Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review - I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter

I'm one of those spur of the moment kind of readers that picks up a book just to see what all the commotion and fuss is about. So, when I saw that my local library branch had a copy of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try. I mean, what's another book to read on top of the mountain of books I already have, Am I right? 

Book # 1 follows the exploits of 15 year old Cameron "Cammie" Morgan who is a Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women legacy sophomore. Her own mother Rachel is headmistress at the school as well as a retired CIA operative and we're told that her father was also some sort of operative who went on a mission but never returned. I will say that I found Cammie's voice to be a lot of fun as well as unique. She's pretty serious about her studies and has a genius IQ, but, when it comes to maters of the heart, she is as innocent and clueless as they come which makes for a very interesting storyline when you throw in her genius friends trying to give her dating advice. 

I should mention that Cammie's friends are as important to the overall telling of this story as Cammie herself is. There's Rebecca "Bex" Baxter, Elizabeth "Liz" Sutton and Macey McHenry who goes from being a very annoying character when first introduced, to part of Cammie's besties and confidantes. I would also be remiss in saying that I'm very pleased that Rachel Morgan, Cammie's mom, actually is there for her, and not one of those MIA parents that are profoundly apparent in YA Novels today.

Let's not leave out the gents shall we? The two that stand out immediately are Josh and Joe Solomon. Josh becomes someone Cammie tries hard to like while keeping her spy school undercover while also trying to pass her Cover Ops class final. Solomon is an interesting character as well since has an extensive background in Covert Ops and I'm wondering just how far Carter is willing to push him and Cammie's mother into a relationship. Guess we shall see since the series is six books long.

There are times that you need a book that is silly, idiotic, fun, a bit serious at times, and one that you don't find yourself dwelling over situations, characters, or love triangles. This is that book for me. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy is the next book in this series, and one that I have already requested from my library and hope to pick up soon. You may even find it on this weeks STS feature!

Re Printed April 1, 2007 by Disney Hyperion
Author - Ally Carter
Title - I'd Tell You I'd Love You....
Publisher - Disney Hyperion
Released April 1, 2007
Genre - Young Adult
Borrowed from Local Library

Waiting on Wednesday 07/31/2013

"Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at “Breaking the Spine”, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This weeks choice is-----Corroded (The St. Croix Chronicles # 3)
By Karina Cooper

Why am I'm waiting on this book besides the fact that Gilded tore my heart to pieces and I really, really want to know how Cherry is going to survive and what she's going to do next?

Micajah Hawke. Haven't heard about him? Well then, might I suggest that you picked up Tarnished or even The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway and get yourselves introduced to the mysterious man candy that rules the Midnight Menagerie a London pleasure garden and the person who has had a special part in Cherry's life ever since she became London's only female collector at 15 years of age.

The St. Croix Chronicles is a cross steampunk, romance, and alternative historical series that I highly recommend.
Hungry for vengeance, Cherry St. Croix is forced to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London.

My rival, a collector of bounties like myself, has murdered one of my own. In consequence, I have been removed from my house, my staff, and all who would support me. I have nowhere else to turn, so I beg asylum within the Midnight Menagerie, London’s decadent pleasure garden.

Micajah Hawke’s dominance there will not tolerate my presence for long. I am fixated on revenge, but I walk a razor’s edge under his scrutiny His wicked power is not easily ignored, and I must not allow myself to submit—no matter how sweet the sacrifice.

Challenging my rival to a race is the only way to end this, no small task when the quarry is the murderous Jack the Ripper. As my enemies close in, I fear the consequences of this hunt. I am trapped between two killers, and what doesn’t kill me may leave its scars forever.

Expected Publication: September 23, 2013 via Carina Press

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Release Day Review - Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews

Magic Rises finally hits the bookshelves after a rather long delay in which the authors finished the Edge series and released Andrea's novel Gunmental Magic. I have to say that this book is a doozy and readers of the series should be prepared for anything to happen at any time including a very emotional ending to the story.

Kate and her mate Curran the beast master are put into a tight spot when a group of younger shape shifters turn Loup and the pack runs out of the precious medicine called panacea that can prevent a shapeshifter from going Loup completely. Given the circumstances, Curran decides to accept the European Packs request that he and representatives of the Pack travel to Europe to protect a pregnant female named Desandra from harm until the baby is born.

Traveling to Europe alongside Kate and Curran, are Barabas, Georgetta, Mahon, Keira (Jim's sister), Andrea, Raphael, Aunt B, Eduardo, Derek, and Doolittle. Saiman also joins the trip because of certain events that take place prior to this story which you can read at the back of the book. You probably SHOULD read the story first before diving into Magic Rises as the authors encourage.

While in Europe, Kate and Curran are both severely tested, especially Kate when she meets the only person other than her dreaded father that could match her in intensity and fighting abilities; Hugh d’Ambray. Kate and Curran's relationship is also severely tested to the point where I found myself reaching for a golf club to smash it over Curran's head for absolutely being a total dick-wad towards Kate. I absolutely hate miscommunication and characters who presume that the other knows exactly what they are feeling at the time of an argument.

But, let’s not get distracted. As I said, Magic Rises is intense. The European packs are severely distrustful and hateful towards Curran and they really hate Kate because she is the only human around. Kate’s being part of the pack is put to the test as well and I really didn't much care for the fact that certain friends and acquaintances didn't stand up for Kate especially Curran. You can absolutely feel the isolation that Kate goes through even though supposedly the pack has accepted her as one of their own throughout dozens of challenges to the death. But, when you are NOT a shapeshifter, it is a difficult situation to be put into when everyone wants to challenge your legitimacy as being the Consort to the Beast Master. 

Then there are the machinations of Hugh himself. Now that he is truly aware of who Kate is after doing is own search and he knows that she’s Roland’s long lost daughter, I will be hard pressed not to want to see them fight to the final death. That being said, I was impressed with the interaction between Hugh and Kate even though you knew that he was most likely moving her around like a chess piece putting her into different situations to test her and see what she's really made of. I absolutely loved the fight scene between them and was griping like crazy when it came to an abrupt end.

Unfortunately, Magic Rises doesn’t exactly end with everyone walking away unscathed. I was shocked to learn that a major character falls and I am unwilling to spoil this review in order to say whom. I’m wondering how the pack will take this news and who will step up to take this characters place. 

I actually found the idea of moving the setting from Atlanta to the European continent appealing. It’s nice to switch things up and add a little spice to the story now and again. I am hoping that Magic Breaks (Book # 7) doesn't take a full year before it is released. We need a resolution between Hugh and Kate as well as between Roland and Kate sometime before I fall off my chair and die. 

*Recvd from publisher 06/27/2013* Expected publication: July 30th 2013 by Ace
Author - Ilona Andrews
Title - Magic Rises (Kate Daniels # 6)
Published by Ace
Released July 30, 2013
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Received from ACE

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review - Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) by Jennifer Estep

As the Mythos Academy series steam rolls along, we've learned that Gypsy girl and Nike's Champion Gwen Frost has a lot of responsibilities that's she required to fulfill as well as attending the prestigious Mythos Academy which just so happens to be the same place her own mother, and grandmother attended.

Gwen, while searching for antiquities that can defeat Loki, is also a high value target for the Reapers of Chaos led by Agrona Quinn and Vivian Holler who continue to try to kill off Gwen while bringing about another war between the Reapers and the Protectorate.

I must say they need to meet their own end soon but I absolutely trust Jennifer to wrap up this series in such a way that it will leave us all breathless and satisfied. I don’t like villains who just won’t freaking die but stay around causing more havoc and trouble for my girl Gwen and her friends.

Luckily for Gwen, she's come a long way in making her own way and proving herself in a world filled with Valkyries, Ninjas, Spartans, and Vikings. She has her trusty & awesome sword named Vic, her psychometry skills & abilities that have saved her life on more than a few occasions, and friends like Daphne Cruz, Carson Callahan, Oliver Hector, Kenzie, Aiko, Alexi, Coach Ajax, Aurora Metis, and Nickamedes who have not only helped protect her, but are also her closest friends and allies.

**Food break! Gwen is now enjoying a jumbo sized pretzel with nacho cheese sauce and a dark chocolate brownie, which also happens to be Gin Blanco’s hair color. Hmmmm back to the review!

In case you believe I've left someone off Gwen’s list of friends and supporters, I'm getting to him slowly but surely. If you have read Crimson Frost (which I hope you do before jumping into Midnight Frost), you know that both Gwen and Logan Freaking Quinn had something major happen to them in that book. You therefore will not be surprised that both Gwen & Logan have had to deal with the aftermath and the affects, which includes Gwen’s nightmares, and Logan’s own withdrawal from Mythos Academy (See Spartan Frost for more details.)

Midnight Frost is once again filled with attempts by the reapers to kill Gwen off. Gwen and friends own determination and drive to find a cure for a fallen comrade in arms before its too late. This includes a trip across country to Denver’s Mythos Academy where Gwen encounters not only awesome Gryphons, but a startling truth and revelation behind her own families heritage. There is also Gwen's meeting with Rory Forseti who just so happens to be Gwen’s Spartan cousin. Yes, she’s a total badass and I hope that this is NOT the last time we get to see her in this series.

Can I just say that I want a freaking Gryphon? I absolutely found them adorable and their bond to Gwen was fantastic! I thought that Gwen’s meeting with them was maybe the best part of the entire story if you forgive my giddiness. Not that a certain Spartan’s return wasn’t interesting. But, it was, I think, definitely inevitable and expected by readers knowing that he couldn’t stay away from Gwen forever.

*Food break! Gwen is now enjoying a Bison Cheese Burger with bacon and cheese fries, along with ranch dipping sauce and dark chocolate fudge. There she goes with the dark chocolate again! Sorry, back to the review!

Midnight Frost finds a different Gwen Frost. She’s more of a legend now than a simple gypsy girl who used her psychometry abilities to find missing and lost objects for her fellow students. She’s no longer accused of being a Reaper spy, but now the students understand that Gwen is an extremely important cog in the wheel that will be used to defeat and send Loki packing. If she could just figure out how before it is too late and maybe get a little help from Nike and other gods and goddess who are supposed to be on her side.
Mythos Academy definitely has similarities to Estep's Elemental Assassin series which I absolutely love. The main characters are badass, they have unique abilities, they absolutely without a doubt love food, they have a determined nemesis (Vivian/Loki vs Mab Monroe) that they know they must defeat in order to find peace and happiness. It also seems that they both have boyfriend issues which I HOPE & PRAY end up resolved asap!

It's a fairly short wait until Killer Frost is released on February 25, 2014 by K-Teen. Luckily, we have 2 Elemental Assassin novels coming out in the meantime, along with Owen's novella! YAY!

*Recvd Copy from Author! Expected publication: July 30th 2013 by K-Teen
Author - Jennifer Estep
Title - Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy # 5)
Publisher - K-Teen
Releases July 30, 2013
Genre - YA Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Received from Jennifer Estep

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review - Nomad by J.L. Bryan

I won Nomad by J.L. Bryan from Jenni @ Alluring Reads in one of her flash giveaways! Thank you Jenni!

I've had Nomad on my "looks interesting list" since I was part of the cover reveal for the book a few weeks ago. It should also be notated that this is the first book that I've ever read by J.L. Bryan, and it won't be my last.

Nomad's lead protagonist is 19 year old Raven a revolutionary who lives in the year 2064 where life isn't exactly a Utopian society. Raven has been fighting a guerrilla warfare against the tyrannic regime of Supreme Executive Logan Carraway for 10 years and in the process, she has lost nearly everyone she's ever loved.

When a chance comes along to change the course of history and stop Logan, Raven ends up being transported back in time to the year 2013 where she arrives with no recollection or memories of where she came from, or why she's in the middle of a highway with a backpack filled with items that obviously aren't hers.

Thankfully, she has a few trusty gadgets on hand that slowly brings her memories back to the reason why she is in 2013 in the first place, and what she has to do. She also realizes that whatever mission she's on, it won't be easy with Logan's Providence Security team hot on her tail trying to stop her in her tracks.

As for Logan, I would say that he's a stereotypical male character in a new adult setting. He's a charmer, he parties like it's 1999, he does things like rock climbing just for the thrill of it and probably to aggravate his family. He takes classes just to impress certain female acquaintances and he doesn't understand that his family is the cause of all future problems for the country until Raven comes along and enlightens him to that fact. 

Time travel has been a fascination of mine since I was knee high to a grasshopper. What can I say, I'm a science fiction geek! I've often wondered what it would have been like to go back in time and kill dictators like Adolf Hitler (Germany), Joseph Stalin (Russia), Mao Zedong (China), and others, and then return to my own time. Would it actually matter if the dictators were killed before they could commit heinous atrocities on their OWN people? Or, would someone else step up in their place and continue their evil machinations and therefore making the trip back in time seem useless? This is also Raven's dilemma she has to contend with. I love the idea of Paradox in that one mistake could have a devastating affects on the time line and even on your own life. 

There is a bit of everything thrown in to Nomad. You have a kickass heroine in Raven who is also very intelligent and makes some very interesting choices. There is also the obvious romance angle that New Adult is known for. There is the surprising appearance of a character named Eliad who shows up and apparently knows Raven and makes her think about the consequences of killing Logan. But, the bottom line is that nobody can help Raven. Not her best friend Kari, not her new roommate Audra, and not anyone from her own time period.      

Nomad is an extremely fast paced novel that I read in less than 5 hours. I loved Raven. I enjoyed reading about her thinking through problems as they come along, and she ends up making the best of a difficult situation. I will say that I am one of those readers that would NOT mind seeing Raven again very soon. I am especially interested in her relationship with the mysterious Eliad and what they do as nomadic time travelers.

Expected publication: July 26th 2013 by 

Author - J.L. Bryan
Title - Nomad
Self published by
Released - July 26, 2013
Genre - New Adult, Dystopian, Time Travel
Won from Jenni @ Alluring Reads

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves 07/27/2013

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books we received over the course of the past week. As always, this is a fun way to share what books are coming out, and in no way should be considered bragging in any shape or form. 

Thank you SO much for visiting my blog and checking out the books I received over the past week! I hope you find something to add to your ever growing TBR Pile!

The following books, ARC's, were received during the week of July 20, thru July 26, 2013
*No money exchanged hands in the delivering of these products to me*
Received from Pretty Deadly Reviews

Altered by Gennifer Albin
Cover has NOT been finalized :( 

Adelice always knew there’d be a price to destroying the Guild, but is she willing to pay it?

After a daring escape to Earth from Arras, sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys thought she would finally be in control of her own destiny. She would be free to be true to herself and to her heart—to love Jost, the boy the Guild said she could not have. But Earth is not abandoned, as she’d always been taught it was. It’s inhabited with survivors waging a war against Arras. The world that was supposed to offer a new beginning is still tangled up in the past.

Now Adelice is being called upon to harness her phenomenal power and break Earth from the grip of the Guild. But even as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her former life, she discovers that nothing on Earth is as it seems either. Everyone has secrets, especially those she loves most. What’s more, those secrets are driving Adelice and Jost away from each other, and Adelice into his brother Erik’s waiting arms. Now torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must decide what—and who--she’s fighting for, before it’s too late.

Expected publication: October 29, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYX)
Received from Epic Reads
From award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill comes the fascinating story of Mary Shelley, a brilliant teenager who wrote one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time: Frankenstein.

An all-consuming love affair.

A family torn apart by scandal.

A young author on the brink of greatness.

Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.

Expected publication: October 1, 2013 by Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Received from Jenni @
A new dystopian novel from the author of Jenny Pox - coming July 26.

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.

Released July 26, 2013 by J.L. Byran
(Stay tuned to this blog for my review which shall be posted soon!)
Received via NetGalley, or Edelweiss
Pocket Books
The first installment in a sexy new paranormal romance series by Larissa Ione, author of the bestselling Demonica series!

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

Expected publication: September 24, 2013 by Pocket Books
Received via NetGalley, or Edelweiss
Ilsa Bick’s WHITE SPACE, pitched as The Matrix meets Inkheart, about a seventeen-year-old girl who jumps between the lines of books and into the white space where realities are created and destroyed – but who may herself be nothing more than a character written into being from an alternative universe.

Expected publication: February 11, 2014 by Egmont USA

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

Expected publication: March 11, 2014 by Egmont USA
Although I have only been part of Society for two years, I am already desperate to escape its confines and eager for adventure. The world my deceased parents have left me is nothing more than a gilded prison, and I will do anything to escape the boredom, even become a collector of bounties.

My name is Cherry St. Croix, and I may be young, but I am old enough to know when I am in over my head. My first collection seemed easy: Mr. Strangeway’s debts have come due, and the purse for his capture is hefty. Yet the wastrel remains one step ahead of me, and my efforts are hampered by another collector after the same coin. What’s more, a simple hunt becomes the forefront of a conspiracy that leads me on a chase through London’s low-class streets.

Not only does my pride demand success, but the well-being of many rest upon the choices I make—failure is not an outcome I can live with.

Expected publication: August 5, 2013 by Carina Press
One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

Expected publication: September 3, 2013 by Harcourt Children's Books
(Received as part of Blog Tour for The Outside)
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

Expected publication: December 10, 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Borrowed from the Library
A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths—Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does.

Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again.

Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands—and fight back.

Released June 4, 2013 by Harper Teen
When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. It's not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories come flooding back. She tries to put the past behind her, but she knows she'll be forever haunted by the ruthless betrayal that almost took her life.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she's capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can't forget the terrifying truth she now knows about the Order, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion.

A Fractured Light picks up right after A Beautiful Dark's shocking cliffhanger ending and is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga.

Released: September 25, 2012 by Harper Teen
Gemma and Harper Fisher are facing the fight of their lives. Gemma has been cursed with extraordinary powers that have a terrifying dark side, but she's finally found what she needs - a way to break the curse and become human again. However, finding the means to do it will be her greatest challenge yet. And now Penn, Lexi, and Thea - the gorgeous but deadly creatures who cursed her - are determined to kill her before she has a chance. Making matters worse, Penn has her sights set on Daniel - the guy Harper loves - and Penn always gets what she wants.
As Gemma and Harper race to break the curse before it's too late, they're thrust deeper into a mythical world of immortal secrets. They must into their enemies' past to find the answers they need, even if it means being drawn deeper into their savagely beautiful world. But one of the girls is not what she seems...and Gemma finds an unlikely ally as she struggles to save herself. Will it be enough to break an ancient curse that no one has ever escaped from alive?
Published: June 4, 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review - Northern Bites (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #2) by Nikki Jefford


Northern Bites has been on my most anticipated sequels list since finishing Transfusion last December. I am thankful to Nikki Jefford for offering me a copy of this book and hope I will see book number 3 soon! 

I should probably start this review by saying that I would advise you to stop here, and not read any further if you haven't yet had the opportunity to read Transfusion. If you have read Transfusion, carry on my wayward followers! If not, go away until you have. 

18 year old Aurora Sky is the series heroine. Since the release of Transfusion, she's had her life completely turned around just by having AB negative blood and dying at the hands of an unknown driver. Later, she's told by a secret government agency that she has no choice but to become a vampire hunter, losing any and all hope of ever attending the college of her dreams outside of Alaska, or face permanent death. Some choice. She's also being forced into taking a so called antidote each month or face the possibility of becoming the very thing that she hunts; a vampire.

Northern Bites picks up two weeks after the conclusion of Transfusion. Aurora is forced into a partnership with her main rival and nemesis Valerie Ward who is a vampire junkie and obsessed with hurting others like Aurora. I haven't always cared for or liked Valerie the boyfriend stealing minx. I thought she was absolutely conceited and a miserable person for her actions towards Aurora. 

Aurora eventually learns the truth about what really happened to her on the night she died and lost her free will. She faces a hard choice when she is sent on yet another mission with Valerie and a government recruiter named Jared that doesn't exactly go as planned. In the end, Val's own personal choice was surprising and definitely brave. I actually came to understand her more than I did Aurora's own supposed friend Noel Harper who really got my blood boiling with her own actions. 

Although Aurora isn't a coward, by any means, she still has some issues on the boyfriend front, as well as the fact that she can't really trust anyone except for maybe her mother who has her own problems to deal with. I really didn't care for Jared from the introduction and hope he gets what's coming to him soon. I won't spoil anything for you except to say that after you read Northern Bites, you too will come to hopefully, the same conclusion. I also believe that there are others, like Agent Melcher, who are trying to guide Aurora into making some really bad decisions and I hope I am wrong. 

Aurora's interaction with Dante needs to continue, and let's put Fane away in a box for good. I'm not sure how anyone can trust him. I found the fantasy sex scene between Aurora and certain other characters in the book to be seriously hot. I'm hoping that Aurora will get a real booty call soon. The girl desperately needs a break from school, being a vampire hunter, and especially those that surround & control her.

I am on the bandwagon by saying that Northern Bites definitely exceeded my expectations in every way. The story is much more intense, choices are not that simple, or obvious, and Nikki learns more about what happened to her and others that have AB negative blood. She still faces serious tests and challenges, and I hope she eventually learns how to trust others, and finds a way out of her situation that seems bleak at the moment.

*Recvd from Author* Expected publication: July 30th 2013

Author - Nikki Jefford
Title - Northern Bites (Aurora Sky # 2
Publisher - Self Published
Releases July 30, 2013
Genre - YA Urban Fantasy

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gizmos Reviews - 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Days 13, 14 & 15

Thanks to April from Good Books and Good Wine for creating this challenge!
It's been interesting to read other bloggers responses, as well as trying not to sound lame.

Day 13 Challenge - Describe one under-appreciated book Everyone should read!

My choice is actually the entire H&W Investigations series featuring Shiarra Wynest who has come a very long way since her debut in Hunted By The Others. This series is one that actually gets better with each passing release. I love the later covers as well! I love that fact that the series contains sexy vampires, werewolves, warlocks known as Others. Shiarra is a character that continues to grow and learns more about herself and becomes much more tolerant towards the Others even taking several of them as lovers.


Day 14 Challenge - Tell Us Your Deal Breakers

I'm pretty sure that if you followed me on a regular basis, you would already know my ticks and glitches when it comes to my reading. But, here they are again.

1. Rape - I don't want to read about it, I don't want to hear about it, I don't think it is funny, compelling, interesting, nor do I believe that it is necessary in order to tell a story. As a survivor, I continue to rage against those who would seriously believe that rape is entertaining and thus you need to have it in your story. No, you don't.

2. BDSM - Sorry folks, I don't mean to demean, nor attack anyone who happens to enjoy this particular genre. Me, I would rather gauge my eyes out with a ball peen hammer than read any of this. I am probably more vanilla in my likes of romance than chocolate or Rocky Road. 

3. 3-Way Love Triangles - If you write a novel that contains even the smell of a 3 way love triangle, I will automatically take 1 full rating point away. Love triangles have become worn out, and useless as tits on a boar. Again, I would rather watch paint dry, than continue to read about love triangles.

4. The absence of an sort of role models, or family unit in Young Adult stories. You can not honestly say that this isn't sending a strong message to our youth that parents don't matter to the overall happiness and well being of our youth today. 

5. Political leanings in a story. Wow, could I rave on about this particular choice for hours. I don't care if you are left leaning, conservative, independent, Democrat, or Republican. I don't care whether or not you believe in Global Warming, or not. I don't even care that your character is a vegetarian who refuses to eat meat, or joins Greenpeace in order to save the whales. I read books to escape from the real world and all the nastiness in it. 

Day 15 Challenge - Who are your book blogging mentors?

This is a rather interesting question to think about a way to answer it without sounding lame and annoying. Who are my mentors? I actually got into blogging without a lot of help. I mostly stuck to Goodreads to post my reviews, and now and then Amazon if I wasn't being jumped on by vampant authors and their troll followers. 

 It wasn't until I was stumbling and bumbling around trying not to sound pathetic that people started coming up to me and offering suggestions and help. There are those I no longer consider friends and still others who have quit blogging altogether. I miss the friendship, but of course, that is part of life. 

How about this, there are more than a few people who I look up to and respect for what they've done over the course of their blogging careers and how they've been friends that have kept me sane and on track. 

I respect both Kara & Lynn from Great Imaginations.

 I love the fact that Christiana from TheWhiteUnicornfiction continues to support my blog by leaving comment.

 I absolutely respect Rachel @ Parajunkee for setting the bar for those like me who needed a little inspiration to keep going. 

I thank Jenese from Readers Confession for not laughing at me when we met at Olde Town, New City in February. She laughs at me, and teases me, but has never been ugly towards me.

I found a new friend in Lenore @ Nocturnereads who redesigned my header for me. Thank you!

There are so many more who I've found on Goodreads, and Twitter that continue to comment and support my blog and I can't thank them enough.