazy times!

Bella puts up with a lot of crap from Z, including his harsh attitude, intimacy issues, extreme violence (although never to her) and his constant belief that she should be with his twin Phury.

The scene with Zsadist's eyes was so sweet. It was one of those moments when a character really changes and develops. His life has been horrific and Lover Awakened was a traumatic and fab read.

As is the status quo with this series, there are numerous POV's and flashbacks. Reading both Z and Phury's memories was really poignant and sad. I feel for both of them. And poor Torh, where is he?

5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • Well, not throwing up after he'd found out she was aroused by him would have been a good fricking start.
  • "I'm not hurt. I'm pissed off and sexually frustrated."
  • "You are the male I might have been. You are the potential I had and lost. You are the honor and the strength and the kindness she needs."
  • "God, Z, I keep thinking this tragedy of ours is going to be over. But it just keeps going, doesn't it?"
  • That heroic motherfucker... God. He was going to kill his twin for this, he really was.

26 April 2013

J.R. Ward Lover Eternal (The Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 2) Review

As I said with my Dark Lover review, I'm taking part in the Goodreads group SOS: Serious Overload of Series 'Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Read'. It's basically a challenge to read or re-read J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in prep for the 2013 release of Lover At Last.

So next up is Book 2 - Lover Eternal!

What they say: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.


Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...


What I say: I cannot say enough how much I love this series, it's beyond addictive and gets better and better with each book!

Lover Eternal shifts focus from Wrath and Beth, to Rhage 'Hollywood' and Mary Luce. Rhage is struggling with his inner beast which frequently comes out to play (the Scribe Virgin really knows how to hold a grudge). Rhage uses sex and violence to banish the beast and control his urges.

New character Mary is human, and similarly to Beth in book 1, she is unaware of the hidden supernatural world. Mary has had a hard life and has just discovered that her Leukaemia has returned with a vengeance.

After meeting the small, damaged and mute John Matthew, Mary and Bella become involved with the Brothers as they battle the lessers again. There's a lot of mystery surrounding John as he has the mark of a warrior and is apparently an unchanged vampire. I have my own theories over John's real identity, but they're really spoilery so I won't put them here...!

The love story between man-whore hottie Rhage and fragile Mary is really sweet. You learn a lot about Rhage in this book and I felt really sorry for him at times. The good thing about their relationship is that they both need each other and struggle to trust and rely on others. They both have to learn this together.

As with the previous book we hear from many POVs. Rhage and Mary may be the primary focus but we also get a lot of back story into the twins lives, particularly Zsadist as he meets Mary's vampire friend Bella (don't worry the only thing she shares with Twilight is her name). Phury is really sweet, you can feel his desperation to save his twin and the guilt he still carries.

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, setting up the next book ready for Zsadist's story. I loved that Mary was a fighter, she never gave up and I really respected her.

Book 3 here I come...!

5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "I'm not cock-blocking for kicks and giggles. The mother ship called."
  • "I'm really not interested in enduring an hour of you taking one for the team."
  • "I'm the evil one, in case you haven't figured it out." "I wanted your name, not your calling." "Being a bastard's more of a compulsion, really."
  • My twin's not broken. He's ruined. Do you understand the difference? With broken, maybe you can fix things. Ruined? All you can do is wait to bury him."
  • He's king of cute, in a Godzilla sort of way.

25 April 2013

Hello Divergent Movie Photo!


Desperate for Divergent...!

 

I've been desperately waiting for Summit to release some photos from the Divergent movie. Well the studio behind the movie are rewarding fans with a sneak peak!! Awesome, right?!


EW has the full scoop, but Check out the Divergent pic of Tris below! It's from the infamous knife throwing scene (I would have liked a shot of Four too but hey it's cool to see Shailene getting her Tris on)!





Veronica Roth posted an awesome blog post after her set visit, you can read it here in all its glory!

Here's a few epic things that Veronica said:

"I also got to see the Pit, a train car, and an Abnegation house, about which I can only say: !!! One of the best parts of the day was that I got to meet all the craftsmen who are working on the sets after seeing their impeccable work. I was so impressed with how much effort and thought went into everything I saw, so it was really fantastic to meet the people who were making it happen."

Oh man! How awesome does that all sound? But wait there's more, she went on to describe the cast members she met:

"I know you're probably mostly interested in the cast, because that's who you'll actually see on the screen. Let me first say that everyone was so nice, despite the fact that, for the first half of the day, I was too stunned to form coherent sentences. The people I talked to: Shailene Woodley (Tris), Theo James (Four), Jai Courtney (Eric), Christian Madsen (Al), Miles Teller (Peter), Ben Lamb (Edward), Ben Lloyd Hughes (Will), Zoe Kravitz (Christina), Amy Newbold (Molly). Basically, the whole Dauntless gang."


Also check out the leaked set photos which appeared earlier this week over at Hypable!

24 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Twisted Perfection



Waiting on Wednesday is my weekly post where I obsess over the shiny new books that I cannot wait to read!

This week, I'm waiting on... Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines!


What they say: Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected…

Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help.


What he didn’t know was she was as fragile as they came. The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine…



Why I'm waiting on Twisted Perfection:

  1. The Perfection series is a spin-off from the Too Far series (hmm Rush) so it's bound to rock!
  2. It features Woods!
  3. He has a sexy Southern accent (which to a Brit like me is HOT)!
  4. I love all of Abbi's books so far so have high hopes for this!
  5. Er, have you seen the cover?

23 April 2013

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord Review by Sarah J Maas

 
What they say: A Throne of Glass novella. On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

What I say: After thoroughly enjoying Throne of Glass, I was giddy with excitement at the idea of reading more about Celaena's earlier life. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is set around 2 years before the events in Throne of Glass. Our bad ass Cinderella, Celaena is back. 

Arobynn sends Celeana and fellow assassin (the extremely handsome) Sam, on a mission to recover payment from the pirate Lord/leader Rolfe. The payment is in slaves, which doesn't go down well with Celeana! For those who have read Throne of Glass you'll know what happens, but it was good to see the events play out and gain a greater insight into Celaena's life as an assassin. Maas also hints at the impending betrayal and provides numerous hints about the forthcoming unrest.

I really liked the spark between Celeana and Sam. I have to say that in the main novel I'm still torn between Prince Dorian and Chaol, but I definitely approve of Sam here. He seems to suit her well and manages to lessen her often impulsive behaviour.

As a novella, the story is short but most definitely worth a read, plus it's currently only 65p on Amazon UK!

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • She'd forgotten how she must appear - faceless, cloak waving behind her, striding past them like Death itself.
  • After all, she was an assassin, not a murderer.
  • "We have a choice," she breathed. "Maybe not when we were children - when it was Arobynn or death - but now... Now you and I have a choice in the things we do."
  • No, Sam couldn't be so stupid that he'd get himself killed. She'd... She'd... Well, she'd kill him if he was dead.

21 April 2013

J.R. Ward's - Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 1) Review


A golden goldie...!

I'm taking part in the Goodreads group SOS: Serious Overload of Series 'Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Read'. It's basically a challenge to read or re-read J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in prep for the 2013 release of Lover At Last.

What they say: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.


What I say: I LOVED this book and I'm already reading book 2. I cannot believe that I'm years behind in this series! I guess the good thing is that now I have the entire series to read as soon as I like.

Told from the POV of many (if not most) of the characters, Dark Lover introduces the world of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. It is very different from so many of the other vampire books out there. Importantly the vampires drink mainly from other vampires to survive.

The brothers, lead by the reluctant vampire king Wrath (yeah he totally suits his name) are a bad ass group of vampire warriors who defend their world from the evil 'lessers'. Lessers are magically altered former humans, who are soulless and charged with killing vampires, in particular the brotherhood.

I loved the book because we got to hear from the perspective of many of the brothers, not just Wrath and Beth. On to Wrath. He's 6 feet 6 inches of human hating, vampire hotness. Wrath has a vulnerable side, which the half human girl (or woman), Beth uncovers.

Journalist Beth is unaware that anything supernatural exists, let alone that she's a vampire-human hybrid. She's spent 25 years as a human before going through the change (I've gotta admit that I kept thinking of menapose here). I really liked Beth's character because she's an awesome mix of spunky and determined, yet vulnerable and caring. The scene with Rhage was very sweet and I like her relationship with the brothers (even the scarily damaged Zsadist).

Beth and Wrath are smoking hot together, and oh boy there's definitely sex in this book! J.R.Ward incorporates the sexiness into scenes in a way which really works, and never feels forced. I won't say too much more because I noticed on Goodreads that a lot of people are just discovering this series like me. I will say that I loved Rhage (one of the brothers) and Butch (a human cop friend of Beth's).

This is a great fantasy book that I think even those who don't usually enjoy fantasy will enjoy!

5 Stars in my Sky! (Yep I loved it that much)!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex…Yippee.
  • The college turks were still fresh out of school and aching to compete in the Stupid Olympics.
  • As far as he was concerned, there were only two good positions for a human. A female on her back. And a male facedown and not breathing.
  • She couldn't quite recall how he'd come into her apartment. Or what he'd said to her. But everything they'd done horizontally was vivid as hell.
  • Something had set him off. Big-time. Perfect date material, she thought. A vampire with the social equivalent of road rage.
This review is also online at Goodreads!

20 April 2013

A bucket load of relief!


On a completely non-book related note...

It's been an absolutely horrific week worldwide. 

Starting with the Boston marathon bombings on Monday, I personally find it difficult to comprehend how anybody could carry out such vile acts. It somehow seems worse that the bombers were so young and had been living in the US for so long! 

The images of the wounded will stay with me for a long time, as will the pics of those awesome people who put their own lives at risk to help the injured.

The ensuing manhunt which culminated with more deaths and several gun battles across Boston just doesn't seem real. I've been glued to BBC news as they showed footage of the gunfights and announced the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. 

I watched as brave police officers and FBI agents did everything to catch the surviving brother. With the arrest last night of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the whole nightmare seems so unreal. My heart goes out to everybody in Boston!

This week also saw an awful coach crash in the Alps, the terrible fire and explosion in Texas and then over night, the earthquake in China which has reportedly killed hundreds!

Man, lets hope we don't see another week like this anytime soon!


19 April 2013

The Secret of Ella and Micha Review


What they say: Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.


What I say: I liked this story. On on hand it's your typical boy next door story/girl falls for her best friend, but as with all Jessica Sorensen stories there's always more than that.

After a huge loss Ella has run away from home, going from a reckless wild child to a studious stay in type of girl. When Ella ran she left her neighbour and lifelong bestfriend and didn't tell anybody where she was going. Music loving, bad boy Micha has been looking for her for an entire Uni year and is shocked when she suddenly appears back home completely different and distant.

I enjoyed the journey that they both went on in the book, although at times I wanted to slap Ella. I mean seriously you don't draw and then attach a pic of a guy in your dorm room all year if he's only a friend. Do You? Wake up and smell the hottie, love!

Some of the story was really sad and I understood the downward spiral that both of them were on, I just really wanted them both to get their act's together!

3.5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • Everyone's my type. Besides, she could be a stripper and that's definitely my type.
  • Why do you have that look on your face? Like you're undressing someone with your eyes?
  • She's the only girl that's ever been able to get me this upset. The only girl that's never wanted me.

18 April 2013

Awakening: The Watchers Trilogy book 1 Review


What they say: Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream. On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she's just met in the Grizzly Pub... The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.

Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana's world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she's been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all. It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate - one that is lost between two worlds.


What I say: It took me a long time to finish this book and I have to admit that it very nearly became one of a small number that have ended up on my did not finish pile. I  had to force myself to finish the last 20% (I did like the last few pages). Karice Bolton spent her time writing Awakening so I felt I could at least take the time to finish it.

I'm not saying that the book was terrible, because it honestly wasn't. Let me explain. It's just that I found myself getting more and more irritated with Ana.  As a lead character she's, for want of a better word: annoying! Paranoid and wimpy, she's very dependent on Athen and I found her really needy. I suppose a lot of this is down to how Athen treats her, but I still found it irritating.

I actually really enjoyed the first section of the book (hence the 2 stars) as the concept was interesting. It did verge on being very similar to Hush, Hush or Fallen and other angel books at times.

I liked all of the stuff about Whistler, but wasn't sure of Athen and his family. This is usually the point where I'd been swooning over the hot mate lead, but something about Athen just didn't seem right. He had too many secrets and often came across as less soul mate and more preachy arse! I did think Athen's surprises for Ana were sweet, but Jace Wayland he wasn't. I am particularly partial to a brooding mystery guy, but Athen didn't really fit that bill either.

On the sex, or lack of! Athen's avoidance of 'doing the deed' felt very forced. It was all a bit too Edward Cullen ish for my liking. Ana had my sympathy here. I'm not saying I always expect smut or sex scenes, these can easily be done off the page to keep the content YA. And are often not needed, but they talked/thought about sex so much it was annoying.

I think some of the reason I struggled with the book was all the insta-love/soul mate stuff has been done a lot recently. To the extent that a story needs to be spectacular and really original for it to work.

The book ends on a cliff-hanger, which pretty much reverses the situation at the beginning of the book. My hope for book 2 is that we don't get the same story repeated with Ana and Athen's roles reversed. I also hope this forces Ana to be less needy as it'll vastly improve the narrative. The series has potential, but feel that it hasn't been reached yet. I like my Nephilim more bad ass like Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters!

2 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • I could drive myself insane trying to figure things out that were impossible.
  • Even Scrooge would have had to come around to the Christmas spirit with Arie around.
  • I was pretty sure being sexy didn't include being a full-time klutz.

17 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Obsession by Jennifer L Armentrout



Waiting on Wednesday is my weekly post where I obsess over the shiny new books that I cannot wait to read!

This week, I'm waiting on... Obsession by Jennifer L Armentrout!

What they say: USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout's adult novel OBSESSION. It takes place in the world of the YA series THE LUX, in which a young woman discovers an alien race is behind her best friend's death, making her their next target, and must rely on a sexy, domineering stranger to protect her, who turns out to be the biggest threat of them all - an Arum.

What Jennifer says (on her blog): Obsession is about an Arum. Obsession does take place in the same world that Katy and Daemon inhabit, Obsession is more mature, definitely targeted toward the older crowd. It’s an adult romance, so you know what that means.

Obsession will change what you think you know about the Luxens and Arums. There will be some crossover with certain characters from the Lux Series. (hint hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Obsession takes place in-between Opal and the 4th Lux novel, which is called Origin. Hunter and Serena are the lead characters in Obsession. You do NOT need to read Obsession if you read Lux and you do NOT need to read the Lux to understand Obsession.

Why I'm waiting on Obsession: The Lux series is one of favs and I think my obsession (see what I did there?) with Jennifer is pretty clear by now. I've been mourning the series since Opal was released (there's only so long a gal can cope without some Daemon Black in her life) and I love the idea of an adult novel set in the Luxen/Arum world with different characters. Will Hunter surpass Daemon in the swoon Olympics?

Due for release in May, I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on this one!!

15 April 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Teaser Trailer

 

WOW! This. Looks. Awesome!!
 
I really love The Hunger Games series and I thought that the first film was definitely a movie adaptation the producers got right! Jennifer Lawrence is all kinds of fab as Katniss, and Josh is a sweetie (in an age inappropriate way)!
 
So check out the freshly released teaser trailer for Catching Fire here!
 
The teaser focuses on Katniss as a spark who can light the fire of rebellion. It shows President Snow up to his usual sinister tricks and the discord spreading throughout the Districts.
 
So far the action has stayed away from the Quarter Quell (no spoilers here) and focuses largely on the suffering of Panem's citizens. The teaser suggests the beginnings of a revolution and the rise of the Mockingjay!
 
 


The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen Review


I know it has been out for a while but...

What they say: There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.

Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.

For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.

Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realises Callie might need to be saved.


What I say: I always look forward to reading anything new by Jessica Sorensen because
you can pretty much guarantee to get an angst ridden, emotional read that is both cutting and beautiful. With The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden this is exactly what you get!

Make no mistake, Jessica covers some extremely difficult topics in The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. Both her leads have suffered and had pretty upsetting childhoods. This both brings them together and draws them apart.

Just when you think Kayden has made a big move forward, you discover another shocking truth about him, and don't get me started on that ending!? I cried. A LOT!!

I was disgusted when I realised what had happened to Callie and totally understand Kayden's response. I think Jessica Sorensen handles these traumatic issues with great sensitivity and both Callie and Kayden were really believable characters.

I'm both excited and extremely nervous for the next instalment.

4.5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • No, I just never wanted to throw them away. Even if they were broken, I still loved them.
  • I can do pain. That's the easy part of life. It's everything else, happiness, laughter, love, that's fucking complicated.
  • "Don't stop," I whsiper, my heart restless, but sure. "I don't ever want you to stop."

13 April 2013

Courtney Cole's If You Stay - Review


What they say: 24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match. But he’s got his reasons. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect fa├žade. So he slipped far, far from it. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right? Wrong. And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila. Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness. But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it. He knows that. And he’s working on it. But is that enough to make her stay?


What I say: Courtney Cole's contemporary romance If You Stay is the first in her Beautifully Broken series. It fits nicely into the New Adult genre because it includes lots of drug taking, drinking and sex. Told in the dual POV of the two leads (Mila Hill and Pax Tate), the story begins with a bang (or a blow)!

23-year-old Mila is struggling to cope with her parents death a few years previously and uses art to channel her emotions. Similarly Pax has never gotten over his mothers death (even repressing the memory of how she died). But instead of art, Pax uses drugs, Jack Daniels and sex to dull his pain.

I liked how Courtney Cole wasn't afraid to shock. The story begins with Pax's POV and shock-horror a blow job! Pax is a ticking bomb of self destruction, which is great for the reader, bad for him. You really get the impression that Pax genuinely doesn't care about anything until he meets Mila.

Mila is weary of Pax because she knows that he has the power to truly break her. She struggles with trust (especially after seeing him in several compromising situations). I'll say this for Pax he really does focus on Mila and commits to not being an asshole with her.

I'm not sure I completely bought into how Pax would be so willing to change for Mila, he's been the way he is for so long that would one girl suddenly be able to change him? It seems that he is an asshole with everybody but her. I guess though that Courtney Cole's point is that everybody has one person they would do anything for. 

Mila on the other hand although cautious does manage to move past Pax's issues and even forgive his mistakes really quickly. I'm not sure I'd have been able to move past the Jill at the lake house incident so quickly. Mila wasn't a push over though, which I appreciated. And I liked how they developed together.

Courtney Cole writes interesting sex scenes and I loved the painting chapter!

3 and 3/4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "Hey there, little red riding hood," Pax drawls, setting his bag on the counter in front of me. "I owe you a sweater."
  • "Are you trying to find some sort of reason that I've become such an asshole? The reason is... I'm an asshole."
  • "You've seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best." "When are you at your best?" "In bed."

12 April 2013

Fancy Blog Design!

 
I've finally got my hands on the shiny new software that I've been waiting for. This means that I can create proper templates, logos and graphics for the Blog!
 
You may have noticed that Zili in the Sky looks kind of shabby at the moment, well if I'm honest that's because the current logos, layout etc was only ever temporary! I wanted to start posting my reviews, thoughts and general book obsessions so I decided to start posting, then work the rest out later!
 
Change is on the way...!
 
 

Taken Over (Ravening Book 2) by Erica Stevens Review


Short review of an awesome book I read a while ago!

What they say: Devastated by the loss of Cade, struggling to survive in a world she no longer knows, Bethany is determined to exact revenge upon the aliens that have shredded her life, and the lives of her family and friends. Presented with an opportunity to uncover the secret that Dr. Bishop feels her blood holds, and why she is different than the rest of the survivors, Bethany strikes out on a mission. With a small group of fellow survivors, Bethany is determined to gather the supplies necessary to discover what help she may be for humanity. Though she is haunted by memories of those she’s lost, Bethany refuses to give up hope that one day they might be able to regain some semblance of their former lives. Though chances of that are looking smaller and smaller as they are confronted with new, and even deadlier creatures looking for only one thing; the destruction of the human race.

What I say: I Love this series! Erica Stevens provides a unique take on the alien/vampire/fantasy/sci-fi genres because the Ravening books are a kind of hybrid of them all. The blood drinking, vampire-like, aliens are vicious and cruel (well most of them) and the humans are well... food!

I have to say that I guessed the twist pretty early on (I had my suspicions in the first book)! But it just made me appreciate the events and characters even more.

Bethy is that rare creature in YA fiction - a likeable female lead! She's dark, yet driven and fights to survive. She could quite easily have gone back to Bret after what happened to Cade at the end of book 1, but she didn't. She used her heartbreak to motivate her (even if it was a massive struggle)! I also loved how Bethy isn't your average sunny heroine, she knows she should be nicer at times but she just isn't, sunny doesn't suit her! That's not to say she's horrible, just that she does what she needs to survive.

And well Cade is Cade! I was devastated after the shock ending to book 1 (I won't go into too many details as I don't want to give much away). The characters all grew in this book, they have developed: they make mistakes, screw up and some die. I even started to nearly like Jenna by the end (well I didn't hate her as much)!

This book is really sad in places and uber dark, I cannot wait for book 3, but sadly I think I'm in for a long wait as Erica has said she focusing on her other books at the moment!

4 Stars in my Sky!

Note: I previously posted part of this review on my old Goodreads account (I now have a new account with updated reviews you can view here)!

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