Saturday, May 31, 2014

*Gizmos Reviews* Blog Tour: Hexed by Michelle Krys - Review

It's Bring it On meets The Craft in this spellbinding witchy series debut.
A stolen book. A deadly plan. A destiny discovered. 
If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won't stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn't want to be her?
Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie's world, she learns that her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn't get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that's seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she's a witch too.
Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie is about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.


**I received this book for free from NetGalley/Publisher as part of the Hexed Blog Tour and in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

Sixteen year old Indigo Blackwood has lived the charmed life. She's fairly intelligent when it comes to school, she's part of the cheerleading squad with her supposed best friend Bianca Cavanaugh, she dates the quarterback of the football team Devon Mills, and also works for her mother's Wicca shop proving that you can be quirky, smart, and popular if you have the right mixture of things happen to you.

Things start to change when Indigo and her former best friend/next door neighbor Paige Abernathy witness a boy (Bishop) falling to his death. Shortly thereafter, Paige and Indigo are questioned at school by strange men, and the family bible that her mother Gwen obsessed over for so long, suddenly disappears leaving in its place a very sarcastic, and brooding Bishop who has been tasked to find it.

Indigo is awakened to a new world where witches, and warlocks are fighting for survival against sorcerers who have made it their goal to eliminate all witches around the world by gaining control of The Witch Hunter's bible. Surprised to learn that she inherited the witch gene, Indigo has to learn the facts of being a witch, as it were, quickly before she loses everything. 

I will have to say that Hexed perplexed me in many ways. First, I have no clue why there has to be the annoying cheating episode I loathe so much. Cheaters are next to rapists in my strange little world. I could do without both of them in my books. Then again, this book is a Young Adult novel, and it is surrounded by the High School environment where kids are bullies, back stabbing traitors, and only looking out for themselves so that they can get into a good college.

I had hoped that Paige and Indigo would find a way to reconcile the fact that Indigo abandoned her for fame and the in crowd with Bianca, and they really did come together when all is said and done. With friends like Bianca, I would rather go through life alone, and become a hermit. Thankfully, Paige is a character who is head strong, and doesn't like to be pushed around by anyone.

I often nag about silly stuff in books. My beef this time comes around when a certain character who shall remain nameless, pays $900 for a freaking cab ride. Are you out of your mind? A 16 year old has $900 just lying around in their pockets? Oh wait, it's California, how rude of me to complain about this silliness!

*Recvd 02/14/2014 via Netgalley & Publisher* Expected publication: June 10th 2014 by Delacorte Press

Author - Michelle Krys
Title - Hexed (The Witch Hunter # 1)
Published by Delacorte Press
Releases: June 10, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Ebook 384 pages

Friday, May 30, 2014

*Stacking the Shelves* Edition #110 - The Edelweiss Collection

Stacking the Shelves for the week of May 25 thru May 31, 2014

Stacking The Shelves is a fun way to show off the books we received over the past week in the hopes that you will find something that you will be interested in reading. As always, it is in no way, shape, or form to be considered bragging or sticking out our tongues at other bloggers. 

I personally enjoy  reading comments from those that stop by and support Gizmo's Reviews and I make every effort to comment and visit back your blog in return. 

Thank you Harper Collins, Katherine Tegen Books, Balzer + Bray, Harper Teen, Greenwillow Books, Sparkpress, Harper Impulse, Feiwel & Friends & Disney-Hyperion! 


Received via Edelweiss (Harper Collins)

Katherine Tegen Books

Balzer + Bray


Harper Teen

Greenwillow Books

Received via NetGalley (Sparkpress)


Harper Impulse

Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)

Borrowed from Library

Thursday, May 29, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* The Wicked Within (Gods & Monsters #3) by Kelly Keaton

*MY Thoughts*

The Wicked Within, the final installment of the Gods & Monsters Trilogy, puts Ari, Sebastian, her father, her Novem allies, and friends on a final collision course with Athena. Athena may have been temporarily defeated, but she isn't out of the game just yet. In fact, she makes things even more interesting for the NINE oldest families of New 2 (aka New Orleans) which leaves the Novem struggling with itself to remain viable.

Ari & Sebastian must find out where Josephine hid the Hands of Zeus fast so that she can use it to unfreeze Athena's child. In doing so, Ari can finally break free from the family curse that hangs over her head once she turns Twenty-One. Ari is finally getting a real opportunity to learn about her father, and the relationship he had with Ari's mother who abandoned her when she was Four.

She's a fierce, determined fighter, but sometimes she needs to be slapped upside the head to get her to use her abilities. As the last remaining descendant of Medusa, Ari needs a nudge or a push now and then to get her to understand that she is far from weak, and can kick anyone's ass if she puts her mind to it. I mean, come on! She's has the ability to turn people and things into stone! I love the fact that Ari finally has a real home to come back to after a hard day at the office. 

Sebastian has to deal with his transition to a vampire and the need to drink blood which he has kept hidden from Ari to her bitter disappointment. Now that he's finally come into his abilities as a vampire, his overbearing grandmother, Josephine Arnaud, makes it known that he may be the strongest heir in New 2, and thus it is time to step up to his responsibilities. Bastian also has some pretty cool new tools to play with, and they come in handy when the melee hits the fan, and New 2's very existence is put to the test. 

The Wicked Within features a collection of paranormal characters from vampires, shifters, and witches, to Greek Gods, and even a surprising Egyptian God who makes things interesting. While she's at it, Keaton also tosses in an unknown with the appearance of the River Witch who has a strange connection to Violet which I won't spoil. Readers will just have to have lots of patience before this characters true identity comes to be revealed. 

Gods & Monsters has been an interesting journey from start to finish. Although Keaton does a fairly decent job of summation, I would definitely recommend that you keep notes, OR, read the books back to back so that you won't lose your memory of what happened in the previous installments. I have to say that as an older reader, it gets utterly frustrating having to go back to previous reviews in order to slap your brain into remembering what happened previously. 

The world that Keaton has created is set in New Orleans 15 years after the city was flooded by Athena, and was later sold by the US Government to the Novem Supernatural families who renamed it New 2. I adore Henri, Violet, Dub, and Crank. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you learn about Violet's purpose, and why things just don't seem to chink her armor. Keaton choose to write this book from the POV's of both Ari, and Bastian. Bastian can be a hard character to like at times, but by the time you reach the end, it will have been all worth it.

Author - Kelly Keaton
Title - The Wicked Within (Gods & Monsters # 3)
Published by Simon Pulse
Released: September 17, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Early Review - Sidekick by Auralee Wallace

**I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

I have to you ahead of time that I may babble a little bit while reviewing this book. If you want to bypass the babble, feel free!

Admit it folks, you've always wanted to be someone other than yourself. When you were growing up, you either wanted to be cool like Veronica Mars, or a member of the Scooby Gang, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or perhaps maybe even the President of the USA. It is absolutely alright to want to be someone entirely different than your supposed career paths.

I come from an age where I thought Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Cat Woman, Invisible Woman, Super Girl, Kitty Pryde, and Yes, even Buffy, were the cats pajamas! There they were larger than life on TV breaking down male stereotypes with their kick ass books, and outfits, while keeping the world safe from supervillains.

I continue searching for a way to change up my reading habits. I've been on the hunt for new and exciting authors who can bring a story to life, and entertain me when real life just plain sucks the morrow from my bones, and leaves me drained. Sidekick, by Australian Auralee Wallace, is my latest attempt at refreshing my reading tastes in a most enjoyable manner.

I have to say to you that this book is fun. It is entertaining. It has a heroine that is self-indulgent, undisciplined, reckless, pathetic, and has one of the most sarcastic attitudes you will find. But, you know what? I didn't care! I didn't care because the book (at 249 pages) was a quick read. It was filled with interesting characters, and a villain who you just wanted to punch in the face.

Our heroine is Brianna (Bremy) St James, is the daughter of billionaire Atticus St James. Bremy finds herself cut off from her money, her twin sister, and lifestyle she's become accustomed to all because she knows a terrifying secret about her father. She tries to keep her distance from her sister as well hoping that something exciting comes along. She is threatened by eviction and other more interesting things by her Russian landlord, and is told to find a job at a rather sexist place.

While being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, Bremy decides to take it upon herself to save the day; twice. Forget that the city already has its own heroine in Dark Ryder. Forget that she has absolutely no training whatsoever, or that if anyone found out who she really was, they would call her out for being a princess or worse. When Bremy's brain finally does kicks in, she decides that her new career goal is going to be SIDEKICK to the Dark Ryder! Here is where the secondary characters like reporter Pierce Stricklin, Bart, the MIT drop-out, Queenie, the rather abrupt next door neighbor, and Choden, teacher, and uncle to Dark Ryder come in.

If you are a comic book fan, you know that it is always in your best interest to suspend belief while reading stories like this. Belief suspended. I found it interesting that this story has been compared to a cross between Heroes and Bridget Jones. I can obviously see Bridget Jones in Bremy. Perhaps if we had more stories I could see the correlation with Heroes as well.

I really hope that there's a sequel to Sidekick, and its not just a standalone. OTHERWISE, I shall be forced to rethink this rating! I don't like leaving things in the air. I would love to see Ryder and Bremy working together like Batman and Robin. PLUS, I still need to see that a certain character gets their justice. PLUS, there is the whole romance angle that needs to be explored. PLUS, I love the whole Scooby Doo Gang feeling you get when you put Bremy's new allies together. So yes, Auralee, it is time to get back to work!

Author - Auralee Wallace
Title - Sidekick
Published by Escape Publishing, Australia
Releases: June 1, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Format:  Ebook 249 pages