August 31, 2015

Cover Coveting (3)

 
Cover art is found from Wicked Scribes, ATUF, Goodreads, social networks, and other sources.
***All cover art may not be final.***

It’s a slow week! Sadly.


Circle of Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Circle of Jinn Series: Becoming Jinn, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult

Shera’s thoughts:

Love the watermark design and the smoke. The rights are interesting, I’m going to guess that they mean something to the story.

The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


The Flux Series: ‘Mancer, book 2

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult

Shera’s thoughts:

First off, that girls outfit looks bad. Her breasts look like they’re going to jump out and water boat someone. And her pants are freaky.

It keeps well with the first cover though.

Untaken by J.E. Anckorn

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Untaken Series: N/A 

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction (Dystopian)

Shera’s thoughts:

Oooooo! This cover is awesome! Just look at all the detail! And I love the burning typography.

This cover screams apocalyptic.

August 28, 2015

Review: Arrow’s Fall

Arrow’s Fall (Arrows of the Queen, book 3) by Mercedes Lackey

arrow's fall

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Arrow's Fall (3)

With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.

But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queen to investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar.


Review:

This is the book that truly changed everything for me in the world of Valdemar.  The other two books clearly show how hard and trying the life a Herald is.  They emphasize how every Herald from 11-90 is ready to die for their country.  Lackey isn't afraid to kill off characters through the course of Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Flight, but this one drives the knife home.

Talia is just coming back from her circuit run and will be joining the court as the official Queen's Own with her own vote and everything.  She still has to deal with the political drama that she had left behind, and the enemy in the dark who has been trying to chip away at her from the very first day she came to the Herald Collegium. Not only that but she has to deal with a proposal for the Princess (who still needs a little schooling in the sacrifices of being a Queen), her mentor Kris isn't happy with her, and her potential life-bonded partner is running away from her.  The drama is higher than ever, but Lackey handles it well.  Avoiding what could have been a cheesy soap opera.

Before long Talia and Kris have to go as ambassadors to a neighboring kingdom about the proposed proposal of marriage to the princess.  The events that unfold are clearly chilling as the truth behind everything comes stalking out of the dark.  Valdemar has been betrayed by one of it's very own, and dark power of the old Mages are coming out to threaten Valdemar.

The previous two books have brought me to silent tears, and many times watery eyes.  However this book will bring out sobs of loss as the true meaning and price of a Herald takes center stage.  Death isn't the hardest thing to deal with.  Talia is tortured mercilessly for the pleasure of sadists, raped, and left to the simple solution of suicide.  Even through it all her Herald duty keeps her alive. 

For fans of epic battles this last book in the Arrows series does a fine job of it.  There's resolve and hope at the end.  However, the new enemy of Valdemar is not done with them, and will clearly be popping up in Elspeth's(the Heir apparent) books.  From here I would highly suggest reading Vanyel's book in the Magic's Price series.  It may being going back in time, but it explains a lot of things about the loss of Herald-mages and the "protection" that Valdemar has.  It will also help greatly in Elpesth's Mage Wind series.

Sexual Content:

Rape, dirty humor, and violent torture.

 
5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)

August 27, 2015

Review: Arrow’s Flight

Arrow’s Flight (Arrows of the Queen, book 2) by Mercedes Lackey

arrow's flight

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Arrow's Flight

Set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Valdemar, this unique and exciting novel continues the story of Talia. Having mastered the powers necessary to a guardian of the kingdom, she faces the final preparation for her initiation as adviser and protector of the Queen.


Review:

Talia's 4-5 years of Herald training has come to an end and she's finally getting into her whites.  Now all that's left is her 2 year circuit riding where she's partnered with a Senior Herald and learns to dispense justice.  As suits her upbringing she's put on a circuit that's right on the border of Valdemar near the Forest of Sorrow where the legendary Vanyel died and laid a curse upon the woods.

Talia's partnered with pretty boy Kris who is Talia's opposite.  He was born to a privileged elite family and is sheltered in the manners of border life and the hardships that the people have to deal with.  The two balance each other out nicely and Talia is good and knocking Kris off his pedestale of "women worship."  Kris has some inner depth that made me forget how conceded he could be at times.  Their relationship is put to the test as Kris tells Talia about some rumors about her misusing her Empath gift.  Spiraling her into a destructive state of mind that sends her emotions and powers against her.

It's definitely a good read dealing with the laws that need to be upheld in the rural areas.  Things as mundane as taxes to sadistic raping fathers.  Those scenes where thrilling and kept me guessing as the mundane and life threatening issues popped up to test Talia.  The thing that really slowed this read down—probably making it one of the less appreciated book in Talia's trilogy—is that a vast majority of the novel takes place in a Herald waystation where Talia and Kris are snowed in with their Companions and pack animals.  The two's relationship clearly grows and becomes something beautiful.  Looking back on my previous re-reads of this book I confess I never really appreciated the time spent with Talia getting retrained in her gift.  At times it can be a bit boring as they dig themselves out, survive getting snowed in, and the stress of Talia's out of control gifts and self-esteem.

Another thing that was fantastic about Arrow's Flight is the sexual relationship.  Lackey shows readers that love can develop between two people/characters with out it being some kind of huge "soulmate" thing.  They share something sweet and endearing, but still can manage to remain friends.  It was one of the first love scenes I had read, up until then male authors I had been reading had kisses then implied that the two had a slept together.  Even today I will say that the love scenes are nicely done.  They don't have the graphic detail that some of todays writers go into detail about, but it definitely gets the deed done.  Lackey doesn't gloss over the bits about Talia's lost virginity nor does she paint her ladies who enjoy a little bedroom time as sluts.  After all a little randiness among Heralds is quite fine.

Just like in the first book Lackey uses her page time wisely.  Characters from the previous book still get page time and their stories told even if they never make an appearance.  The plot may not be as complicated as the first book, but this one still manages perfectly with the political drama even though the two are out in the middle of no where.  Key things are still being setup even if there was some isolation time for the characters.

This may be the slowest book in the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, but it's still well worth the read.  Talia's journey to become Queen's Own is finally truly beginning, and the emotional growth helps to show Talia that she needs to accept help from other people.  The adventure clearly shows the tough decisions that Heralds have to deal with even if they aren't the Queen's Own.  It also emphasizes the different types of love that people can feel for friends with out turning into a soap fest.

Sexual Content: There is no mistaking what's going on, but it's clearly not as graphic as some of the newer books out there.  Again there are some homosexual themes, though not with the main character.

 
4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)

August 26, 2015

Wednesday Wishes

Well it’s time to wish for more books! Now to resist the temptation to not buy!


Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine

Of Dreams and RustGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Of Metal and Wishes, book 1

War erupts in this bittersweet sequel to "Of Metal and Wishes", inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and called “relentlessly engrossing” by The Romantic Times.

In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.

The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?

Oooo, it’s so pretty! And it comes out this month. I’ve been meaning to buy the first book. So with this release I want both of them even more!

Tether by Anna Jarzab

tetherGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Many-Worlds Trilogy, book 2
Series: Young Adult Science Fiction

Tether, the sequel to Tandem, continues the captivating tale of rebellion and romance that spans parallel worlds.

Everything repeats.

Sasha expected things to go back to normal once she got back on Earth. But now that she knows parallel worlds are real, and that an alternate version of herself exists in a world called Aurora, her old life no longer seems to make sense . . . and her heart breaks daily for Thomas, the boy she left behind. Troubled by mysterious, often terrifying visions and the echoes of a self she was just beginning to discover, Sasha makes the difficult decision to journey once more through the tandem.

Thomas is waiting for her on the other side, and so is strange, otherworldly Selene, Sasha’s analog from a third universe. Sasha, Selene, and their other analog, Juliana, have a joint destiny, and a new remarkable power, one that could mean salvation for Selene’s dying planet. With Thomas’s help, Sasha and Selene search for the missing Juliana. But even if they can locate her, is Sasha willing to turn her back on love to pursue a fate she’s not sure she believes in?

I keep hearing amazing things about the first book, and the covers are so compelling.

August 25, 2015

Review: Shards of Hope

Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling, book 14) by Nalini Singh

shards-of-hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Shards of Hope (14)

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.


Review:

It's so surprising to find out that a romance between two Arrows can feel so sweet and innocent. While I found myself a hair's breath away from being all consumed with fiery passion, I found myself happy to be in the middle of an adorable romance. Which is funny because Zaira is is one tough cookie, and refers to herself as a monster throughout the book. She's intense, scary sometimes, and thinks a bit differently. But I stand by what I say. The romance between both Aden and Zaira is adorable.

Maybe that's because both never got to experience true childhoods and with both their personalities they can see their love—and one another—in childish wonder. Especially since they both see the dark side of the world. The terrors and horrors. Zaira's selfishness and fire balances out Aden's over protectiveness and care for others. That's not to say they’re not great people. Zaira is amazing and I have to be honest the way she kept saying she was a monster got old fast. Because it's clear that she is a wonderful person and she cares deeply about others. Maybe it's just the contrast of how Silence made her believe that by defending herself as a child she was evil. I liked that Aden pushed her and let her know that he wanted her. However, it was Zaira observing her own actions that made her think that maybe she wasn't a monster. That’s not to say she doesn’t get scary violent.

Shards of Hope excellently displays the world after Silence has fallen and the Psy are taking tentative steps into their new hope. With the Empaths at the center of it, and the Arrows finding there footing in the world. It's a beautiful thing to see Aden's dreams for his Arrows. How he wants them to be more. To be a family. Much how Snowdancer and DarkRiver are. It's haunting and touching to see how not only the children can find hope and a new life, but the senior Arrows. It was fabulous to see the children become children. And the adult Arrows start to thaw out. To see some romances spark up! To just see the joy. Even as some very dark events haunt the squad as Aden tries to lead them into the brighter future.

This book is definitely an intro into the new world that the Psy/Changeling books are going. As well as a stepping stone as a new enemy appears on the horizon, The Consortium. They're crafty, and while are heroes come out on top this round it's clear that the Consortium is quite the enemy. They have learned from the Pure Psy and the Council's mistakes. It's also really fun trying to guess who might be the mastermind behind it all. (Come on we all had fun speculating who the Ghost could be, even after knowing 100% who it was.) It was like watching a crazy, and more exciting, game of chess. There were some devastating moments.

Oh, and RainFire is introduced. A new group of cats who are trying to setup and build their own pack! I loved how they helped inspire Aden and became allies. The members presented are characters I hope to see in future books. I have my fingers crossed.

Overall Singh does it again. I know a lot of readers are complaining about how it's a basic romance story. You know the two characters involved are going to end up together by the end of the book. However, Singh puts so much emotion into it I never get tired. Each new couple stand out. No two characters can be mistaken for the other. Plus, the world building is so fantastic that it not only influences the characters, but is influenced by them. I love how intricate the world is. How dedicated Singh is to the story, right down to the politics! Not to mention the dynamics between humans, Psy, and Changelings. It's all so believable, and I'm invested. Shards of Hope is very much a book of hope. For those who believe they're damaged and can no longer be human, the hope for a brighter future, the hope that the three races can truly interact together, and hope itself. I enjoy how much attention and importance Singh's books are about family and friends. The different aspects of them. Those values and ideas definitely shine here. Bravo! This series, and the world, is not running out of steam.

(For me the amount of characters and all the cameos are a treat! I love seeing all my beloved characters come back. However, there are a lot of characters and sometimes the guide at the front is not enough. Check out Wicked Scribe's character guide if you need to brush up. I know sometimes my brain stalls out. Especially with a year in between installments.)

Sexual Content: Some sex scenes, not as naughty as other installments. Sexual humor as well.

 
4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:

An Enchanted Season (.5)
Burning Up (.6)
Slave to Sensation (1)
The Cannibal Princess(1.5)
Visions of Heat (2)
Caressed by Ice (3)
Stroke of Enticement (3.5)
Mine to Possess (4) 
A Conversation (4.5)
Hostage to Pleasure (5)
A Gift for Kit (5.5)
Movie Night (5.6) 
Branded by Fire (6)
The Party (6.5) 
Blaze of Memory (7) 
Christmas in the Kitchen (7.5)
Bonds of Justice (8)
Play of Passion (9)
Wolf School (9.1)
Kiss of Snow (10)
Wild Invitation
(.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5)
Tangle of Need (11)
Poker Night (11.1)
Stalking Hawke (11.2)
Heart of Obsidian (12) 
Shield of Winter (13) 
Shards of Hope  (14) 

An Enchanted Season (.5)
Burning Up (.6)
Slave to Sensation (1)
The Cannibal Princess(1.5)
Visions of Heat (2)
Caressed by Ice (3)
Stroke of Enticement (3.5)
Mine to Possess (4)
A Conversation (4.5)
Hostage to Pleasure (5)
A Gift for Kit (5.5)
Movie Night (5.6)
Branded by Fire (6)
The Party (6.5)
Blaze of Memory (7)
Christmas in the Kitchen (7.5)
Bonds of Justice (8)
Play of Passion (9)
Wolf School (9.1)
Kiss of Snow (10)
Wild Invitation
(.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5)
Tangle of Need (11)
Poker Night (11.1)
Stalking Hawke (11.2)
Heart of Obsidian (12)
Shield of Winter (13) 
Shards of Hope (14)
An Enchanted Season (.5)
Burning Up (.6)
Slave to Sensation (1)
The Cannibal Princess(1.5)
Visions of Heat (2)
Caressed by Ice (3)
Stroke of Enticement (3.5)
Mine to Possess (4)
A Conversation (4.5)
Hostage to Pleasure (5)
A Gift for Kit (5.5)
Movie Night (5.6)
Branded by Fire (6)
The Party (6.5)
Blaze of Memory (7)
Christmas in the Kitchen (7.5)
Bonds of Justice (8) 
Play of Passion (9)
Wolf School (9.1)
Kiss of Snow (10)
Wild Invitation
(.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5)
Tangle of Need (11)
Poker Night (11.1)
Stalking Hawke (11.2)
Heart of Obsidian (12)
Shield of Winter (13)
Shards of Hope (14)

August 24, 2015

Cover Coveting (5)

 
Cover art is found from Wicked Scribes, ATUF, Goodreads, social networks, and other sources.
***All cover art may not be final.***

I’m a little short on time


White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


White Trash Zombie Gone Wild Series: White Trash Zombie, book 5

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:

This series has had AMAZING!! Covers. This one is soooo badass and unique! I love that not only the name

Jeweled Fire by Sharon Shinn

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


jeweled fire_front mech.indd Series: Elemental Blessings, book 3

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:

It’s so pretty! This whole series is the best of “dress covers”! Probably one of the better flame covers I’ve seen.

Queen by Aimee Carter

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


Queen Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion, book 3

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction (YA Dystopian)

Shera’s thoughts:

I love the prison feel of this cover!! Not to mention that random chess piece.

The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


The Thorn of Emberlain Series: Gentleman Bastard, book 4

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:

I don’t like the art style where it feels completely computer created. It feels cold. I do however love the fully armored guys! And it fits the series covers well.

The Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo

Previous book(s) in series:

Goodreads | Amazon


the-demon-in-the-wood Series: The Grisha Trilogy, book 0.1

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Epic Fantasy

Shera’s thoughts:

It’s very minimalistic and I love it!! It’s also a very spooky cover!! I adore it!

Especially since it’s supposed to be about a certain Darkling. . .

August 21, 2015

Review: Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, book 2) by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Girl in the Clockwork Collar (1)

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens and tightens. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship. More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley...and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much....


Review:

Ah. So good. Everything just clicked into place with this one. There was this one character that I hoped, and wished, that Cross would go there with. Sure I'd predicted the plot, but it would be soooooo cool. And Cross did go there. I love an author who isn't afraid to DO things with their characters. To throw them a situation that will forever alter them.

The Girl In the Clockwork Collar is the second book in the Steampunk Chronicles. While it swiftly picks up where the last book left off, our characters won't stay comfy for long. The changing POV is still present and I'm so happy that a lot of the characters get to tell the story. Sam and Emily’s page time is not happening, but Cross writes them in so well that it doesn't feel like a loss. Jack Dandy may never have stepped into this story, but he made his presence known. *Grins* Finley and Griffin are very much the main characters. It's so wonderful watching them deal with their emotions with each other. To learning together that society should never dictate how you love someone. Life can be startling short.

Oh, and don't forget poor Jasper. He's very much the scoundrel. He's left broken hearts everywhere and his past in a gang is coming back to haunt him. However, Jasper is a true gentleman and I loved him. It's so hard to pick favorites with so many wonderful characters but Jasper is pretty darn amazing. Which is shown by the type of women he picks. (No one should complain about Finley's taste in men anymore.) I was fascinated by his exes and one in particular I hope to see in future installments.

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar does nothing to expand on the The Machinist. However, I enjoyed the peek into New York and really enjoyed how much this entry expanded the world of the Steampunk Chronicles. Now that the bulk of the character introductions and world building were handled in the first book, this book just felt effortless. There are also some heavy consequences that will affect the characters. I'm very excited to see what the next installment brings!

Sexual Content: Some mild adult themes mentioned. Kissing.

 
5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (0.5)
Girl in the Steel Corset (1)
Girl With the Clockwork Collar (2)
The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy (2.5)
The Girl with the Iron Touch (3)
The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn (3.5)
The Girl with the Windup Heart (4)

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (0.5)
Girl in the Steel Corset (1)
Girl With the Clockwork Collar (2)
The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy (2.5)
The Girl with the Iron Touch (3)
The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn (3.5)
The Girl with the Windup Heart (4)

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (0.5)
Girl in the Steel Corset (1)
Girl With the Clockwork Collar (2)
The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy (2.5)
The Girl with the Iron Touch (3)
The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn (3.5)
The Girl with the Windup Heart (4)

 

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