Friday, 31 October 2014

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career-a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anything and everything on fire. Then she's kidnapped by Conner 'Mad' Rogan-a darkly tempting billionaire with equally as devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to the overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to keep herself and her family alive. Rogan is after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she's getting under his skin, making him care about something other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world. 

Fangirl mode: Activated
Ilona Andrews is absolutely my favourite author of all time, she just has a really unique way of bringing every single one of her worlds to life and her new Burn for Me is no different. Arg I can't even I love it so much. All of Andrew's stories just make me want to jump into the pages and never leave because as soon as I put it down I know I have to wait another frickin year for another of her books. She has a perfect mix of action, fantasy, romance and humour that you will never find anywhere else ever, and her world building is always so unique that I am always left in awe of her brilliance. What I also love about her books is that there is always a kick-ass female heroin, and this time it centred around Nevada, a strong, courages girl who does everything she can to look after her crazy family. Her family is filled with iron-willed teenagers, her ex-military mother and hilarious grandmother who has a penchant for shirtless younger men. The Burn for Me universe is a world where magic equals money, prestige and a whole lot of power, but the most powerful families of magic users lead a life in a gilded cage, they marry for power and their only goal is to keep that power. And so begins a story of entitled narcissistic antagonists, a smoking hot leading male interest and a private investigator who is just trying to keep her family safe. Another awesome story by Ilona Andrews that made me die inside when I ran out of pages. 

Rating: 5/5 Titans

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday that you're a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on. Since Bryn is the only cross-breed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it's a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention. Zavien is tired of the Council's rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn's help, they may be able to change the rules. At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She'll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year of school, but even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you're falling for someone you can't have. 

"Oh fantastic, another young adult dragon book" I think to myself sarcastically before I even read the first page. This cynicism is what is going to be my downfall one day because this was one of the best young adult dragon book I have ever read, right up there with Firebolt by Adrienne Woods if I think back to it. Whilst the writing was very obviously young adult in that the vocabulary was a tad dumbed down, I still really appreciated the story and the characters Cannon still managed to bring to life. This dragon society is so hierarchical and elitist that the broader themes immediately begin to move away from being childish and into territories that I was excited to explore. The overt sexism, racism (in dragon scale colours) and dogmatism parallel our society, explaining what could happen if we let one majority rule over all others and shows how easy it is for a governing body to become corrupted. With extremely likeable characters, interesting settings and deep themes, there is nothing to dislike about this awesome story and I will definitely be eagerly awaiting the next instalment. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Dragons

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic and a monarch. Now, the Winterian's only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for an opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the Kingdom ever since. Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterian's General, Sir. Training to be a warrior and desperately in love with her best friend and future King, she would do anything to help see her kingdom rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter's magic, Meria decides to go after it herself. Finally, she's scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers and serving her kingdom just as she's always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn't go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and soon comes to realise that her destiny is not, and never has been, her own. 

Hello book that I have been desperately searching for to fill the endless black void in my life which I've been filling with dangerous amounts of crappy titles. I feel a bit like Gollum and the Ring with this story, I want to hold onto it forever and never let go because this is the best High Fantasy book I have read since Throne of Glass. If there were more books like this in the world, I would be a lot happier because my brain wouldn't have to suffer through the cringeworthy to get to the extraordinary and that would make everyone's life much brighter without my near constant cynicism. But I digress. As soon as I opened this fabulously covered yes I judge books by their cover sue me book, I felt like there was a shift in the fabric of the universe as I was transported to a story my dreams are made of (let me be dramatic for a little bit). As the reader, you are thrust right into a confusing maelstrom of politics and kingdom names and character names and weapon names, but it's all ok, because you eventually catch up and then this book becomes ambrosia for all those High Fantasy fans out there. I don't want to say too much about the story because there are just so many things that the blurb leaves out and they are all awesome plot twists and suprises, so all I'm going to say is that this story is filled with heroics, swords, strong female characters, hot shirtless princes/kings and magic. What more could anybody want? 

Rating: 5/5 Titans

"Someday, we will be more than words in the dark"

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Reignite (Extinguish #2) by J.M. Darhower

The moment that the short-lived apocalypse came to an end, life returned to normal. Mortals continues on with their oblivious existence while the earth healed and flowers bloomed again, all devastation instantly swept away. It was as if it had never happened. But it did. Luce knows. He's cursed to remember every moment, forced to live with everything he has done. Finding himself out of confinement, he's faced with a descision: where to call "home". Free will turns out not to be the freedom he expects when the only thing he wants doesn't know he exists. Serah woke up with no memory of where she came from or who she was before that moment. Struggling to adapt to the world as a mortal, she's haunted by a set of bright blue eyes that always seem to be watching her. She can't shake the feeling that they could be her salvation, if only she can remember who they belong to. Lucifer didn't fall from Grace alone, and he's not the only angel with a grudge. Nor is he the only one fascinated with his mortal. 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

A fantastically beautiful ending to the Extinguish series, it lived up to all of my high exceptions after the phenomenal first book and just about superseded them. Lucifer's and Serah's story isn't a tradition tale of love beyond everything and anything else. Lucifer continues to struggle between the need to seek forgiveness and the feeling that he has done nothing to apologise for, whilst Serah struggles with her memory loss and finding out who she really is. This is a story of fighting for what you believe in, not being a pawn in someone else's game and having the courage to find redemption within yourself and others. Although not a traditional love story, Reignite has made its way into my heart and into my list of top romances, the only fault I could find in this book was that it was way too short! Whether your sins include wrath, pride, envy, lust, greed, sloth or glutton, this story will satiate all your cravings whilst leaving you begging for more. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Archangels

"Maybe Paradise was to be found in a person and not a place."

Friday, 24 October 2014

Earthbound-The Feather and the Storm by Angela Driver

*received book from author in exchange for honest review

I dream of death, not love, but somehow I discover both. Livia has lived un unsettled life. She's learned to keep to herself, until she meets wired for life, free spirited Evelyn and her tormented twin brother Jack. They hide a secret, and their presence is effecting Livia in ways she doesn't understand- a magnetic force, goose bumps and tingling throughout her whole body. Drawn into their strange world, devastating circumstances surface for Livia and she winds up deeply involved in more than she had ever dreamed. The tangled destiny's of the trio unravel and Livia discovers the thin veil between life and death. And in the end, Livia must choose. An intense tale of love, death and redemption.

Wow. I was so excited to have the opportunity to review this book, and it didn't disappoint. I was overwhelmed by the beautiful story of Jack and Livia and how death seems to be entwined in all of our lives and not something to fear. Livia is a wonderfully unique character who only seems to grow more and more with the introduction of Evi, Jack and their family. All of them were really brought to life through their own fascinating stories and different traits, I immediately fell in love with several of them. The story itself had me entranced the entire way through and even though some parts of the story moved a bit slowly, I was never bored and I never wanted to put it down. A beautifully enchanting story of life, death, love, forgiveness and sacrifice, I will be waiting in anticipation for the next in the series. 

Rating: 4/5 Titans

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Extinguish by J.M. Darhower


I declare war

Serah always believed the world around her was perfect. As a Power-one of the warrior angels-she has spent her entire existence defending the innocent from evil. After tragedy strikes and tears her brother Samuel from her life, she's given the task of stopping the approaching apocalypse before it's too late. There is only one tiny little problem, she has to venture into Hell to do it. Lucifer has been biding his time in Hell, longing for revenge against those who oh-so-easily cast him into the pit. When the heavenly beauty shows up at his gate, he's just as captivated by her presence as she becomes of him. The attraction between them is strong, and Serah's willpower slowly slips. How can this scarred Archangel be the one trying desperately to destroy the world she so loves? As the war wages on, the world entwined with chaos, Serah starts questioning everything she ever knew. When the light and dark, hot and cold finally collide, she has to make a choice-a choice that will set her world on fire, black and white exploding into colourful flames. 

I don't know where to even begin with this beautiful story. I just loved it so much I couldn't even stop to explore the techniques used or to analyse any of the scenes because I was just so enraptured with the entire novel. I did not stop reading for one second until it was sadly over because the perfect combination of characters, settings and story-line kept me in my bed smiling like an idiot most of the time. It was just such a heart-warming yet desolating story that nothing would have kept me from finishing it, not even the apocalypse. This is a story of the greys in between the perfect heaven and the worst hell, about two star-crossed lovers who seek redemption in each-other, and family, whose ties may be frayed, but never forgotten. Betrayal, love, sacrifice and hope, one of the best combinations of themes within any story, and Extinguish has these in spades. I would recommend this book to everyone, because you can't help but be inspired by it even a tiny bit.  Now I need the next book because you cannot leave people hanging like that, it's beyond cruel. 

Rating: 5/5 Archangels

"The world isn't always black and white. Sometimes it's grey, and sometimes that grey explodes into colours you never knew existed before."

Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake

Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman's life is perfectly normal until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is drawn to him, though she's not exactly complaining. As the two grow closer, everything is near perfect, except for one tiny little detail. Cara isn't a normal high school girl. She's part of a small group of special people who are descended from the mythical phoenix, and her time with Logan is running out. Her first rebirth is nearing where she will be consumed by fire, but reborn from her own ashes, the only problem is that she will forget her previous life, and everyone in it. Cara will forget Logan and everything they mean to each other, but that may not be the last of her worries. A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he's determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family. 

Arg the blurb for the book sounded so promising and interesting and something I could really get into, but alas, all my dreams went up in a burst of flame (ha get it? phoenix's). It started off really great and had me believing that this was the perfect young adult story about phoenix's, but by the time that Logan came and in a couple short days they were already desperately in love, I just found it ridiculous. (maybe I'm just getting more mature? Nah) The characters just didn't do anything for me, I felt that the author really didn't put much thought behind some of their personalities, especially Logan, she gave him a sad backstory, wrapped an obviously symbolic leather jacket on him and sent him off. Don't get me started on Cara either, she is an annoying girl who blushes way too much and had to have other minor characters tell the reader that she is the most caring person ever to get her traits across. The writing didn't engage me much either, I was honestly bored most of the book until the last ten pages where stuff actually happened, and I was admittedly cheering for the bad guy. I don't think I will bother with the next book in the series, it just didn't hold my attention and draw me into the story. I guess I have to keep looking for that perfect Phoenix book. 

Rating: 1.5/5 Titans

Monday, 20 October 2014

Quote of the Day

"Be careful boy. In some tales, the hero gets eaten by the monster after all."
~The Iron Knight, Julie Kagawa 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Broken Soul by Faith Hunter

When the Master of the City of New Orleans asks Jane Yellowrock to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price, but Leo is willing to pay. That's because the Eurovamps want Leo's territory, and he knows he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn't mention how this new job will change Jane's life or the danger it will bring her and her team. But Jane has much more to worry about than some greedy vamps, there's a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now she just has to figure out how to kill something she can't even see. With the added bonus of a group of lunatic vampires closing in and dark secrets being hidden in the deepest levels of Vamp HQ, Jane's life just got much more dangerous for her, and everyone she loves. 

As much as I love the 'Jane Yellowrock' series, I can never seem to concentrate one hundred percent when I am reading them, it's not the writing that does it, it's just that the story gets so complex and mind-boggling that I have to re-read some passages in order to fully grasp everything that is happening, lets just say that if you haven't read the previous books, you would never be able to understand anything that is happening within the pages. Jane is one of my favourite heroins, she's a kick-ass lady with a whole heap of guns, knives, leather, claws and a tragic past filled with desolation, hunger and survival. She bows to no-one, not even Leo, the Master of New Orleans who would see her under his command and control. Nothing is ever obvious, there is never a straightforward answer to any problem or catastrophe and you can never guess at what is going to happen next, and this is why I love it so much, it keeps me guessing and on the edge of my seat/bed the entire time. When it comes to Urban Fantasy, Faith Hunter is the one to crawl to for all your shots of badass protagonists and psychotic creatures of the night. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Titans 

Books in the 'Jane Yellowrock' series

Blood Cross
Mercy Blade
Raven Cursed
Death's Rival
Blood Trade
Black Arts
Broken Soul
Dark Heir (coming 2015)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Quote of the Day

"There are things we want, and things we may have...Sanity lies in knowing the difference."

~Death's Mistress, Karen Chance

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Nalia is a Jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she's now hiding on the Dark Caravan, the lucrative Jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where Jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human master's every command. Nalia would give anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her cruel human captor and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle. Raif is the leader of Arjinna's revolution and Nalia's sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from Malek so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother, all for a price. Nalia isn't sure she can trust him, but Raif is her only chance at escape. With dangerous enemies on the hunt for the last surviving Jinn of royal blood, Earth has become more perilous than ever. Battling a dark past and harbouring terrible secrets, Nalia soon realises that her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay. 

The world building of this book is beautifully seductive and powerful in it's wonder. Even though we don't get to see much of the Jinn's homeland Arjinna, it still feels like I have lived there thanks to varoius flashbacks from Nalia's horrifying past and the way in which the characters communicate and interact on Earth. Arjinna is a land of caste, power, revolutions and magic, and because of the several different POV's throughout the novel, you get to see and understand how each caste of Jinn survived their world while is was pillaged of hope for some, and filled with glory for others. I immensely enjoyed this book because the characters were all so uniquely different in every aspect-race, gender, equality and freedom, they made me loathe and love in different spades and needless to say, I was disappointed when the book finished.  This is a heart-wrenching story of love, freedom, destiny and the hope and journey to redemption. 

Rating: 4/5 Titans

"Freedom is power."

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Kindred Series by Nicola Claire

Vampyres, Shifters, Ghouls and Faeries all abound in a world where the Norms, (those humans without magical abilities) are ignorant to the creatures of the night and the supernatural wars waging around them. Lucinda Monk is a bank-teller by day, Vampire hunter by night, but she wasn't always a part of this world. Thrown into a heady mix of powerful and sensual beings, she's had to find her way blindfolded, but she's a capable and practical kind of girl. Her motto: Never show fear. Never give an inch. Always stay on guard. But there is change afoot, a Prophecy that whispers of powers that will unite the light with the dark. Is Lucinda the one? Or is she just another cog in a wheel moulded by those more powerful, hungry and bloodthirsty than her? From the urban streets of cities all over the world, to the dark alleys and sinful bars that promise a wickedness a girl from the farm has never been exposed to. And even if she is the Light that the prophecy has spoken of, her life will still be intimately entwined with the Dark. 

Just finished re-reading one of my favourite series of all time which is why I haven't posted in a while. Once you open up that first book and read that first line, you have to finish the whole series. Nicola Claire is absolutely one of my favourite authors of all time, she really knows how to provide a beautiful mix of action, romance and the supernatural, and having read all of her series and loving them all, I feel that I can say that 'Kindred' is my favourite, and having just finished them all for the second time I'm sure you can tell I'm not being my usual sarcastic self. I adore Lucinda, Michel and their gang of kick-ass friends, I almost feel like I know them personally, and that's always a good sign when reading a book. Not only do I love the good guys, but sometimes I just can't help but loving the bad ones too, because Claire always makes sure that you know them almost personally and also that they are not just some malevolent force always prevalent in the background of a plot. The world building is beautiful and takes you all around the world, from Auckland, Paris, London, Rio and then to other worlds entirely. A very special combination of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance that you just can't help but love. 

Overall Rating: 4/5

"The Light will capture the Dark and hold it dear"

Books in the Kindred Series

Blood Life Seeker
Forbidden Drink

Giver of Light
The View from Here (Michel POV)
Dancing Dragon

Shadow's Light
Entwined with the Dark
Kiss of the Dragon
Dreaming of a Blood Red Christmas (Michel POV)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Liar by C.L. Stone

Kayli Winchester can finally let go of her pickpocketing past and for once is walking on the right side of the law. But her brother Wil is still missing. On the hunt for him, she discovers something worse than a missing sibling: Marc, Raven, Brandon, Cory and Axel. But these aren't scoundrels with hearts of gold, they're flat out criminals, but criminals who need her. In a ruse to draw them away from her brother and learn more about The Academy where the boys all come from, Kayli joins them on a mission to Florida in search of a missing girl. Kayli will do anything to make sure her brother is safe, she'll find their leader, discover their intentions, and infiltrate their ranks. But when these five Adademy boys all contend for her heart, her resistance starts to crumble. 

I had hopes for the second book in the 'Scarab Beetle' series, but 'Liar' really let me down. I really did not appreciate the constant winging and self depreciating attitude of Kayli, it was incessant and unnecessary and really annoying. Oh no, I can't differentiate my feelings between six boys, even though one is gay, and they are all such nice people even though they are all criminals who go around saving kidnapped little girls. But Marc is so beautiful! Cory is sooo nice! Raven has hawt tattoos! Brandon is a damaged soul I must be the one to save! Axel makes me feel so comforted and safe! And Blake is rich and sexy!!
But apart from all of that nonsense, there was still hardly any action or very interesting scenes, not even many plot twists. A boring and trashy novel overall, but if you're into that then this would be the perfect book! 

Rating: 2/5 Titans

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