Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year!
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh
Once a Witch (Witch #1) by Carolyn MacCullough
Always a Witch (Witch #2) by Carolyn MacCullough
Hickey of the Beast by Isabel Kunkle
Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder
Fire Study (Study #3) by Maria V. Snyder
Total Number of Books Read This Month: 7
Total Number of Books Read This Year: 61
Most Anticipated: Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh
Biggest Let Down: Hickey of the Beast by Isabel Kunkle
Favorite Read: Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Highest Rank: 5
Lowest Rank: 2
I'm quite surprised, yet pleased that I was able to fit in 6 books this month! Most of these books have been on my TBR list for quite a long time! I was happy that I finally picked them up! I adored Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh. The Witch series by Carolyn MacCullough was rather enjoyable. Hickey of the Beast by Isabel Kunkle was a promising read, which is better suited for younger readers. The Study series by Maria V. Snyder has proved to be as amazing as I had anticipated! Overall, a great month and year of reading! Here's to 2013!
Friday, December 28, 2012
Book Summery (Via Goodreads): The apprenticeship is over--now the real test has begun.
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder--able to capture and release souls--spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself--and save the land she holds dear.
So unfortunately, the reviews were true, and this was the weakest book in the series. However, I completely satisfied with the ending of both the book and the trilogy. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have more books to read in this series, but Snyder did an excellent job of wrapping up loose ends and preparing the reader for The Glass series! While it's hard to pinpoint exactly why this book fell short, I believe it suffers from a hefty amount of action, and a lack of the "subtle notes in-between." This makes for a choppier overall storyline. Not to say that Snyder's writing itself is choppy. However, the plot was action, action, action. A little bit more dialog in-between would have made for a more fluid storyline, in my honest opinion. However, do not be deterred from reading this series! I still enjoyed this book. Yelena's list of supporting characters grows impressively in size with each installment. I loved the interactions between Yelena and the horses, which provides some comedic relief. Of course, I savored every scene with Valek. I have a series book crush on this guy! Looking forward to continuing on with the spin off series!
“There's always another storm. It's the way the world works. Snowstorms, rainstorms, windstorms, sandstorms, and firestorms. Some are fierce and others are small. You have to deal with each one separately, but you need to keep an eye on whats brewing for tomorrow.”
Cover Art Commentary:
Loooove these covers! This is the least we see Yelena out of all three covers. However, I do love the bold, vivid colors!
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
What books are you looking forward to this upcoming January?
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Yelena is a survivor. Kidnapped as a child, held prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster, she is now a student of magic. But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of birth
But nothing in Sitia is familiar. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not of her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life... or be her downfall.
Wow! I don't even know where to begin! My head is still spinning. As I've read reviews on this series, it seems that most readers prefer Poison Study to the rest of the series. I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive going in to Magic Study. While, it did take me a wee bit longer to fully delve into the story, I was just as captivated with this sequel! I enjoyed seeing a softer side of Yelena. When first introduced to her in Poison Study, she has become hardened, just looking to survive. This time around, Yelena not only thrives, but has people who make her life worth living (Janco, Ari, Valek, Irys, her parents, etc...). While she is once again met with a hostile environment, I enjoyed watching Yelena grow and adapt. Introducing more magic into the story makes for a more complex plot, which I enjoyed. I've seen several reviews displeased with Yelena's newly developed ability to speak with horses, but I rather enjoyed this aspect. It gave the story some whimsy and humor. I don't think I'll ever look at an apple the same. ;) There is so much left unanswered, I hope that the final installment of the series will prove to be satisfying and entertaining, as I have developed high expectations of Snyder.
“Living is a risk," I snapped at him. "Every decision, every interaction, every step, every time you get out of bed in the morning, you take a risk. To survive is to know you're taking that risk and to not get out of bed clutching illusions of safety.”
Cover Art Commentary:
LOVE IT! The colors are vivid and the jungle background is the perfect rich and lush. We see more of Yelena this time around as well.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Book Summery (Via Goodreads): About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...
Words can't even begin to describe how much I enjoyed this book! I have been meaning to read Snyder's work for a while. I actually started reading Storm Glass first, but found myself a little lost in the world building and characters. There were several references back to the Poison Study series, so I stopped reading Storm Glass, and started on Poison Study. What makes this book so successful is the main character Yelena. She is strong and feisty, while conscientious at the same time. This makes for a well-rounded character. My favorite scenes are those with Valek. They balance each other nicely. The plot provided one surprise after another. I remember thinking "I don't know how Yelena is going to survive this" quite often. Snyder did an excellent job on the world building. I was completely swept away to another place and time. Overall, this was a strong start to the series. I've already started on the sequel Magic Study.
"Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It's called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don't do it halfway."
Cover Art Commentary:
This book has many covers, but this is my favorite! Love the stairwell and Yelena disappearing around the corner!
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Since the gripping conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision ? one so terrible that it could destroy her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.
Well, I was captivated with the first book. However, MacCullough elevates this story to another level by primarily focusing on time travel and historical fiction. The world building is fantastic. The evil Victorian Knights are downright loathsome. Once again, Tamsin makes for a fabulous narrator. What I did miss was Tamsin's interactions with her family, friends, and of course Gabriel once she travels back in time (this is a large portion of the story). I also would have liked to see more of the future that Tamsin had fought so hard to save. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. Despite these shortcomings, I madly flipped through the pages. It was rather difficult to set this book down. I would love to see more of this series, or the beginning of another!
"Just then the air is split open. 'Mother I said I wanted peonies, not posies. Posies are ridiculous in winter. Who ever heard of a bride carrying posies anyway?'
Gabriel turns his head. 'Are those Rowena's dulcet tones that I hear?'"
Cover Art Commentary:
I just adore the rich, deep colors of this cover. Tamsin looking over the ledge is a perfect image for contemplation...as she makes a "terrible" choice.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Connie thought freshman year might suck. She never thought it'd be literal.
Bad dreams? No big deal. After all, Connie Perez is starting her first year in the prep school her mom runs. Anyone would be a little stressed, right? When she starts dreaming about strange creatures and places that don't make sense, she doesn't think much about it: there's other stuff on her mind. Then she starts noticing that the people she dreams about get sick right afterwards.
Then everything gets weird.
There's something bad on the campus of Springden Academy. Something that feeds on students and warps their minds. And, as Connie and her friends try to figure out what's going on, it starts to look like she's the only one who can stop it.
Freshman year was hard enough without having to fight evil after class.
The premise of the book is really interesting. I was really looking forward to a fun, whimsical read with a touch of paranormal. However, the execution is lacking. What really got to me was the dialog. It's almost like the main character is trying too hard to talk like teen with overuse of slang and "typical" high school references (i.e. team sports, homework, crushes). That would honestly be acceptable, targeting a younger middle-school audience, if there wasn't as many curse words used. The mixture of the two was just odd. I tried to get used to it, but I just couldn't. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for censorship, but for a more youthful tone, I would try paring down some of the profanity (which I'll admit is more on the lighter side, nothing too explicit). There are some interesting, captivating scenes. Other parts of the story lagged. Overall, I would recommend this for mature younger readers.
"'Shakespear wasn't exactly G-rated in his day.'
'Yeah, I keep hearing that,' I said, 'but I don't think it counts if can't understand the dirty parts'."
Cover Art Commentary:
I really like this cover! Of course, I'm a sucker for a stack of books, I mean what book fiend isn't? The colors are eye-catching and contrast nicely.
Thank you Candlemark & Gleam for providing me with a copy of Hickey of the Beast. This is my honest review.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.
This was a fun book full of magic, romance, and adventure. Tamsin feels like an outcast from the rest of her family because she has no "talent" or special powers. She especially feels overshadowed by her older sister Rowena. However, she has found a niche for herself in life, as student at an New York boarding school who enjoys spending time with her best friend and roommate Agatha. What I liked most about Tamsin is how laid back and easy-to-relate-to she is. Definitely a more realistic character than Rowena. There is romance in this book, but it doesn't overpower the overall story. One of my favorite components of this book is the time traveling. It was definitely unexpected, and added a lot of flair. I look forward to the follow-up, Always A Witch.
"In a real, normal household people celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah. Halloween is for the kids to dress up in costumes. It's not a holiday when your whole family gathers in the deep woods behind your house and builds a bonfire and burns sweet herbs on the alter built to the four elements."
Cover Art Commentary:
I thought I liked the cover of the paperback (pictured at the right), then came along this beauty (pictured above). LOVE IT! The colors are richer and the ancient book has more depth to it. What do you think?
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Top Ten Tuesday: Top
Ten Twelve Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012
Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
What new-to-you authors did you enjoy in 2012?