Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: Eventide by Elle Jasper

Riley Poe is having all sorts of problems this time out. She's been kidnapped by Victorian who wants to run away with her to Romania and make Riley his forever. She's been losing track of time, she's having hallucinations, she see's herself actually killing and drinking blood from humans, and her superhuman powers may be causing more problems than they're worth.

Her brother Seth, and best Friend Nyx, are scary worried about Riley but can't do anything to prevent the inevitable from happening; a dual venomed quickening into a vampire. Eli, and Victorian are still competing for Riley's affection and won't back down an inch to let her breathe. Riley still believes that Eli is her soul mate, but there is something about Victorian that raises her blood pressure (in a good way).

Of course, we can't forget the most dangerous vampire of them all Valerian.Valerian has created a newling army and Riley is dead set in his sights. Riley. Least we forget the most powerful Arcos around Julian, the head of the Arcos, who wants Riley to be his queen thanks to her new found powers and the fact that she now has 4 different venom's flowing through her body.

This book ends up being a transitional novel and the likely an end to Riley Poe as a tattoo artist. Where her relationship goes with Nyx is still up in the air. I think Nyx is scared of Riley at this point, even though she doesn't show it. For three books all we've heard about is how awesome of a tattoo artist Riley is. Now, she is forced to walk away from her life's work because of the events of the previous three books.

The whole thing with Riley transitioning into something more than human, but not vampire, sounds like a human-vampire hybrid to me. The ending with Valerian was rushed, and took absolutely no time whatsoever to finalize. Seriously what was the point? What was the point of Riley finding out the truth behind her own mothers death just so she could look on as Valerian is allowed to leave?

Most interesting line of the book:

"My blades press tightly against my skin at his weight. Everything he does, I realize, proves his love for me. Proves his possessiveness for me. And I can’t even return the verbal sentiment? Worse yet, his overprotectiveness is starting to really grate on my nerves. God, I’m such a bitch. A messed up one at that. Damaged goods to the nth degree." Riley Poe pg 63

The new cast of characters Jake Andorra, Darius, Gabriel, Sydney Maspeth, and Ginger Slater are all part of the WUP. You now have a group of vampires, werewolves, immortals and Riley working together for the WUP - Worldwide Unexplained Phenomena in order to stop Black Fallen Angels and a werewolf war from happening. You even have the will you marry me aspect that should have come at the END of the series, and not after this book. But, what do I know about HEA's?

So, once again, Eventide ends up being a bridge from the first three stories of this series, to the new Riley Poe series where she, Eli and Seth will be working for the WUP while Riley learns all about her new abilities including the ability to see a persons past, and mind manipulation.

At this point, I am not sure it would be worth my time to read the next book in the series. However, December is a long way away and things do change over the course of 8 months.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves # 1


Welcome to a new feature called Stacking the Shelves.
Stacking the Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

For the week of Sunday 04/22/2012 thru 04/28/2012

Received from Netgalley
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (no cover release as of yet)

From Lyn Benedict

From the library

Purchased via

Not too shabby!
What's did you get this week?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cover Reveals

Doing something new today since I'm a little bit behind on my posts.
The following covers have been released over the past week.
I love them all and can't wait to get my hands on the actual books!

Review: Make Me by Parker Blue (Demon Underground # 4)

Make Me (Demon Underground #4) by Parker Blue picks up pretty much where Fang Me left off. In fact, the entire series so far has been told over a period of a few months.

Valentine (Val) Shapiro has lost her slayer powers. She’s extremely desperate to keep that secret from the rogue vampires who would love nothing better than to take her down permanently. Val has been a thorn in the vampire’s sides for years and she’s still only 18 years old!

Val is part Succubus which she tends to call Lola. Lola is the only thing standing in the way of Val being killed outright. Lola is able to take control of any vampire; unless that vampire happens to be female then she’s in deep trouble.

Val remains under contract to the New Blood Movement and Alejandro until they come out into the open and announce that they exist. Since she’s under contract, this means that she has to travel to Austin, Texas along with Alejandro and his crew. This crew includes Austin, who has been trying to teach Val how to fight off vampires.

Val is also the current Keeper of the Encyclopedia Magicka. The only problem is that Jack, the former keeper of the books, is so busy catching up on TV shows, and eating his heart’s content in food, that Val hasn’t been properly trained. What Val does know from Jack, is that she needs to be careful using the books or she could permanently lose her Succubus powers as well.

While in Austin, Val and crew discover that someone is creating rogue demon vampires. The villain, and her reasons for creating these chupacabra’s, shall not be spoiled by me in this review. Let’s just say that things don’t exactly end up the way Val thought they would when she agreed to work with the vampires.

Val’s already complicated life really delves into the darkness when her best friend and roommate Gwen, along with Micah the leader of the Demon Underground, end up being kidnapped by a demon named Asmodeus who wants the books Val now holds. He even brings back a former nemesis of Val’s, Lily Armstrong, in order to prod Val into giving up the books.

Naturally, there’s a huge twist regarding Gwen that I’m not sure needed to be done nor shall I spoil. Val’s life is already problematic, and now thanks to her contract with the New Blood Movement, her former bosses at the Special Crimes Unit have terminated her with prejudice.

She is also betrayed by her so called best friend Fang who wants things to change in San Antonio’s Demon Underground and needs Val’s help in order to bring about the changes that will make the Underground better and safer for Demons.

On the romance side of things, Shade, who Val lost her V to, becomes cold and bitter after he follows Val and crew to Austin because he’s jealous of the vampire Austin and Val’s closeness. After another Succubus takes control of him and uses him for her own desires, Shade lays all blame at Val’s feet and the relationship suffers a major collapse. I guess we should have seen that coming since Val’s relationships don’t last all that long.

Overall, while I still enjoy Val, she came across like a teenager with major angst in her life. Yes, she does have serious problems, but it’s time to stand up and make a choice about what she wants to do with her life now that she doesn’t have her slayer powers, and the books are causing all sorts of fun for her.

This series has been, mostly, about Val and Fang’s relationship and how they work together to fight the villains. This time out, not only does Fang do Val wrong, but he’s not all that funny. Maybe it’s because he’s about read to have a litter of puppies, that his thoughts are otherwise preoccupied.

With the surprise ending to this book, one can only hope that there will be a book # 5 in this series to tie up several of the storylines once and for-all.

Thank you to and Bell Bridge Books for providing me a copy of this ARC.

Author: Parker Blue
Title: Make Me
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Released: April 30, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday 04/26/2012

Welcome to another edition of Feature & Follow Friday brought to you by Parajunkee's View
& Alison Can Read.

This weeks question is:

Question: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then "broke up with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

My answer: Not just yes, but hell yes! I fell in love with the Anita Blake series from the first book onward. I loved her interaction with Jean Claude and the fact that she was a vampire slaying necromancer. THEN, of course, it became all about the ardeur and I lost all respect for the series. Yes, yes, I am a prude when it comes to having a character sleep with several dozen men, and women, at the same time. I probably won't ever read another book in the series. However, in case I do, I want to state for the record that I will borrow it from the library before I will spend any of my hard earned money!

My runner up's are: Otto from the Disillusionist series; Donovan Caine from the Elemental Assassin series; Nina LaShay from the Underworld Detection Agency.

I am absolutely interested in what you have to say about my answer as well as learning
more about yours!

New followers & Old Followers alike are always welcomed to stop by and visit!
New followers are encouraged to follow via Linky, or GFC.

The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass (The Body Farm # 7)

The Inquisitor’s Key is the seventh novel in the Body Farm series. The main character of the series is Dr. Bill Brockton, renowned forensic anthropologist and founder of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to read this series, you really should consider trying it out. If you weren’t aware that this place actually exists, they I shall correct your mistaken belief when I say that I’ve actually visited there thanks to the bi-annual visit of the Florida Gators to UT for college football.

Dr. Bill is once again asked by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for his help in identifying a body that was left behind after a botched DEA investigation into the Columbian drug trade into the US Southeast. Almost immediately, he once again finds himself in danger because the operation itself has somehow been compromised. Unfortunately, this operation causes the death of someone important to Bill, and who has been a friend of his for awhile.

Bill then receives a call in regards to the health of his all but important assistant Miranda Lovejoy. Miranda is in Avignon, France for the summer doing an excavation on a former medieval palace that once was the home to the French Popes. After a bit of misdirection, and lies about what is happening to Miranda, Bill takes off like a bat out of hell to Avignon only to learn that Miranda is fine and that she and her colleague Stefan Beauvoir may have found the discovery of a lifetime.

The book transcends time periods going back to the 14th century (1314-1328) as well as the present time. Dr. Bill is once again at the center of a major mystery after discovering that the bones that were found in Avignon by Stefan and Miranda may or may not be that of the Christ Jesus.

With the discovery of the fact that the bones are 2,000 years old, comes plenty of questions and the mystery of how they ended in in the former palace in the first place.

This story definitely has a nice historical feel to it. The writers delve into the lives of several Catholic Popes especially those like Clement the V and Benedict the VII who were behind the Inquisition and the total destruction of the Knight’s Templar’s during the early 14th century.

The mystery kept me interested in the story right until the very last page. Were the bones actually Christ Jesus, and if so, how did they end up at the Palace of the Popes? Or, were the bones actually that of Jean Eckhart who caught the ire of the White Pope during the Inquisition and was never heard from again? Sorry, no spoilage here!

Then there is the relationship between Bill and Miranda who have worked together for the past 6 years. Again, if you haven’t read this series, I absolutely encourage you to at least go to the library and borrow this book. It seems as though Miranda and Bill are growing closer than ever which is better late than never.
I want to thank the writer Jon Jefferson for providing me with a signed advanced copy of this novel. Jon I appreciate the fact that you thought about me when sharing copies of this book.

Author: Jefferson Bass
Title: The Inquisitor's Key
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by William Morrow

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 04/24/2012

WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine guessed it - Wednesday! Bloggers share the coming release that we are most excited for at the moment.

After nearly dying at the hands of the Aurelian, Chrysabelle finds new determination to move beyond life as a comarré. That is until the Kubai Mata bring a new task to her doorstep: rescue the child Tatiana has kidnapped, or Mal becomes enemy number one.
I'm seriously wanting this next book now. I really want to know what happens
next with Mal and Chrysabelle after what happened in Bad Blood.

What are YOU waiting for?

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Abandon, by Meg Cabot, is the first book in the trilogy and is supposedly the retelling of Hades and Persephone. Pierce Oliviera, our storyteller, had a death experience at the age of 15. They say it was a near death experience, and yet, Pierce was actually dead for over an hour before being resuscitated by the Emergency Medical Technicians.

On a stopover in the Underworld, Pierce once again meets John Hayden whom she first met when she was 7 years old at her grandfather’s funeral. Hayden is charmed by Pierce and wants to keep her around so that she will be safe from evil. He even gives her a necklace that is said to ward off evil.

Instead, princess Pierce escapes and returns from the dead where everyone thinks she has major issues like PTSD, Attention Hyperactivity disorder, and inattentiveness. She’s then involved in the attack on a teacher that ends up costing her father money in a civil suit because nobody can find evidence to the contrary that Pierce wasn’t to blame for her teachers attack.

Pierce is pretty much thrown out of school in Connecticut and put in the middle of a costly divorce between her uber wealthy father, and liberal leaning mother who blames the father for everything, including Pierce’s brush with death.

As the story opens, 17 year old Pierce and her mother Deborah Cabrero now reside in Isla Hueso (Isle of Bones), Florida alongside her Grandmother, Uncle and cousin. Pierce is forced to start her senior year off in the trouble maker wing of Isla Hueso High School where one of the traditions is a Coffin find.

Later we learn that the necklace that Pierce wears around her neck was in fact made by Hades, the god of death, for his love Persephone. It also saves the wearer from the so called Furies who are actually spirits of the dead who are really unhappy with where they ended up after they died.

Since I haven’t read the Goddess Test, which is pretty much based on the same story, I can’t compare the stories. I did find myself disconnected with Pierce as a character since she pretty much gets whatever she wants. She needs money; she calls daddy deep pockets. She needs help getting out of trouble; her father pays off the civil suit. She's not the brightest light bulb in the pack most times.

Pierce is kind of a mess as main character. She has no clue about who Homer is, or what the story was between Hades and Persephone. One of the sub characters had it right on the money in saying schools these days don’t teach students anything of importance. I've been reiterating that fact for the past 20 years!

As for John Hayden, I would definitely call him a stalker pure and simple. He pretty much stalks Pierce from the time she’s 7 years old, until she ends up in Isla Hueso where his cemetery is located 10 years later. He has the ability to be anywhere Pierce is in a blink of an eye, and has more than a few times, assaulted anyone who has tried to harm her.

I think the most interesting part of the story was when the cemetery caretaker was explaining to a blank eyed Pierce about the whole situation with Hades, Persephone, and Hayden and how different religions have different ideas about where a soul ends up after it leaves this plane of existence. I found myself wanting to learn more about the 5 rivers of the Underworld (Acheron, Kokytos, Phlegethon, Lethe, and Styx) as well as the 5 prongs of Persephone’s necklace (Sorrow, Fire, Hate, Lamentation, and Oblivion.)

One of my major beefs with this story is the consistency of the story. It was all over the place. It was like attempting to follow an individual who is totally disconnected from reality and expecting readers to understand that the hell was going on. Now, look, I’m a fan of Cabot’s writing so it’s nothing personal.

Naturally, since there are two more books in the series, this book is left with a cliffhanger after John spirits Pierce away to the Underground. No spoiler here. It’s as obvious as reading the synopsis for the next book called Underworld.

I liked the setting for the story as being the real life Isla Hueso. I love when writer’s use an actual settings to tell their stories especially Key West that has a very long history. The part about the bodies not being buried underground because they continually raise to the surface after Hurricane’s hit the Isle was based on factual evidence, and not myth.

Overall, a decent start to the series with all sorts of improvement and avenues to explore from here on out.

Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point
Released: April 26, 2011

Monday, April 23, 2012

In My Mailbox 04/22/2012

In my Mailbox is a meme hosted by  The Story Siren, that features books I’ve received,  borrowed, and purchased during the current week.

Hello again my awesome followers!

This has been a fantastic week for receiving books from publishers,
Netgalley, Edelweiss, and of course, the library.

Let's get right to it;

From the library:

From Kensington Publishers

From Netgalley

From Edelweiss
I'm happier than a clam at high tide to have received Chasing Magic after being 
denied twice by Netgalley!

I hope everyone had a fun week, and received lots of awesome stuff in your mailbox!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris (ARC Version)

17 year old Janelle Tenner is not your average teenager. She is straight forward, feisty, and a go getter. She’s smart as a whip, and has the wherewithal to back up her boast without shoving that fact into others faces.

Janelle has also not lived under the perfect mantle where everything is perfect in her home life. Her mother is bipolar and a total mess. Her father is head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence office in San Diego and an avid science fiction follower. (Think Star Wars and X-Files). She has pretty much raised her brother Jared who is 3 years younger than she is.

When Janelle is run over by a truck that appears out of nowhere, she is pulled back from the other side by Ben Michaels one of the so called stoners of her high school. The mystery, however, is just getting started. Bodies are seemingly piling up and the identities of the bodies left behind have the FBI scratching their collective heads.

As the mystery deepens, you are left wondering what characters are the good guys, and what characters are the bad guys. I think it shows that Norris is more than capable of putting together a story without spoiling what is actually happening behind the scenes. This is one book where you do have a distinct beginning, middle and ending, although I can only hope that there will be a sequel to this book in the near future.

As a character, Janelle is nothing if not curious about everything that happens around her. She’s curious as to how Ben was able to bring her back to life and leave her without so much as a scratch on her body. She’s curious about her father’s work at the FBI and the fact that he is chasing someone intent on ending the world. And, she’s curious and serious enough to want to do something about stopping the doomsday countdown, rather than sitting by and partying like its 1999.

Unraveling is one of those books that cross genres between sci-fi, thriller & mystery. Unraveling is definitely one of the better YA novels I have read this year and its still April! It has the feel of a story that would be on my all-time favorite TV shows like X-files, 24 and Fringe.

As for Ben Michaels character, he is a deeply mysterious boy who just happens to have an amazing ability that no one else has. The fact that he isn’t from this planet, makes his character all that more interesting to read about. Naturally, there is a romance feel to the story as Ben and Janelle explorer both their feelings towards the other, and what they can do to stop the countdown to the end of the world.
I would highly recommend this book to not only YA lovers, but those who enjoy science fiction, mystery and suspense as well.

Sexual Content: No sex scenes, but lots of kissing
Fulgarity Warning: Yes, there are cuss words in the book as Janelle is written as thought she is real, and thus real teens often do use cuss words to express themselves.

*ARC recvd 04/20/2012 from HarperCollins thru Edelweiss.

Title: Unraveling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: HarperCollins 2012
Released: April 24, 2012

300 Follower Giveaway

Hello all you wonderful followers of Gizmo's Reviews!

Over the last several months I have been profoundly taken back by the generosity and the comments you, my blog followers, have left for me. I have come a very long way in such a short period of time. I really am amazed that I have reached 300 followers and now have high hopes that one day I will reach the magical 1,000 follows milestone.

I don't think I am alone in saying the reason we all blog is because we enjoy reading our favorite genres, following our favorite authors, and just hanging around with friends in our love for all things books.

With that being said, I felt that it was time to do a giveaway to thank you all. I am giving
away (one) $20.00 gift certificate to either Amazon (if you live in the US and Canada), or Book Depository (if you are international.)

Just follower the nice instructions from Rafflecopter and good luck!

The giveaway runs from Saturday, April 21, thru Friday April 28, 2012.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Will Hill's Department 19 Reviewed

As a 14 year old, Jamie Carpenter’s life was altered forever after he watched his father get shot to death by a group of masked men. It was later revealed that Julian Carpenter was a terrorist and traitor responsible for the deaths of men under his command. (Or so the family was told.)

Two years later, we find a very angry 16 year old Jamie still stewing over his father’s actions and getting his ass kicked at school by everyone and his brother. Once again, Jamie finds that his life is about to be altered even further after his mother, Marie, is taken and disappears without a trace.

As Jamie is being attacked by a female vampire, later identified as Larissa Kinley who is out to kill him, she suddenly changes her mind, and leaves Jamie to the capable hands of Frankenstein who was supposeed to be the kids guardian. Yes, that Frankenstein. Larissa ends up being a key player in the overall scheme of things, and how the ending plays out.

Department 19 is an interesting yet strange story that features several points of views, and back flashes to the time of Dracula, Van Helsing, and Jonathan Harker, as well as Jamie’s own descendants like Henry and John Carpenter. The story is a combination science fiction and YA paranormal, and in my opinion, would have been a bit better had it not been for the storyline moving back and forth and all over the place over different time periods. Once again, my opinion is subjective and may not be in line with others who have enjoyed this book more than me.

Department 19 takes place over several different time lines including 1892, 1928, and 2007. Jamie finds himself immersed in a world of secret government agencies whose responsibility it is to protect humans from the paranormals like vampire, werewolves, zombies and others.

For Jamie, his only mission is to find his mother and bring her back in one piece. Unfortunately, others like the infamous vampire Alexandru Rusmanov, who was turned by Dracula himself along with his two brothers Valeri and Valentin, have other ideas. So, Jamie is forced to train with the legendary Blacklights so that doesn't get himself killed.

Jamie is an interesting character who is submersed along with the original six families all of whom made it their mission in life to work for the new department soon to be called Department 19. His primary mission is to find and rescue his mother before the villain can kill her. Note: if you’ve read the description of the second book, you know what happens to her in this one.

What you don't read is that Jamie grows up fast, and even though he is nearly an emotional train wreck at times because of his worries over his mothers fate, he does find attachment towards Larissa as well as other key members of Blacklight who help him along the way.

This book is not a tea and crumpets kind of story. There is bloodshed, and massive killings and it all falls on a 16 year olds shoulders because of something his own father did years before that has earned his family the wrath of Alexandru and other vampires.

I’m glad that Will Hill decided to make the vampires nastier than a drunk on Saturday night after being told that he can’t drink anymore. Of course, this is only the first book in the series and thus we really have to wait and see how the story plays itself out, and what happens to Will’s mother from here on out.

Author: Will Hill
Title: Department 19
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: March 31, 2011