Saturday, 31 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (430): The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) - Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)

Publication: 27th January 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 528
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.
My Thoughts.
Last year I was sent a copy of The Bone Season for review, I was hesitant about reading it because of the amount of hype it was receiving, but I picked it up and was utterly amazed at how brilliant that book was, so when I got a an ARC in the mail of the sequel  The Mime Order you can bet your ass I was beyond excited!

I was captivated and enthralled from the get go, this series goes from strength to strength, the anticipation, sense of tension and fear for the fate of these characters just adds another dimension to this world and story we find ourselves absorbed in.

It's hard to write a review for this book without accidentally posting spoilers so I'm going to do a very short overview, Paige has escaped the penal colony Sheol 1 and is set on taking down the Rephaite leader Nashira, she is also the most wanted person in all of London, with the fate of Warden unknown, the murder of the Underlord Hector and the fight that will see a new leader crowned there is never a dull moment.

This is an epic series that I can't get enough of, thank goodness it's going to be seven books long!

I ship Paige and Warden so bad, if these two aren't a couple by the time that this series concludes I'll be inconsolable, although I think that us readers will be tortured with this will they/won't they relationship for the next five books.

I really can't say enough about how amazing, fantastic and utterly wonderful this book and series is, everybody needs to check this series out themselves, you won't be sorry.

I eagerly anticipate book three, bring it on!

I give this 5/5 stars.

I'm Samantha Shannon: dreamer, migraineur and author ofThe Bone Season, the first in a projected series of seven fantasy novels. I was born in Hammersmith, London in 1991. From 2010 – 2013 I studied English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, specialising in Principles of Film Criticism and Emily Dickinson. I'm now working on the second book in the Bone Season series,The Mime Order (out 21 October 2014).

I'm a fan of old music, gramophones, silent film, good coffee, and real books. I have four siblings, four parents, and a male tortoise named Lily-Beth, some of whom live with me in west London. The Bone Season is my first published novel. 

My blog, A Book from the Beginning, tracks my journey to publication and my experiences as a debut novelist. Comments and discussion are always welcome. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway/(ARC) Book Review (429): Tear You Apart (Beau Rivage #2) - Sarah Cross

Week One:
1/19/2015- Two Chicks on BooksStory Post
1/20/2015- Crossroad ReviewsReview
1/21/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsStory Post
1/22/2015- Bumbles and Fairy-TalesReview
1/23/2015- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderStory Post                                                                    

Week Two:
1/26/2015- Jump Into BooksReview
1/27/2015- Du LivreStory Post
1/28/2015Head Stuck In A BookReview
1/29/2015A Glass of WineStory Post
1/30/2015A Backwards StoryReview

Tear You Apart (Beau Rivage)

Publication: 27th January 2015
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Age Apprropriate: Young Adult
There are so many reasons why I adore not only this book but the whole series, I really enjoy reading fairytale retellings no matter the fairytale I will pick it up and read it, also having this book compared to the tv shows Once Upon A Time and Grimm which I both love to watch made it almost a 100% guarantee that I was going to thoroughly enjoy this book, and enjoy it I did.

Having read and reviewed the first book Kill Me Softly and giving it five stars I was already familiar with the authors writing style and enjoyed it.

What I love most about these books are the twists that are made on these classic fairytale characters, the family situation with Viv's (Snow White) fated Prince Charming Jasper was genius, it definitely added another layer to the fairytale we have all grown to love.

The character of Viv added a whole new depth to the Snow White character, a Princess who doesn't want her pre-destined Prince Charming and instead wants to be with her on-off boyfriend Henley who happens to be The Huntsman in this tale and who is given the task of killing Viv by her evil Stepmother Regina.

With a sprinkling of fairytale characters throughout there is never a dull moment, you can't ever go wrong with a fairytale retelling written by Sarah Cross.

I hope there will be more companion novels added to this series, I'm eager for more.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Giveaway Details: 1 Winner.
10 winners will receive a signed finished copy of TEAR YOU APART. US/Canada Only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sarah Cross is the author of the fairy tale novels Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart (coming January 2015), the superhero novel Dull Boy, and the Wolverine comic “The Adamantium Diaries.” She loves fairy tales, lowbrow art, secret identities and silence.
Find her: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest Goodreads

Sunday, 25 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (428): The Darkest Part Of The Forest - Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest

Publication: 13th January 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It:  AmazonBarnes & Noble
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
My Thoughts.
It's hard for me to write a review for The Darkest Part Of The Forest, I didn't hate it nor did I love it, it was more of a meh read for me, I didn't feel connected to any of the characters at all which didn't help, the storyline only seemed to build to anything exciting at the very end and even then it wasn't an edge of your seat kind of action-packed ending.

The tone of the book pretty much stayed the same most of the way through, and while I wouldn't say that I was bored reading it I wasn't exactly eager to pick it up once I'd put it down either.

I loved the idea of the concept and I really enjoy stories that feature fairies, but it unfortunately wasn't enough to leave me as intrigued and absorbed as much as I wanted to be.

This was my first Holly Black book ever, and I've heard so many good things about her writing that I think my expectations were so very high that I hyped myself up a bit too much, however I will give her books another go, the way I look at it the next book I read of hers may just become one of my favorite books, you never know.

I still recommend picking this book up, everyone has different tastes and most people that have read this already seem to love it.

I give this 3/5 stars.

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. Her new books are The Darkest Part of the Forest, a return to faerie fiction, and The Iron Trial, the first book in a middle grade fantasy series, Magisterium, co-authored by Cassandra Clare. Holly currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (427): In His Keeping (Slow Burn #2) - Maya Banks

In His Keeping (Slow Burn #2)

I loved the first book Keep Me Safe, so I was extremely happy to get my hands on a copy of In His Keeping, I adored this book so much more than the first.

From the very first page I was captivated, starting with a prologue which sets the story up and gives us a feel for the strong relationship between Arial and her parents.

When Arial who is telekinetic is attacked one day, she uses her telekinesis and is unknowingly filmed using her powers and it's then that her life becomes fraught with danger, forcing her to seek out the aid of Beau Devereaux who owns a family run security firm.

In amongst trying to keep Arial alive, Beau and Arial develop feelings for one another, a big case of insta-love if I've ever seen one.

But besides that this was still a thoroughly intriguing and action-packed novel that was a great addition to this series.

I eagerly await book three and the next couple which I believe is Zach's story.

I highly recommend this series for those who like a touch of paranormal with their contemporary romances.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (426): A Single Kiss (Sweetest Kisses #1) - Grace Burrowes

A Single Kiss (Sweetest Kisses #1)

Publication: 6th January 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
A single kiss can change everything...

In the first novel of the Sweetest Kisses series, Hannah Stark has set her sights on corporate law to assure her a career of paperwork, predictability, and conservative suits. Contracts, finance, and the art of the deal sing to her, while the mess and misery of the courtroom do not. But her daughter needs to eat, so when Hannah is offered a temporary position in a small town firm's domestic relations department, she reluctantly accepts.

Trent Knightley is mightily drawn to his newest associate, though Hannah is as protective of her privacy as she is competent. When their friendship and attraction heat up, Hannah's secrets put her heart and Trent's hopes in double jeopardy.
My Thoughts.
I'm a big fan of Grace Burrowes historical romances, so when I was sent a copy of A Single Kiss for review I was intrigued and excited, her debut in contemporary romance was sure to be something great, and I wasn't wrong.

I read the two novellas that proceeded this first book and I really enjoyed them, I knew then and there that I was going to love not only this book but the series as well.

When the three Knightley brothers who own their own law firm are in need of a new attorney, Hannah Stark is the one that wins them over, filling in for the first six months in Family Law under Trenton Knightley is not what she wanted, far from it, having been a foster kid  and having been put through the system throughout most of her childhood she has no desire to go through it again bringing up too many bad memories, even if she is the lawyer this time around, but she'll stick with it until she can move to the Corporate Law position that she was originally hired for.

What Hannah hadn't planned on was the feelings that develop between her and Trent, both single parents with sole custody to two little girls who have fast become best-friends, the chemistry is hot and no matter how hard she fights it Hannah can't deny the attraction she feels towards Trent, when her past comes back to haunt her in the present she realises that Trent may just be the one person that she can trust and rely on.

I adored this book, this was one of the best contemporaries I've read in a long while, it just goes to show that Grace can write anything, and I would read anything she wrote.

For anyone who loves their contemporary romances with substance, great writing, concept and plot then do yourself a favor and definitely pick this book up, it's fantastic!

I give this 5/5 stars.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish
and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012.
Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
 Website /  Facebook / Twitter

Saturday, 17 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (425): Twisted Fate - Norah Olson

Twisted Fate

Publication: 20th January 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
When Alyson meets Graham Copeland, the new boy next door, she instantly feels like he’s a kindred spirit—shy and awkward like her, someone who has trouble making friends. It’s impossible to resist having a crush on him. 

As usual, her sister, Sydney, sees things differently. In Sydney's mind, Graham's odd personality and secretive past scream psychopath, not sweetheart. Her gut is telling her to stay away from him, and to protect a love-struck Alyson from her own naïveté. But despite her instincts, Sydney is surprised to realize that a part of her is drawn to Graham, too. 

And the more Sydney gets to know him, the more she realizes just how right—and wrong—she is about everything.

Perfect for fans of Michelle Hodkin, and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars,Twisted Fate is an unputdownable novel, teeming with suspense.
My Thoughts.
My first thoughts after finishing this book was "I'm So Confused", the big twist at the end wasn't really a surprise, I'd guessed it very early on in the story, what I don't understand keeping in mind the big reveal was how quite a few things were even possible, thinking about it after I'd finished reading left me bewildered to say the least.

This was such a great concept for a story it just wasn't executed well enough for me to be able to overcome the problems I had while reading this book.

I don't know whether the main characters were written to be unlikeable as they were, Graham is at the top of the list, nothing but a creep who somehow had two girls falling for him, I preferred reading the secondary characters POV's a lot more, but it got to the point where there were at least eight different characters POV's  throughout the story it seemed a bit too much, especially when some seemed to be repetitive, repeating the same thing over and over again.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but unfortunately that wasn't to be, I also wish that the cover that is on the advance reader edition was kept the same for the finished copy, it was such a pretty cover.

In saying all that, this book is a very quick read though, you can get through it in one sitting.

I give this 3/5 stars.

I write for teenagers. I live in New York State with my lovely girlfriend Áine Ní Cheallaigh. My debut novel The End was published by Prizm Books in December 2010. My second YA novel,SWANS & KLONS, was published Bold Strokes Books in May 2013.FRENEMY OF THE PEOPLE is forthcoming from Bold Strokes Book in May 2014.

Monday, 12 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (424): All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) - Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

All Fall Down is the first book in an all new series by Ally Carter, a contemporary, mystery story that will keep you guessing until the final shocking twist that you will never see coming!

Grace is sent to live at Embassy Row with her Grandfather while her Dad is serving her country overseas, as the mental state of our main protagonist Grace is put into question by her family after the death of her Mother in a fire three years ago, but Grace who was there is adamant that her Mom was murdered by a man with a scarred face, shot and dead before the fire took hold but no one will believe her, having spent time since in hospital on medication, everyone believes she's crazy, but Grace is determined she will find the man that murdered her Mom and make him pay.

Whilst getting to know the kids from Embassy Row and making friends, she stumbles upon a secret meeting taking place between two men, one who happens to be her Mom's murderer, she waste's no time in letting her Grandfather who is the American Ambassador know that the killer is close by, but again she's not believed, with her help of her new friends  Noah, Megan, Alexei and Rosie they help her track and follow the scarred man hoping to discover who he's having these meeting's with and why.

This book kept me on my toes, full of suspense you won't want to stop reading until you reach the jaw dropping ending, and hype you up enough for the next book which I'm quite excited for.

Never dull or boring, this at times pulse-pounding read will have you glued to the pages as the story absorbs you and draws you in to Embassy Row.

This was my first ever Ally Carter book and it certainly won't be my last, a very enjoyable plot with a great storyline and intriguing characters.

I give this 4/5 stars.

I was born and raised in Oklahoma.  My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer and rancher.  I have one older sister.
In high school, I was very active in a number of student organizations and graduated as co-valedictorian of my senior class.  I then attended Oklahoma State University and Cornell University and worked for several years in the agricultural industry before writing full-time.
My first novel, Cheating at Solitaire (Berkley) was published in 2005.  The following year I published the sequel to Solitaire, Learning to Play Gin.  There are no more plans for future books in that series at this time.
My first novel for young adults, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2006.  Love You Kill You (as we call it) was followed by Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (October 2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (June 2009), Only the Good Spy Young (June 2010), Out of Sight, Out of Time (March 2012).  United We Spy (September 2013) is the sixth–and final–Gallagher Girls novel.
I am also the author of Heist Society (February 2010) and its sequels Uncommon Criminals (June 2011), and Perfect Scoundrels (February 2013).
In January 2013 I published the cross-over novella Double-Crossed that features characters from both the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. It is available for free at and wherever ebooks are sold.
ALL FALL DOWN is the first book in my new Embassy Row series. It will be published on January 20, 2015 and will launch a new three-book series with Scholastic.
My books have been published in more than twenty countries and have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Bookscan. They have sold over two million copies in the United States.
I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and today, I’m able to do the job I wanted to do when I was a kid, and I am back living in Oklahoma.
Ally does her best to stay in touch with readers. Keep up with her via this site, her official FacebookInstagramTumblr, and Twitter.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Book Review (423): You Really Got Me (Rock Star Romance #1) - Erika Kelly

You Really Got Me (Rock Star Romance #1)

Amazon| B&N
I have to start by saying that I'm a big fan of contemporary romances that feature rock bands and the women that catch them off guard and change their lives for the better, so when this book came along I was more than eager to pick it up and get reading.

Slater Vaughn is the charismatic lead singer of rock band Snatch, not yet having hit the big time they are still playing the college circuit and going nowhere until Emmie Valencia personal assistant to the owner of the biggest record label in America Amoeba Records and Snatch's bass player Derek's sister moves in with the band to help them become the big stadium band she knows they could be.

What Emmie hadn't counted on was the attraction she feels toward bad boy rocker Slater, having been burned before by a rock star she has vowed to never again become involved with a musician, but it's hard when the chemistry between these two is off the charts.

When Emmie and Slater both give in to their feelings and begin a relationship, they're not prepared for the time apart when the band go on the road to tour, especially with the temptations of all this life can offer, add in a manipulative, bitchy singer Piper Lee who Snatch become the support act for who is out to make Slater her own, can their relationship last under the tremendous strain they find themselves under?

This was such a great read, and I look forward to the other band members books as well, an exciting start to an all new series.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life—she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

(ARC) Book Review (422): Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1) - Amanda Hocking

Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1)

Frostfire is the first book in the spin-off series from Amanda Hocking's Trylle trilogy.

The focus is on the Kanin troll tribe and Bryn Aven, an outcast half-blood who as a tracker is determined to rise in rank and one day work for the Kings Guard, and protect the  Royal Family.

When a wanted Kanin fugitive Konstantin Black who has a history with Bryn, is found to be attempting to kidnap high ranking changelings before the trackers can retrieve them, Bryn is determined to capture him once and for all.

With a possible forbidden romance between Bryn and her boss Ridley on the horizon, there is much to love in this new series.

With appearances of characters from the Trylle series spread throughout the story, there is something here for old fans as well as new ones, and while I do recommend reading the Trylle trilogy first you could read Frostbite without having read the previous books.

I love Amanda's writing style and I can't wait for the next book, while this didn't exactly end on a cliff-hanger it seemed to end suddenly and left me anxiously needing book two.

Drawn in from the first page, this was an exciting, action packed story with intriguing characters and an extremely enjoyable plot.

If you're after a great read, be sure to pick this book up.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Her New York Times best-selling series the Trylle Trilogy has been optioned for films. She has published fifteen novels, including the Hollows and the Watersong series. Frostfire - the first book in her newest trilogy, the Kanin Chronicles - will be out on January 6, 2015.