Category Archives: book review

Review and One Day Giveaway: Pandora’s Box by Katie Salidas



  • Pub. Date: June 2011
  • Publisher: Katie Salidas, via Smashwords
  • Sold By: SMASHWORDS – EBKS

Synopsis

After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.
Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?
When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.
Powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?
And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being? 
Werewolves…


My Thoughts:

This book picked up right where Hunters and Prey left off which was nice to see.   Fallon find a mysterious box on the door step and end up opening it even though Lyssa knows that this is a bad idea.  Fallon says that the box was calling to her to open it.  What happen next is terror for everyone.  They have unleashed something that it out to destroy them and does destroy Rozaline, Nicholas’ mate which put everyone on edge and trying to figure out how to get this spirit back in the box it came from.  This mission takes them to Boston to retrieve Lysander’s old journals.  All they find there is dead bodies and trouble with the werewolves who think they are at fault.  They have to work together with the wolves to solve this problem.

As with the previous two books, this was one that captured my attention and held it throughout the entire book.  the style of writing appeals to me and I just feel like I have a connection with the characters.  The most frustrating part of this book is the end, a  HUGE cliffhanger!  I cannot wait for more from this dynamic group.  What I liked the most about this book is the addition of the werewolves and witches.  I think it rounded the story out.  I also liked that there was not a lot of talk about the hunting itself.  All in all, another great story by Katie Salidas.

My Rating

Another good story!

Giveaway:

This is a for an ecopy of Pandora’s Box by Katie Salidas

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For More check out:

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Guest Blogging and Giveaway at www.alanryker.com
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Review and Giveaway at http://giveawayblogdom.blogspot.com
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Guest Blogging and Giveaway at http://speedyreader-allthingsbooks.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at http://bestbooks1.blogspot.com
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Guest Blogging and Giveaway at http://writingcrazyme.blogspot.com
Review, Guest Blogging and Giveaway at www.lisasworldofbooks.com
Review and Giveaway at http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging at www.chaosandinsanity.com


*I was provided an ecopy of this book for review.  This in no way affected my opinions listed above.

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Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty QueensDetails:  Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

  • Pub. Date: May 2011
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Format: Hardcover , 400pp
  • Sales Rank: 15,938
  • Age Range: 12
  • Lexile: HL690L

Synopsis:
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A “Lost”-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

My Thoughts:

Okay, so I was not entirely sure about this book but I had been hearing such great things that I had to check it out.  A plane full of beauty pageant contestants crashes on a deserted island and they are forced to survive on their own but is this all it appears to be or is there more going on on this island.  There are very few girls left and honestly is seems that there are not a lot of skills from the remaining girls.  It is going to be a huge challenge to survive and make it back to the contest.  

Libba Bray is one of the funniest authors I have ever read.  This book was so funny, laugh out loud funny.  She has the ability to use humor to teach some very powerful lessons and you don’t even realize that it has happened until it is all over.  This book is quick witted and very quick moving.  I did not want to put it down because I just had to know what was going to happen next.  Everything from making watch catching systems out of evening gowns to exposing who each contestant really was deep down.  This was by far the funniest book I have read all year, and probably for years before that.

My favorite line in this book hits very close to home.  I am from Michigan and here is what Ms. Michigan had to say.
“Yeah. Hi. Jennifer Huberman, Miss Michigan.  Go Blue!  I am from Flint, the smaller Motor City.  Well, before they went bankrupt. Now, I’m from Repossessed City.  Sorry. Little gallows humor there.”

I applaud Libba Bray for the research she completed about all of the states and types of people she put into this book.  This is what made it such an outstanding read.  Not to mention, the unique idea, settings and challenges she brought to Beauty Queens.

My Rating:
Great Read!  I highly recommend this book.


*I was provided a copy of this book by Scholastic.  This in no way affected the opinions and views above. 

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Filed under 5 stars, book review, Books, YA

Review: Fireborn: Embers of Atlantis by Tracy Hickman

Fireborn: Embers of AtlantisDetails: Fireborn: Embers of Atlantis by Tracy Hickman

  • Pub. Date: October 2011
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Format: Other Format , 304pp

Synopsis:

Powerful scions walk the streets of modern London, oblivious to their true nature. Unknowingly, they carry within them the spirits of reincarnated dragons from an age of high fantasy. As magic begins to emerge once more in the 21st century, long-dormant memories begin to flood the minds of these scions, reminding them of their mystical heritage. Welcome to the world of Fireborn!
Ethan Gallows knows things about his world. He knows there is magic, and he knows he wants nothing to do with it. Yet, when he is sent on the seemingly menial job of filming a museum curator’s antique art collection in London, Ethan discovers that he has much more to learn. After witnessing a violent display of sorcery, ancient memories come rushing back to Ethan – memories seen through the eyes of a dragon! With minions of the Taint now seeking him for their own twisted purposes, Ethan must put his trust in Sojourner – a woman claiming to be a draconic scion. Could he really be a dragon of old, or is this some sort of fanatic conspiracy?
Embers of Atlantis is the first novel based on the acclaimed Fireborn roleplaying game setting. Written by New York Times bestselling author Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance), Embers of Atlantis introduces readers to a modern world faced with the sudden emergence of magic.

David’s Thoughts:

Fireborn: Embers of Atlantis by Tracy Hickman is a novel written in the Fireborn RPG (Role Playing Game) world.  Magic disappeared from the world with the fall of Atlantis, but has returned in modern times.  The dead have risen in Europe and are re-fighting WWII, monsters from fairy tales attack airplanes, American Indians have claimed the plains with shamans using magic to fight the army, and a handful of people have memories of a life as a dragon.  Ethan Gallows is one such person.  Initially unaware of these memories, events lead him to realize he has the magically essence of a dragon last seen on earth as Atlantis was destroyed.  But this revelation only comes about as Ethan is plunged into a war between good and evil.  Each side believes they are in the right, with the side of good using clean, pure magic, and the side of evil using tainted magic.

I’ve been a fan of Hickman’s books for 15 years of more, and was eager to read this one.  I had never heard of the Fireborn RPG before, but have read hundreds of other books written in role playing settings.  No knowledge of the game setting is required to read this book, it works well as a standalone novel.  I thought this book was an interesting read.  I liked the setting and the characters.  I’ve always found Hickman’s books to be easy to read with a smooth, flowing storyline with characters that the reader comes to love (or hate).  I read through this book quickly, wanting to know what happens next.  The biggest disappoint I had was that the book ended.  At about 300 pages, it’s not a short book, but I wanted it to keep going.  Now I’m stuck waiting impatiently for the next book.

David’s Rating:
*An Ecopy of this book was provided by Netgalley.com for review.  This in no way affected the rating or opinions on the book.

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Filed under 4 Stars, book review, Books, David Review, NetGalley Month

Review: Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum NovelDetails:  Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

  • Pub. Date: June 2011
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Format: Hardcover , 320pp
  • Sales Rank: 18








Synopsis:

Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. 
 
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.
The hardcover edition of Smokin’ Seventeen contains two smokin’ hot stickers inside!

My Thoughts:

As always, Stephanie finds herself in an odd situation at the beginning of book 17 in the Stephanie Plum Series.  At the end of the last book, we found the bail bond building destroyed and now bodies are showing up in what remains of the grounds.  She also finds herself face with another set up from her mother and tracking down a man who thinks he is a vampire.  Don’t worry there are plenty of appearances by both Ranger and Morelli.  

This series has always made me laugh out loud the situations that Stephanie finds herself are crazy and just down right funny.  I will say that for me this book was not as funny as some of the previous.  Okay, I take that back the 2nd half of the book was not as funny.  I know that it must be very difficult to keep the same level of banter between family members and situations going through such a long series.  My favorite part of ever book is wondering when Ranger is going to show up out of the blue with all of his hotness!  This man is almost too much for me.  I love the bad body.  Don’t get me wrong Morelli and his dog are nice too but I love the mystery that is Ranger.  And as always some awesome car end up being destroyed when Ranger lends them to Stephanie because as always something happens to hers.  

I have been waiting for a “vampire” to show up in one of these novels and I think that Janet Evanovich did a great job creating a way to bring this popular culture into The Plum Series.  

I was a bit frustrated with this story because it just seemed so predictable from the very beginning but I know that I know this author writing style well and what comes with that is knowing where the story will head.  

All in all, this was worth the read and I will be waiting for the next one to come out.  

My Rating:

1/2
3 and 1/2 Penguins.  Good story but could have been a bit stronger in my opinion with more mystery
*I purchased this book.  All opinions are my own.

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Filed under 3.5 stars, book review, Books

Review: Embody by Jamie Magee

Embody ( A Young Adult Paranormal Romance) (Insight Series)Details: Embody by Jamie Magee

  • Pub. Date: May 2011
  • Publisher: Alvasia Publishing


Synopsis:

Not many Scorpio’s are known for their patience, and Willow Haywood is no different. Her only desire is to love Landen Chambers and redeem the lost souls of Esterious, but the path to that desire is long, dark and dangerous…
Before Willow’s life had a chance to balance the sudden revelations and grief she had to endure to get to Chara a disturbing discovery is made. A photo, one that shows Willow blissfully embracing the flawless image of Drake Blakeshire; giving her not only proof that she had lived before, but that she had loved him. 
Running away from the memory of Drake’s hypnotizing touch, and the prophecy set before her seemed like the logical thing to do. That is, until a dark dream reignites her passion to save the hopeless dimension of Esterious. Willow struggles to find patience – to learn everything she needs to know before she faces Drake again, but her eagerness is dangerous and one step in the wrong direction takes everything and everyone away from her – the only way to survive this trial is for Willow to remember who she is and what she really wants out of this life.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in a series and I thought that I would be able to dive into this one and just go with it but it turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be.   I did figure it out but I would highly recommend reading the first book in this series before moving on to this one, it is well worth your time 🙂

Jamie Magee created a wonderful story in Embody, not only in the creation of this world but in the characters as well.  This is a story that really makes you feel for those in it and at times it is difficult to put yourself in their place.  

For me the best part of this book was to watch Willow grow and at time struggle with finding herself and who she is.  This was the strongest part of the book for me and what kept drawing me back to it.

My Rating
A good intriguing story

Please visit my giveaway for this book here.

* I received a ecopy of this for review from Book Lovin’ Bitches Ebook Tours.  This in no way affected my views of this book listed above. 

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Filed under 4 Stars, book review, Books

Review and Giveaway: Embraced by Blood by Laurie London

Details: Embraced by Blood by Laurie London

  • Pub. Date: June 2011
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Paperback , 384pp
  • Sales Rank: 50,361

Summary

Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet—a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires—makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed…then left her in despair. Danger aside, Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again—until an irresistible hunger threatens to draw them back together… and into an assassin’s snare.


My Thoughts:

I have not read the first book in this series so I was a bit worried that I would not understand what was going on.  Laurie London did a great job of giving enough background  that it was very realistic to pick this book up from this point and understand some of the story line without having read book 1.  That is one things that I really appreciated.  The whole story was not repeated just the pieces that were going to be necessary to move into book two understanding Alfonso’s heart break and distrust as a hunted man and Lily’s concern with her abilities.  

It seems to me that both of them are trying to keep their hearts safe but both know that they need to stop the DarkBloods from rounding up the Sweetbloods.  I found the dynamic between them to be romantic and interesting.  This is another good vampire world that is just a bit different that the rest.

My Rating:

I found this to be a pretty good read worth checking out.


Giveaway Time

1 signed copy of Embraced by Blood and 1 set of Sweetblood Trading Cards to one winner
U.S Shipping ONLY



Please be a follower and leave a comment with a way to contact you if you are the winner.
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Contest Ends 7/7/2011
The Author will be sending the prize this blog is not responsible for any lost packages
Good Luck!

*I was provided a copy of this book from NetGalley for review.  This did not impact my views of the book.


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Filed under 3 stars, book review, Books, giveaways

Review and Giveaway: Hunters & Prey by Katie Salidas

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Hunters & PreySummary:  Hunters & Prey by Katie Salidas

  • Pub. Date: December 2010
  • Publisher: Rising Sign Books
  • Format: Paperback , 300pp






Summary:

Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She’s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she’s missed more than anything.Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan. Worse yet, her revelation entangles Fallon in the struggle between vampires and hunters and The Acta Sanctorum is ready to attack again, with a new army of hybrid creations: the Frenzy Soldiers.If Alyssa hopes to survive and keep her mortal friend safe, she’ll have to be willing to make a deal with the enemy, and regain her clan’s support. It will take everyone working together in a precarious truce to fight against the Acta Sanctorum’s new threat.



My Thoughts:

Just when I thought that the sexual tension between Lysander and Alyssa could not get any stronger it does.  Alyssa heads out to hunt on her own and comes face to face with Santino.  This terrifying face that has haunted her since their previous escape.  She does what first comes to though and runs, she ends up in her old familiar coffee house face to face with her best friends, Fallon.  Alyssa has been missing for weeks and despite everything Lysander has told her she tells Fallon the truth only to have Fallon used as bait.  Alyssa finds herself in a horrible place, drained of blood by the Acta Sanctorum and locked in a room with Fallon.  She knows that they mean for her to feed from Fallon but she cannot do so.  Suddenly, Santino comes to her rescue and helps her and Fallon get out.  Lysander is very angry with her but also very concerned about losing his mate.  Together, they all go forward to fight the newest fighters out there to destroy the Vampires! 

This was another outstanding expansion on Lysander and Alyssa story.  Katie Salidas has stayed true to the character and only made me more drawn to Lysander in this book.  He has such a dark haunted past and his feeling seem so deep.  Alyssa still appears to be the selfish young girl.  She puts her wants in front of the needs of those vampires closest to her without much though.  Fallon seems to handle all of this craziness with out too much of a passing thought while she is scared she never backs down with I really enjoyed.  

All in all, a great story and I am really looking forward to the next installment!


Sample Chapter:


Please click here for the sample chapter.


My Rating
Great Story – left me wanting more!

Giveaway: 

Just be a follower and leave me a comment with why you would like to read this book!  Don’t Forget that the giveaway for book 1 is over today.

The prize will be provided by the author.


*I was provided a copy of this ebook from the author for review.  This did not impact my feeling or opinions on the book.

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Filed under 4 Stars, book review, Books, giveaways