Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Waiting on Wednesday {9}

Hi guys! Hope you're all ok, I've had a mixed week, full of ups and downs (hence my lack of posts). But now I'm back and there's nothing better to get me back into the swing of things than our lovely Waiting on Wednesday hosted by the fab folks at Breaking the Spine!
This week brings a series I've loved for ages but have recently had some mixed feelings about...hopefully DARK STORM will get us back on top form :)

Title: Dark Storm
Author: Christine Feehan
Publisher: Piatkus (UK) | Berkley (US)
Release Date: 2nd October 2012
Series: Dark Series, book 23

Blurb from Goodreads
Return to the seductive world of Christine Feehan's New York Times bestselling Carpathian novels as roiling passions collide in a perfect storm of dangerous desire that only a precious few can hope to outrun . . .

Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries. But there are some things that never change.
His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Second in command to the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man - and beast. Even his friends and family weren't safe from Mitro's bloodlust. Neither was Mitro's lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts. But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun - one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.

Why am I waiting on it?
1. It's Christine Feehan - and while I've not loved some of the later books in the Dark Series (with the exception of Dark Slayer) I still believe she is an amazing author so I am hoping that we can return to the prime of this series i.e. Dark Slayer, Dark Celebration, Dark Gold. I've read this series over the last 5-6 years or so and I won't be putting it down for a while longer.

2. The blurb - ooooh! It sounds like a new-ish concept for this series...although kind of similar to the story of Lucian and Gabriel. Hopefully it will actually be as good as it sounds, plus I always like the addition of new Carpathians.

3. The other characters in the series - I'm fairly sure there are still several pregnant lifemates so I hope we get to find out how they are all doing and see if any new Carpathians have been brought into the world. I also want to find out where Skyler and Dimitri are at, fans of the series will know what I mean when I say I'm still on edge waiting for their book :) Maybe we'll get one step closer with DARK STORM!

4. How many people can make a series successful for 23 books!! I mean it's not just any author who can do that. I can only think of Laurell K Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon who have a series of similar length!

5. It's out soon! What more can I say :)

Let me know about what you are waiting on! See you soon :)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Stacking the Shelves {2}

Hello!! Welcome to my second instalment of the meme Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Sorry it's a bit late this week!! I've enjoyed receiving a few books this week, as well as bargain hunting around Liverpool's book shops, so let me break it down for you :)

Books I've Received For Review

Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara West (Chronicles of Elantra #8) - Copy provided by Harlequin via NetGalley.

It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she'd been given was ready to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters.... 
So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris-disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin will be traveling with...

What can I say, I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into this, and since it won't be released until September 25th, look out for my review mid way through September ;)

Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne (The Portal #1) - Copy provided by Harlequin via NetGalley

From New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne comes the first novel in her thrilling new trilogy, THE PORTAL!
She was born to save what he is sworn to destroy... 
A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn't believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she's forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown. Then she meets mysterious and handsome Father Tomas. Emerging from the secrecy of an obscure Gnostic sect, he arrives with stories of a demon, a trio of warrior witches-and Indira's sacred calling. Yet there's something even Tomas doesn't know, an inescapable truth that will force him to choose between saving the life of the woman he's come to love-and saving the world.

Mmmm, looking forward to this as well. It sounds like something I'll enjoy :) Another September 25th release so again I'll probably review it sometime in early/mid September.

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1) - Copy provided by Harlequin via NetGalley :)

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.
That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

Excuse me while I faint...I freaked out when I got the notification that I could actually have a copy of this delicious work of art. I want to dive right in...but not allowed yet :( Anyway, Look for my review coming sort of the beginning of October as it's not released until 30th October!

Books I've Bought

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #3)

Nalini Singh steps back into the shadows of her heartbreakingly original world where angels rule, vampires serve, and the innocent can pay the greatest price of all…
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil… 
A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. 
The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.
An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

MY COLLECTION IS COMPLETE!! Finally I have all of the released Guild Hunter Novels...and as soon as Archangel's Storm is released, I'll be having that as well. I just love Elena and Raphael, I've read it before but it's still nice to have my own copy :)

Switched by Amanda Hocking (Trylle Trilogy #1)

What if your entire world was built on a lie?
Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is – she does feel that she doesn't quite fit in...
She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life – and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why...
When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night – her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist. Förening, the home of the Trylle.
Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall everything that Wendy cares about.
The fate of Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever...

I've been looking for a copy of this for a while now, so when I saw a pristine version in a charity shop for £2.50 I just had to have it. And that picture does not do justice to how beautiful this cover actually is!!

Well, that's all for this week, sorry again for posting late. Let me know what delights your shelves hold this week :)
See you later!!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Interview + Giveaway for Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep

Hello everyone! Now earlier today I posted my thoughts on Jennifer Estep's upcoming release WIDOW'S WEB, which is book 7 in her Elemental Assassin series. To celebrate, I was granted a quick interview with the handsome, funny, and cunningly intelligent Finnigan Lane! I was ridiculously giddy because I love Finn, and I had such a hard time deciding on 5 questions to ask, so with a little outside help (thanks you guys) we managed to whittle it down. Let's get down to it :)

Vikki: So Finn, you’re dating Bria now right, Gin’s sister? What’s that like...has it had any effect on the relationship between you and Gin? (Would Gin as big sister still have to kick your ass if you broke Bria’s heart)?
FL: Yes, I am dating Bria. At first, I was just chasing after Bria because I was so intrigued by her. But I have to admit that my feelings for her have deepened as we’ve spent more and more time together. *Cough* Don’t tell anyone, though. *Cough. Cough.* I don’t want to ruin my reputation as a shameless womanizer.
Oh, yes. I’m sure that Gin would do her big sister duty and give me a very stern talking-to (at the very least) if I ever hurt Bria.

Vikki: Since you and Gin basically grew up together, was there ever a time where one of you had to cover for the other e.g. if one of you snuck out of the house, or broke a special vase, that kind of thing? 
FL: Of course. Although I have to admit that Gin covered for me far more than I did for her, especially when it came to sneaking into the house after curfew. I never could keep track of time when I was out having fun with friends or on a date with a pretty girl.

Vikki: I can so imagine a teenage you sneaking out. So, you and Gin have both proved you can handle yourselves in a fight...but who do you think would win if you two had a sparring session? 
FL: My ego demands that I say that I would win. *Sigh.* But in reality, Gin would. I might be able to handle myself, but she’s just as good a fighter as I am. Plus, she has Ice and Stone elemental magic, and I don’t, so that would give her an advantage.

Vikki: Good job you guys never really have to duke it out ;) I know Gin loves to cook, and you seem to love eating what she makes (I don’t blame you, it all sounds divine!) but is there a specific dish you often request?
FL: I have to admit that I’m a big fan of comfort food. Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, biscuits and gravy … it’s all good to me.

Vikki: *drools*.....Must...stop thinking about...amazing food....And finally, after a hard day’s work what do you like to do to relax and unwind? 
FL: I like to open a nice glass of wine and just relax, preferably with Bria by my side.

Vikki: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I hope everyone enjoys WIDOW’S WEB as much as I have!
FL: Thank you for hosting me on your blog. Happy reading, everyone!



Right, now for the giveaway part of the post. Here at V's Book Life we'll be giving away one copy of WIDOW'S WEB...I have my paperback copy on pre-order :)

The giveaway closes on the 8th September 2012 at midnight (EST) so you must have entered by then to qualify.
The giveaway is US ONLY, meaning it's only available to those with US mailing addresses.
Please read my giveaway policy before entering.
All right, that's everything so now all you have to do is fill out the form below.


Early Review: Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep

Hello!! Well today, I'm going to be raving about the brand new release from one of my favourite authors at the moment, the lovely JENNIFER ESTEP! This is book 7 in her awesome Elemental Assassin series. I've been looking forward to this for months, so lets get started :) WARNING: while this review keeps spoilers for Widow's Web at a minimum...there are spoilers for earlier books in the series.

Title: Widow's Web
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: 21st August 2012
Series: Elemental Assassin series, book 7
Source: I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Goodreads:
I used to murder people for money, but lately it’s become more of a survival technique. Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town anyway. Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

First Line - 'Breaking into the building was easy. Too easy for an assassin like me.'
She's done it again. Jennifer Estep has managed to create an absolute masterpiece of Urban Fantasy, filled with action packed scenes, a good dollop of humour and topped off with a light dusting of romance.  All in all, the perfect recipe for an amazing read.
Our lead throughout this series is Gin Blanco, assassin, elemental and chef extraodinaire. Up until she killed her arch enemy Mab Monroe a few months ago (back in book 5), Gin had been leading a fairly quiet life, a few assassin contracts and pro-bono jobs were fitted around her job at the Pork Pit, no one knew she was the renowned assassin known as the Spider...but now her identity has been leaked and everyone wants to either stare at, avoid or kill her. First Phillip Kincaid, who I think will be a major character for the foreseeable future, decidedly complicates Gin's life. And now, a new threat has blown into town. However she is unlike anything Gin has ever faced before...sure she wants Gin dead, but she also wants something more important to Gin than her own life...something she'll do anything to protect. Because Salina Dubois is here to win back her ex, she wants Gin's lover Owen...and won't stop until she has him, even if it means destroying everyone else in the process.
I looked at him, at his black hair, his violet eyes, his 
rough, rugged features that were so appealing to me. All 
these emotions roared up in my chest. All my love for 
him, all my caring, all my worry—and all my fear of losing 
One of the great aspects of this series is that the villains keep getting better and better. Each new 'bad guy' Gin comes up against brings her a new challenge, tests her skills to the very limit...and always reveals more about this closed off assassin's character. And Salina is no exception, in fact, I'd say she is quite possibly the best villain in the series so far. No only does Salina test Gin as an physically, but her actions put Gin on an emotional roller-coaster...that has her questioning everything she knows about herself. Despite a pretty damn successful attempt on Gin's life and an awful secret revealed, Owen is determined to see the good in Salina, but sooner or later Gin has to make a choice. Kill Salina like she's promised, and possibly ruin her relationship with Owen, or do as Owen asks, and leave everyone she loves vulnerable to the psychotic b*tch. Can they come to a compromise, or will Salina get to them before they reach a decision...

Salina was Owen's first love way back when they were kids, but then she left Ashland and Owen never quite got over her loss. Now she's back and ready to pick back up with Owen, only there's one thing in her way. Gin. Owen loves Gin, and Gin loves Owen. They are perfect for each other, Owen is so good for Gin after the disaster that was her 'relationship' with Donovan Caine. Owen can understand Gin's past as an assassin and does not judge her for it (unlike Donovan Caine *spits* ). However, upon meeting Salina, Gin worries Salina is everything she's not...beautiful and refined, a real lady, someone Owen deserves. That is until the cold hearted b*tch is exposed for what she really is. A murdering psychopath, who gets off on repeatedly drowning people with her water magic. That eases her mind a little bit...until it comes to the question 'How do we deal with Salina?'
While Gin would almost certainly kick Salina's ass in an elemental battle, this war is fought mostly with words...Salina is able to manipulate Owen like a puppet on a string, lies mix with truth and although Owen stands up for Gin, he never exactly reassures her that it's over between him and Salina and that speaks louder than words and fuels Gin's insecurities...not that she'd ever show it ;)
Salina’s smile widened. “Why, Gin, if I didn’t know better, I would say it sounds like you’re threatened by little ole me.”
I snorted. “Hardly. I eat haughty, arrogant, manipulative, self-important bitches like you for breakfast, sugar.  And then I go back for seconds.”
As soon as I read the blurb I'd had a bad feeling about this book. I love Gin and Owen so much that I couldn't bear anything to happen to them. Gin is constantly worrying about the strain on her and Owen's relationship Salina is causing. But still, I didn't expect what happens. I'm glad it has, because we get to see so much more from Gin. We don't just see her as an assassin, we see her as a woman in love. A woman in love who is seriously afraid that her man might love another woman more than her. Salina forces Gin to grow exponentially as a character and she surprises herself with how she deals with these situations. I thought Jennifer Estep done brilliantly when she re-introduced Donovan Caine into Gin's life (book 6), but this is a whole new level. And despite the fact there is a plan and several books left in the series, I can't help but wonder where we will be taken next. I certainly will be tuning in to find out :)

All in all, I loved WIDOW'S WEB. I cannot fault this book one bit. If you are a fan of the series you NEED WIDOW'S WEB. You will not regret picking up a copy. I finished this in one sitting, staying up until 4am with eyes watering constantly from the strain...but I could not make myself stop. I was drawn in to this war between two strong but completely different women...I never want to leave...Gin, can I come live with you?

My Rating: 4.5/ 5

Join me later today when I'll be posting an interview with the one and only Finn Lane, as well as a giveaway to celebrate the release of Widow's Web!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Waiting on Wednesday {8}

Hi everyone! It's that time of the week where I tell you all which amazing title I'm waiting for!! Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine :) And this week I have an awesome read for you guys to feast your eyes on. So here we go!

Title: Archangel's Storm
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Gollancz (UK) | Berkley (US)
Release Date: 13th September 2012 (UK) | 4th September 2012 (US)
Series: Guild Hunter, book 5

Blurb from Goodreads:
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.
With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

Why am I waiting on it?
1) Hand's up who waiting on this with me!! Anyone who has read Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series surely can't fault my choice here. Although I almost wish it were another Elena and Raphael book. However I am more than happy to read about our scarred and elusive spymaster Jason, he's dark, dangerous and super sexy...what more could a single girl ask for ;)

2) The Blurb. For those who have read Archangel's Kiss will know that Neha's daughter was killed is that book. She was absolutely devastated and has been plotting against Raphael ever I'm intrigued as to how and why her Consort has been killed, and whether it will have anything to do with her daughters death. Who knows...

3) I can't wait to meet the woman who has finally tamed another of Raphael's 7. Spymaster vs Spymaster...I certainly foresee a wild ride ahead of us :). Though at this rate there won't be any yummy angels left for the rest of us :( HANDS OFF BLUEBELL...HE'S MINE!!

4) The sneak chapter Nalini Singh put on her website a few months back. I can't even explain how good it'll just have to read it for yourselves!! I've even made it easy and got you the just click HERE. Happy Reading!

5) Finally, it's out soooo soon...the reason I haven't done this book before I because I get neurotic just thinking about it...posting about it would have sent me into a book buying hyperdrive to fill the hole until this book is released. I finally feel secure enough to post without severe reprocussions ;)

Right then, let me know what you're waiting on!
See you for another WOW next week :)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan

Hello! Well as promised I'm going to zip through all the reviews of every book I read during my week in Cyprus (I read 12 haha) and to start us off here's DARK KISS by Michelle Rowan.

Title: Dark Kiss
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: MIRA Ink (UK) | Harlequin Teen (US)
Release Date: 1st June 2012 (UK) | 22nd May 2012 (US)
Series: Nightwatchers series, book 1
Source: I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Goodreads:
I don't do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back.
Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me....

First line: ' "This is going to hurt like hell." The grim thought was confirmed by the look on the Gatekeeper's face, but Bishop didn't want anyone's pity. After all, he'd volunteered for this.'
Set in the city of Trinity DARK KISS makes you wonder what could be lurking in the shadows of our world...and ensures you never look at a first kiss quite the same way. Angels, demons and soul sucking creatures known as Grays can be found here - and that can only mean one thing...a butt load of trouble for Samantha Day.
Sam was a normal 17 year old girl, that is until one kiss changed her life forever. Usually Cute guy + kissing = fun.... not Cute Guy + Kissing = becoming a soul sucking monster!! Well, that's what happened to Sam...and believe me, that was only the beginning. Suddenly Sam is always hungry but food can't satisfy her hunger, and she suddenly has the urge to kiss every boy she meets...including her best friends ex boyfriend.
The next day, Sam stumbles across angel sent from heaven to lead a team of angels and demons to find and deal with the Grays and their leader. There's only one problem, Bishop's head got messed up on the trip from heaven to earth. Now he can't see the searchlights to lead him to his other team members...and if he can't find them in the allotted time, they will be lost forever. So imagine his surprise when Sam can see the searchlights. Leading Bishop to the first member of his team (a demon called Kraven) Sam believes she has done a good thing. That is until Bishop pulls out a wicked golden dagger and stabs Kraven through the heart....and it only gets weirder from there! Family issues for both Sam and Bishop (yes, the angel does have family roaming the earth) along with one over excited team member and a corrupt angelic guard make sure this motley crew are always on their toes!
If I wasn’t feeling so flustered, I might have thought he was being cocky. I mean, please. A kiss that could change my life forever?But I kind of believed him. And after months of trying to be a perfect angel after the shoplifting incident, I wanted to push the edges of my comfort zone just a little bit.And this was special — a boy I liked who might like me in return. I couldn’t just walk away.This time I kissed him, tangling my fingers into his black hair and pulling his mouth toward mine as if I couldn’t resist. I hadn’t kissed many boys before, so I hoped I was doing it right. It felt right. In fact, it felt really right. My lips parted as the kiss deepened. His fingers dug into my waist. This felt like something out of a movie — one of the romantic ones I never watched because they made me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to try to relate to all of those emotions, those declarations of love and eternal devotion. I mean, spare me the drama.“You’re delicious,” Stephen whispered before he kissed me again and my heart felt like it was pounding right out of my chest.And then it got weird. *From Chapter 1*
Samantha is a good lead...despite her lack of a soul. Something has kept her from becoming like the other Grays, we have absolutely no idea what it is until about 50% of the way into the book. As it's often referenced (to the point where it began to get on my nerves), Sam is 'special'. Stephen says it (kissing guy), Natalie (leader of the Grays) repeatedly, Bishop and Kraven say it a lot too. All right, I got the point the first 3 times!! Until the kiss Sam was a normal girl, but apparently her soul was preventing her from reaching her full potential. Either way, she can now see the future, zap evil demons who get on her nerves...yes Kraven, I mean you...and many other cool things. The reason behind which is all explained and something I totally did not see coming. I was minding my own business, having a pleasant (if predictable) read and then WHAM! Curve-ball that shot the story way up. It certainly piqued my interest...and since it was not 100% resolved I'm now anxious to find out where that curve-ball will lead us! All I know is that Sam's life will never, ever be the same again!
Despite the fact that Sam makes some very stupid decisions, overall I was impressed by her character. Bishop you can't help but like, and Kraven...well...he's a mystery that I'll take pleasure unravelling ;)

In general I did quite like DARK KISS, but I'm going to take some points off for the overuse of the word 'special', that's the sort of thing that really bugs me. I'd still recommend it as it's a darn interesting last 50% and I certainly think this series has a lot of potential. As long as the word special doesn't crop any more...I think we'll get on just fine :)

My Rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Stacking the Shelves {1}

Hello everyone, well I've finally decided to join the meme Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews. I've been meaning to do it for a while now but just not go around to it! I will now do my best to keep you lovely people up to date with the books I receive/buy/borrow. So let's get on with this weeks haul :)

Books Received for Review

Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Ironskin, book1) - recieved from Tor via NetGalley

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. 
It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin. 
When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help. 
Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey. 
Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

I think this book sounds very interesting, almost Phantom of the Opera ish with the lead character wearing a mask that hides their true self from the one they love. I can't wait to see what happens :)

Forbidden by Jacquelyn Frank (The World of Nightwalkers, book 1) - Received from Ballantine Books via NetGalley

The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper. 
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.

Need I explain? It just sounds soooo good :) Can't wait to get started!

Books I've Bought

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
What happens when happily ever after... isn’t?
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

Well, what can I's a beautiful book. I haven't read it yet but this hardback version is just gorgeous (hence why I bought it). It's got beautiful illustrations on the pages in black and white, and then occasionally there is a full page colour illustration that is amazing. Thank you so much to Dani at Pen to Paper for featuring this in her post a couple of weeks ago, it's the reason I looked it up :)

Well that's all for this week, I think I managed to be quite restrained on the buying front ;)
See you next week for another Stacking the Shelves!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Have you ever wondered what Cinderella would have been like if she was 31% machine? I hadn't either, that is until I read the blurb for CINDER! Even though it came out earlier this year I've only just got my hands on a copy :) So here we go! CINDER is an out of this world retelling of this classic fairytale. Meet Cinder - the cyborg :)

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin (UK) | Feiwel & Friends (US)
Release Date: 5th January 2012 (UK) | 3rd January 2012 (US)
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 1
Source: My own personal copy

Blurb from Goodreads:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Frist Line - 'The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another.'
From line one you can tell this is no ordinary fairytale. And if you think this is going to be an exact copy of Cinderella...think again. Firstly, Cinder is a cyborg...a second class citizen in her world, as if having metal in her body makes her worth less than everyone else. Secondly, while there is still the wicked stepmother (Adri), one of her stepsisters (Peony) is actually quite nice, Pearl however is just like her mother and despises Cinder...despite the fact her skills as a mechanic are wildly sought after and bring steady income into the house. And finally, Cinder lives in a city called New Beijing, in a world that is wider than we have ever known. A race of beings living on the moon, called the Lunar, are just one of the new editions to our home world.
While not an apocalyptic dystopian novel, Cinder is set in the distant future where a plague (letumosis/blue fever) has been ravishing mankind. It's already taken Cinder's adoptive father leaving her to face his widow and daughters alone. Then her only ally in the household, Peony, is also struck down by the disease. It can strike anyone at any time...including the King of New Beijing. Letumosis has no known survivors.

A scream filled Cinder’s ears. She flinched, the sound peaking in her audio interface, and turned toward it. The market silenced. The children, who had switched to a game of hide-and-seek among the clustered booths, crept out from their hiding spots.
The scream had come from the baker, Chang Sacha. Baffled, Cinder stood and climbed on top of her chair to peer over the crowd. She spotted Sacha in her booth, behind the glass case of sweet breads and pork buns, gawking at her outstretched hands.
Cinder clamped a hand over her nose at the same moment realization skittered through the rest of the square.
“The plague!” someone yelled. “She has the plague!”
Adri had always hated Cinder, believing that if her husband hadn't gone to Europe to adopt Cinder, he would never have caught letumosis and would still be alive today. And after her daughter Peony contracts the disease too, Adri decides to get rid of the 'useless cyborg' who's been plaguing her life for years...and in the ultimate act of cruelty and betrayal, Adri volunteers Cinder to test the newest vaccine against Letumosis. Cinder has no choice in the matter because Adri is her legal guardian so despite the fact that Cinder refuses to test the vaccine there is nothing she can do...and no cyborg has ever survived the testing phase. And that's all I'm telling you about that...too many spoilers lay'll just have to read CINDER and find out for yourselves ;).
'Legally, Cinder belonged to Adri as much as the household android and so too did her money, her few possessions, even the new foot she'd just attached. Adri loved to remind her of that.'
Why is Cinder a cyborg and not fully human do I hear you ask? Well, there was an least that's what Cinder's been told. She can't actually remember. All she knows is that one day she woke up with a metal hand and metal leg, along with some sort of programming wired into her brain that can tell when people are lying and get her just about any information she wants.
Cinder is just an awesome main character, she recognises and deals with her awful family dynamic maturely despite the often harsh treatment from her Stepmother and Pearl. The closest person to her was her sister Peony, but when the disease steals Peony from Cinder...she's left with no-one. That is until Prince Kai steps on the scene. He'd turned up at her stall looking for the famous Linh Cinder...the mechanic who can fix anything. Expecting some old dude covered in grease, you can imagine his surprise when he meets the real Cinder. It sort of spirals from there and includes an android with royal secrets as well as a possible cure for the fatal letumosis disease. All the while Cinder has to hide her true nature from Kai, for fear he'll be as disgusted by her as her family is. But Cinder's family troubles are only just beginning, there are many revelations for Cinder in this. She finds out who and what she really is...the things from before the accident that she can't remember, and reason why her mad scientist friend insists she hide from the visiting Lunar Queen. It's all very exciting and left me on tenterhooks for the next one in the series :)

Marissa Meyer has breathed new life into this classic fairytale, taking us on an exciting journey of love, war, and impossible choices. I'd recommend it to anyone who has a love of fairytale and dystopian novels. Heck, I'd just recommend it to anyone :D

My Rating 4.5/5

Interested? Well you can read prequel novella GLITCHES by Marissa Meyer HERE. A big Thank You to Tor and the lovely Marissa Meyer for providing this amazing novella online :)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Waiting on Wednesday {7}

Hello! Welcome to this weeks Waiting on Wednesday - a meme hosted by the lovely people at Breaking the Spine. I'm advance scheduling this post like last week...except this time it's because I'm currently catching some rays somewhere in Cyprus. I know I'm likely as red as a lobster right now because pale pale skin and 30 degree heat don't exactly mix haha. Anyway I'm sure you'll all be familiar with my choice...or at least it's author!

Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: 19th March 2013
Series: Infernal Devices, Book 3

Blurb from Goodreads
In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?

Why am I waiting on it?
Well for starts, I've been a fan of Cassandra Clare since I read the Mortal Instruments series when it was first much so that my covers for the first two no longer match the series!! And that's a pet peeve of mine! Thankfully these covers are continuous :) Oh and speaking of covers...this one's purty *smiles with glee* just one more reason to add this to the list!
Honestly I just want to read more about Magnus at the moment...he's definitely my favourite character out of both series. I still have to read some of Clockwork Prince but I'm still liking the series so CLOCKWORK PRINCESS is staying on my to read list!

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