Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Title: Dust & Decay (Rot & Ruin #2)
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Return to the Rot and Ruin...

Benny Imura and Nix Riley can't forget the jet they say fly over the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot and Ruin. Now--after months of rigorous training with Tom, Benny's zombie-hunter brother--Benny, Nix, Lilah the Lost Girl, and Chong are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future.

But from the start, everything goes wrong. They are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, and insane murderers, and are faced with the horrors of a rebuilt Gameland, where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all...could Charlie Pink-Eye still be alive?

When I finished reading Rot & Ruin, I knew I had to read Dust & Decay as soon as possible. And even that wasn't soon enough. I was so happy to have a copy to read and I dove right into it. If it was at all possible, Dust & Decay was even better than Rot & Ruin.

Months after coming back from their first trip in the Rot and Ruin, Benny and Nix are back in Mountainside to train to go back in the Ruin. Only this time they are leaving for good, hoping to find the jet they saw flying over their heads seven months ago. But as they set out to leave, nothing seems to go as planned and things get stranger the further into the Ruin they get. When things couldn't possibly be getting any worse, Chong disappears, Benny and Nix get separated from Tom and Lilah just seems to vanish. And then things go from bad to worse. Everyone comes to find that the horror that is Gameland has been rebuilt and is more terrible than ever. But that's only the beginning of all the horrific things Benny and his friends are going to be facing. And much like last time, zombies may not be the worst monsters out there.

One way to describe Dust & Decay is epic. But not epic in the traditional sense. I mean, for me, zombies and child killers aren't the first thing that come to mind when I think epic. But his book was epic in its own way and that made it that much better. Once again, the post-apocalyptic world Jonathan Maberry created was amazing and felt completely real. Though I do hope I don't come across any zombies any time soon no matter how real they felt in the books. Everything about Dust & Decay was absolutely amazing, so much so that I'm having trouble putting it all into words. And there was that ending. I saw it coming to a certain extent but it still completely took me by surprise. I could not help the tears and even now, just thinking about it makes me feel like tearing up all over again.

This time around I liked Benny right from the start because he was actually a decent person and not a first class jerk. And his relationship with Nix is just adorable. What is particularly amazing about their relationship is that it is so much more than a first love because of everything they've gone through together. I also really liked that we got to see more of Chong and Lilah. Sure, at times their actions were questionable at best, but they were still good people. And Tom was just as great as ever and he is easily my favorite character in the book. The way he is with Benny and his friends really says a lot about him. And once again he was always ready to help those he cared about and do just about anything for them. As for the rest, I didn't think it was possible but the villains were even more villainous this time around.

Dust & Decay was an amazing read. I didn't think it would be possible, but it was even better than Rot & Ruin. If you are looking for a zombie book, this is definitely the one you will want to read. 

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Witchlanders Blog Tour: Interview with Ryder

As part of the blog tour for Witchlanders by Lena Coakley, I have the pleasure of having Ryder, one of the characters from the book, here on the blog answering a few questions. Be sure to also check out the giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle 3. But without further adieu, here is what Ryder had to say!

Where does your hatred of witches and what they believe in come from?

I don’t know that I hate witches. After all, I have a lot of relatives up there in the covens. By all accounts my grandfather, who was a witch, was a good man. But it just irks me the way everyone in our village bows down to coven dwellers as if they have the ear of the goddess herself. And they don’t do any work for it! Since my father died, my sister and I have had the running of our farm, and I can tell you, growing hicca in this rocky soil isn’t easy. And then the witches come along and take one quarter of it for their tithe—one quarter! If they could really tell the future as they claimed—if they could really protect us from our enemies—then maybe I’d think they deserved it. But you have to understand, until recently I’d never seen anything to make me believe magic really existed in the world. I thought that some witches might have convinced themselves they could see the future when they threw the bones, but the others? I thought they were just liars.

Why did you choose to believe in what your mother predicted despite how you feel about witches and what they do?

I didn’t know what to think about my mother’s prophecies. At first I worried she had taken too much maiden’s woe. Some people think that flower helps you to see the future, but really it just drives you mad. Later, it seemed as if my mother’s prophecies had come true somehow. I’m beginning to realize that there are a lot of things I don’t know about the world. But if magic really exists, I’m going to have to rethink everything.

At one point it looked like you were going to kill Falpian. What made you change your mind about him?

Goddess take me if I ever figure it out. He’s a spoiled, rich blackhair and I should have killed him on sight. All my life I’ve been taught to hate his people, the Baen. Twenty years ago they came with their black ships and attacked our two port cities, Barbiza and Tandrass. They killed a lot of Witchlanders, my grandfather included.

But I just had a feeling that Falpian wasn’t as bad as all that. First of all, he had a chance to kill me and he didn’t take it. Maybe he’s just a coward, but who knows, maybe there’s some good in everyone, even blackhairs.

Did you always feel the strong need to protect your younger sisters or did you take up that role after your Fa's death?

Fa seemed so ordinary when he was alive, but everything held together then. We were poor but I never wondered where our next meal was coming from. Fa took all that worry on himself. I never gave a moment’s thought to what a heavy load that was for him, and of course that was how he wanted it. When he died, yes, I guess I tried to do what he’d done, tried to take all the worry of our farm on myself so that my two sisters could have a childhood. I just don’t think I succeeded very well. My mother was no help, I can tell you that.

You say that if your father hadn't died you would have left and gone to sea. Did you want to leave because of the witches or were there other reasons?

No, it wasn’t because of the witches. I always knew I wasn’t meant to be a farmer. I suppose a lot of people have a feeling like they’re meant for something more than their lot. And I suppose that feeling often comes to nothing and they end up doing exactly what their father and their grandfather did. I didn’t want to be like that, though. I wanted to get away and see the world. Now that I think back on it, I think it was magic I was really wishing for.

When you first met him, did you ever think you would have the relationship you have with Falpian?

I still don’t believe it now! Honestly, I still have an irrepressible urge to push him into a lake sometimes. Maybe someday I will.

What did it feel like to find out everything you had ever known and believed in was a lie, especially concerning Aata and Aayse?

To be honest, the history of dead witches never meant much to me, so finding out that Aata and Aayse, the witch prophets, weren’t exactly who everyone thought they were? I didn’t care so much at first. In a way, I admire Aata and Aayse more now that I know who they really were. I’m descended from their followers—possibly from Aata or Aayse herself!—and for the first time I’m starting to wonder what that really means. I think my witch heritage is going to be harder to get away from than I thought.

Thank you so much Ryder for answering my questions. It's always nice to know what is going through somebody else's mind, especially when that person went through what we're talking about.

About Lena Coakley

About Witchlanders


Answer the video question below in the comments, and you are entered in the Kindle3 Giveaway. Gather up to 15 entries by commenting on each Tour Stop. Open US/Canada.

Be sure to also check out the rest of the blog tour!

Monday, August 22nd -The Page Turners
Tuesday, August 23rd- The Unread Reader
BONUS post! Tuesday, August, 23rd - The Zealous Reader
Wednesday, August 24th - Books Complete Me
BONUS post! Wednesday, August 24th - Rayment's Reading Rants and Rambles
Thursday, August 25th - We Fancy Books
Friday, August 26th - Read.Breathe.Relax

Monday, August 29th - Emilieís Book World
Tuesday, August 30th - The Mundie Momís
Wednesday, August 31st - The Enchanted Inkpot
Thursday, September 1st- Well Read Wife
Friday,September 2nd - A Journey of Books

Monday, September 5th- The Story Siren
Tuesday, September 6th - One A Day Y.A.
Wednesday, September 7th - Reading Angel
Thursday, September 8th - Soul Unsung
Friday, September 9th - Alice Marvelís

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

This week was a very good week. After going through a month and a half without buying any books, I was finally able to break my ban and buy some books. I ended up buying quite a few but I didn't go totally crazy, at least I don't think I did. So here's what I got this week.

For Review:

- The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (Simon & Schuster September 13th, 2011) - This is the third book in the Monstrumologist series. I haven't read this series yet, but as of late it's been talked about a lot due to the publisher cutting it short. I've been reading more horror books lately so I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

- Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse September 20th, 2011) - I was so happy when I saw this book show up in my mailbox. I just recently read the second book in the Leviathan trilogy and I was really looking forward to reading this one. You can expect to see a review for this one quite soon because I can't wait to dive right in.


- A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (Greenwillow Books February 22nd, 2011) - This book came out earlier this year and has been on my radar since before then. After hearing a lot of people say very good things about it, I decided that I would pick it up and give it a go. Hopefully it will be as good as everyone says it is.

- The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (HarperCollins August 23rd, 2011) - This is the sequel to I Am Number Four which came out around this time last year. I really enjoyed the first book so I'm looking forward to reading this one to see what happens to the characters I met in the first book and find out who the other aliens are.

- Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (RazorBill August 23rd, 2011) - This was more or less my most anticipated book of the year and I am so happy to finally be able to read it. Which I already did. It definitely lived up to my expectations and you can expect to see a review on the blog in the next week or so.

- Delirium Special Edition by Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins August 2nd, 2011) - I already have a copy of Delirium and I've also read and reviewed it on the blog already (my review) but I absolutely loved this new cover plus it's going to match the rest of the books in the series. And you know, it just looks pretty on my shelf.

- Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (Little, Brown August 23rd, 2011) - I have yet to read anything by Jackson Pearce but I now own two out of her three books so I should read one soon. If she's anything in writing like she is in her YouTube videos than I am sure I will love her books.

- Supernaturally by Kiersten White (HarperTeen July 26th, 2011) - I absolutely loved Paranormalcy when I read it earlier this summer. I can't wait to be able to read this one. Hopefully it will be just as good as the first book.

- The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (Simon & Schuster September 21st, 2010) - Since I received the third book in this series for review, I figured getting my hands on a copy of the first one might not be a bad idea. Like I said above, I'm starting to read more horror so hopefully this one will be good.


 - Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (Philomel July 26th, 2011) - I am very happy to have a copy of this book. I absolutely loved Nightshade when I first read it earlier this year. I can't wait to see what happens next to the characters and find out who Calla will end up with. I just can't wait to dive right in. Thank you to the Paperback Princesses for this!

So that's all I got in my mailbox this week. Leave me a comment with what you got in yours and I'll come check it out!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Title: Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin #1)
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Benny Imura couldn't hold a job, so he took to killing. In the zombie-infested world Benny has grown up in, teenagers must work once they turn fifteen--or they'll lose their food rations. Benny isn't interested in taking on the family business, but he reluctantly agrees to train as a zombie killer with his boring big brother, Tom. He expects a dull job, whacking zombies for cash. What he discovers is a vocation that will teach him what it really means to be human.

As his worldview is challenged again and again by the lessons he learns from Tom, Benny is forced to confront another horrifying reality: Sometimes the most terrible monsters are human.

While I had heard of Rot & Ruin, I didn't really know much about it. So when I received a copy of the sequel for review, I decided to pick it up and see what it was all about. This was also my first read about zombies and I am now hooked, the more zombies, the better!

Now that he has turned fifteen, Benny Imura has to find a job. If he doesn't, he will lose his food rations. After trying a number of jobs, Benny has no other choice but to become his brother Tom's apprentice. But Benny doesn't think as highly of Tom the great zombie killer as everyone else. Soon enough though, Benny discovers that there is more to what Tom does than just killing zombies. Benny finds himself in a world completely different from the one he thought he knew. Now out in the Rot and Ruin, Benny will have his entire view of the world changed and challenged over and over again. But worst of all, Benny will find out that zombies aren't the only monsters in the world. And more importantly, they might not be the most dangerous monsters out there.

A zombie story was something completely knew to me, and I absolutely loved it. It was a good thing it was a rainy day when I was reading the book, otherwise I would have felt guilty staying inside all day to read the book. The post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world Jonathan Maberry created in Rot & Ruin was not only amazing, but it also felt completely real to me. I could so easily picture everything that Tom and Benny were seeing and going through. The story was also crafted really well and I enjoyed every single page of it. I highly enjoyed discovering Jonathan Maberry his incredible writing and the fantastic world he created.

For a long time when I started reading the book, Benny really and truly annoyed me. It was his attitude towards everything, especially his brother, that annoyed me more than anything else. But as he spent more time in the Rot and Ruin and with his brother, he changed and I started to like him more and more. By the end of the book, Benny became someone I could really like. Tom, on the other hand, I liked from the beginning. You could really tell he was a genuinely good guy and would always be willing to help those who deserve it. Even when his brother was a complete jerk, he still cared and would have done just about anything for him. As for the villains in the book, I will only say one thing, they were truly and utterly villainous.

Rot & Ruin was an absolutely fantastic read. Everything about it was captivating and I couldn't help but always want more. I couldn't wait to dive into Dust & Decay once I finished reading it.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Title: Witchlanders
Author: Lena Coakley
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

But it’s all fake.

At least that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes--one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic, and himself will change when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned...are about him.

Until I received a copy of Witchlanders by Lena Coakley for review, I hadn’t really heard anything about it. The premise sounded really interesting and once I started reading the book, I found out that it was a lot more than I originally expected. It was a truly fantastic read.

All of his life Ryder has lived and worked on his family's farm in the Witchlander mountains. In the life he knows, everyone is afraid of the witches and gives them a portion of their crops after the harvest. The only thing is, Ryder has never liked that the witches hold so much power over them. The one thing Ryder believes in, are his mother's predictions, especially when one of them turnes out to be true. Now Ryder starts to doubt everything he has ever been told, especially when it comes to the Baen. Ryder sets out to find answers to all his questions and in the process will find out more truths than he ever thought possible.

I knew next to nothing about Whitchlanders when I first started reading the book. The story is high fantasy, which is something I don't find myself reading very often. So at first I was a little unsure about the story and I couldn't really figure out where it was going. There are two story lines in the book, and until they intersected, I didn't really enjoy the story. But once they two stories came together, I was completely hooked.As someone who doesn't tend to enjoy high fantasy, I found myself to be pleasantly surprised by Witchlanders. The story took me on a crazy adventure and the characters that were in it with me were just as great. I didn't see anything coming and discovered a fantastic new writer in Lena Coakley.

When I first started the book, Ryder and his attitude towards everything kind of annoyed me but at the same time I could see and understand where he was coming from. But as the story moved forward, I liked how Ryder evolved and liked the person he ended up becoming. What I especially liked about the story was seeing the relationship between Ryder and Falpian develop. It wasn't a romantic relationship by any stretch of the imagination, but it was still a really interesting one to see. If only because Ryder and Falpian are complete opposites but so similar at the same time and that made the idea of the relationship between them that much more appealing to me. Falpian himself was also very interesting, mostly because it too me a while to understand who he was and exactly how he fit into the story. But once I had that all figured out, I really liked him. As for the rest of the characters, the majority of them were a bit of a mystery to me, but many of them still played an important part in the story.

Witchlanders was most definitely not what I expected but in a very good way. It took me completely by surprise and I absolutely loved reading the book. Lena Coakley is a fantastic new writer and I look forward to reading whatever comes next from her.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Title: Fury (The Fury Trilogy #1)
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 31, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls--three beautiful, mysterious girls--are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

Even though it’s not releasing the until the end of August, Fury has already been getting a lot of hype. It was a very enjoyable book and in this sense lives up to the hype but at the same time it left me slightly confused. I really liked the book and highly enjoyed reading it but I expected more from it. 

The holiday season in Ascension, Maine usually means snow covering everything, parties and games of ice hoops. Emily has always loved the holiday season and this year it is looking even better than in the past. The boy she’s been crushing on for the longest time seems to be returning her feelings. But there is one problem, Zach also happens to be Em’s best friend’s boyfriend. Though that doesn’t seem to be stopping either one of them. Chase always has to try harder than everyone else because of where he comes from. Like everyone else he has secrets but Chase wants to keep those hidden more than anything else. But when strange things start happening in town, Em and Chase realize that something else might be at play and they may be in more danger than they ever realized. 

Fury was by all means a great book but one that left me more than a little confused. If I’m completely honest, it took me a while to get into the story and it was a little slow to start, but I think that mostly came from the fact that until about halfway through I didn’t really know what was going on. One thing I can say is that Elizabeth Miles’s writing was great. Even though at times I really didn’t know whether or not I should keep reading, her writing is what kept me going because it captivated me completely. And once the story started to pick up it really had me interested, though I wish it wouldn’t have taken that long to get there. On the whole the concept of the Furies was very interesting, though it would have been nice to find out more about them, or even to have some of the chapters told from their point of view. And the ending definitely left the door open for a sequel that has the potential to be even better than the first book. 

I can’t really say that I really liked Emily and Chase, which I guess was kind of the point. They weren’t all bad and even had some redeeming qualities. With Emily, you could tell that she fell bad about what was happening with her and Zach and that she really didn’t want to hurt Gabby. As for Chase, he fell guilty for what happened to his former childhood friend and it sort of ate at him. The one character that I actually really liked was JD. He was a genuinely good guy and you could really tell how much he cared about Emily, despite the fact that she was completely blind to it. I wish I could have seen more of him throughout the book, but based on the ending, I’m sure he’ll be a more important character in book two. As I said above, I wish I could have seen the Furies more and gotten more information about them. What would have been really interesting was to have some parts of the story told from their point of view that way I could have really understood them more. But maybe that will happen in the next book. 

Overall, Fury was a really enjoyable read and set the stage for book two. While I expected more from the book, I was still really able to appreciate it and I look forward to being able to read book two and see where Elizabeth Miles is going to take the story of the Furies. 

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

 Title: Behemoth (Leviathan #2)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally, together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Levithan’s peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what’s ahead.

After reading Leviathan last year, I was really looking forward to reading Behemoth, the sequel, but for a variety of reasons I unfortunately didn’t do so until quite recently. I really should have taken the time to read it sooner because it was an incredible book and it reminded me of why had loved the first book so much.

Now aboard the Leviathan and headed toward the Ottoman Empire, Alek finally feels like he belongs somewhere. But in order to not become a prisoner, he has to do everything in his power to hid his true identity, especially now that Austria-Hungary and Britain are officially at war with each other. Deryn has proven she is a good soldier but that still doesn’t mean she can tell everyone she is a girl disguised as a boy. If she did so, it would mean the end of her career in the British Air Service. But with her attraction to Alek growing, going on pretending to be a boy may be more difficult than she originally thought. But Alek and Deryn may have bigger things to worry about, as they find out when they arrive in Constantinople. Soon enough, they find themselves in way over their heads and they might just have the chance to change the entire course of the war.

The story in Behemoth takes you on a crazy adventure to say the very least. The action starts right on the first page and doesn’t stop until the very last word. Once again, I was completely captivated by the story Scott Westerfeld told in this book. More than anything, I love the way he has re-imagined the events of World War One. The way the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance powers are presented as Darwinist and Clanker powers, respectively, sort of brings a new perspective to the whole thing. Like I said in my review of Leviathan, I more or less know the events of the First World War by heart and it’s a period of history I love studying. So the fact that the story is a retelling of those events only makes me love the book that much more.

As much as I thought Alek would be nothing more than a spoiled prince when I read Leviathan, in Behemoth my opinion of him completely changed. He definitely grew and really wasn’t afraid to do whatever it took to save himself and those he cared about. But more than anything, he was willing to do anything to stop the war, even when it meant revealing some of his more precious secrets. Personally, I liked Alek more and more with every page I turned. Once again, Deryn amused me to no end. She always seemed to find herself in the craziest situations and I couldn’t help but laugh at half of what came out of her mouth. now that she finally knew what her feelings for Alek were, I couldn’t help but feel for her. As much as I wanted her to tell Alek the truth about who she is, I could also understand that she couldn’t do that without throwing away her career in the British Air Service. In her position, I don’t know what I would have done.

Behemoth was an absolutely amazing book and Scott Westerfeld once again proved that is a truly fantastic writer. I now can’t wait to see how this incredible journey will come to an end in Goliath, the third and final book in this trilogy. 

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Ever since it came out last fall, I have heard nothing but good things about Paranormalcy, so I don’t know why I waited so long to read it. What finally did convince me to read it was the fact that the second second book was coming out soon. At any rate, I am more than happy to have finally read it as it turned out to be just as amazing as everyone told me it was.

Life has never been quite normal for Evie. And how can it have it been when for as long as she can remember she has lived at and has been working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, or IPCA for short. The thing about Evie is that she has an ability that is quite unique, she can see through paranormal’s glamours and that makes her quite valuable to IPCA. Evie has always believed in what IPCA does but when mysterious Lend shows up and is placed in a containment cell, Evie starts to doubt what she’s been doing. And when something starts to kill paranormals, Evie doesn’t know what to do anymore. How is she supposed to solve this mystery and start a relationship with Lend, all the while continuing to look fabulous? What’s a girl supposed to do?

Kiersten White is quite simply an amazing writer. If I hadn’t know it, I never in a million years would have believed this was her first book. To be completely honest, there was not one thing I didn’t like about the book, that’s how amazing it was. Basically, Paranormalcy was unlike any other paranormal book I’ve read. The concept of an agency that deals with containing paranormal creatures is on that I never would have even considered, and that alone would have been enough to keep me reading. The absolutely amazing writing also kept me going. But most of all, what kept me turning page after page was Evie.

I don’t even know how to begin describing Evie. Saying she is unlike any other YA character out there is a gross understatement. She has an incredible voice and she was more than unique. To be honest, she didn’t really strike me as the type of person who would go out and fight paranormals for a living, but I guess with Tasey by her side and a great outfit Evie can do just about anything. I absolutely loved Lend. Despite the mystery that surrounded him at first, you could tell that he was a genuinely good person (or whatever being he actually is). Though I have to admit that the mystery abound him was a large part of why I liked him as much as I did. Plus, he was really good to Evie and you can’t go wrong with someone like that. Reth on the other hand sort of gave me the creeps and I didn’t find him likable at all. But at the same time, that story wouldn’t have worked as well without him.

Paranormalcy was a truly amazing book and established that Kiersten White is an absolutely fantastic writer. It took me on a thrilling ride and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in the sequel, Supernaturally.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Trial by Fire (Raised by Wolves #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack--or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. with threats--old and new--looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And she’s going to have to do it alone.

Bryn faces both the dangers and the joys of love and loyalty in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.

After I finished Raised by Wolves, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Trial by Fire and start reading it. I was once again immediately hooked and the book proved just as good if not better than the first one. It was fast paced and more than enjoyable.

Now the alpha of her own pack, Bryn has a lot more on her plate than she ever wanted. And just when everything is going well and everyone is finally getting settled, a wolf from another pack shows up on Bryn’s doorstep. And that can only mean trouble is brewing. But the new wolf may not be the only new threat in town. What on the surface may only appear to be a family of humans with special powers might end up being the greater of the two threats. Now Bryn has to navigate her way through wolf politics as well as deal with the impending danger of a family of psychics attacking her pack. All the while figuring out her relationship with Chase, going to school and figuring out how to be the human alpha to a pack of young wolves.

If I thought the action started early on in Raised by Wolves, it was nothing compared to Trial by Fire. Right from the start we are thrown into the action and there was never a dull moment from then on. This is one of the things I like about the second book in a series, there is less of a need for setting the stage and we can jump right in to what’s important. I have to admit that I liked the story in this book better than the story in the first. It wasn’t quite as slow to start and I liked that it wasn’t only about werewolves. The psychics added something to the story and were the reason behind more than one plot twist. All this to say that the story was quite and interesting and captivating one to say the very least.

Bryn was as lovable this time around and I absolutely loved getting to know her better. One thing I can definitely say about her is that she really doesn’t have it easy. For starters, being one of only two humans and the alpha in a pack of young wolves can hardly be a piece of cake and that’s only the beginning with her. I loved that we got to see more of Ali in this book. For someone who’s a human constantly surrounded by wolves she really knew how to stand her ground and in my opinion, she’s one of the best mother figures in YA, especially considering her situation. Devon was still as great a character this time around and still seems an unlikely candidate to be a wolf. As for Chase, I think he’s the perfect person for Bryn, he really balances her out perfectly. Finally, I really liked Lake, mostly because for someone who spend the majority of her life surrounded by male wolves, she really stood up for herself and didn’t let herself get bullied.

Trial by Fire was a most excellent book, one that I highly enjoyed and left me wanting more. Now I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this series.

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