Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

For Review:

The Cruisers: Checkmate by Walter Dean Myers


Sirensong by Jenna Black
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
*Borders Sale - used up a gift card we had laying around!

From the Library:

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink
Birdie's Book by Jan Bozaroth

Any exciting new books for you this week??

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Beautiful Dark

A Beautiful Dark
by Jocelyn Davies

Skye never questioned the story of her life. Her Aunt Jo adopted her after the death of her parents when she was just a child, and together they flip through memories the way some people flip through photo albums.

She never questioned if the stories were true.

Until the night of her 17th birthday, when the arrival of two strangers intrudes on her cozy life. Polar opposites, like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair, cold, and aloof. Skye has no idea what they want—only that their presence coincides with the beginning of some shockingly strange events. Events that Skye, if she dares to think it, might be responsible for causing.

High up in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, Skye finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient battle, one that began untold millennia ago. Torn between unpredictable Asher, whom she loves, and the infuriating Devin, who she can’t stay away from, her fate is murky as a starless night. And as the secrets of her true identity are revealed, Skye realizes that her destiny may reside in the Heavens—or somewhere darker. (description from the "Elevensies" website)

Angel books can be really hit or miss for me. Jocelyn Davies' debut is a spot on WINNER. I loved it. It has a very similar feel to Lauren Kate's Fallen, but only in the way it reads. A Beautiful Dark has its own unique "angel" mythology.

I loved Skye, Asher, and Devlin. There were sparks amongst them all, both figuratively and in actuality! What I really liked, though, was that there was a reason for the presented romantic triangle. It wasn't just that Skye was so quirky and thereby desirable that no boy could stay away from her. The time was spent on purpose first and the feelings came (well a little bit, anyway) later.

I was thoroughly intrigued by the mythology in this book. While I have heard similar ones before, it was particularly well presented and the follow-through of where the story took the mythology was amazing. I cannot wait for the next book, in what I'm assuming, no...desperately hoping is a series. There was quite a cliffhanger...

2011 Debut Author Challenge title

Gale and Peeta!

The first official look at Gale and Peeta from The Hunger Games movie. A little hairdye does wonders, no? So, what does everyone think?? Though they look a little older than they should be, I think they look remarkably like what I'd pictured for each character...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Legend - Book Trailer!

I am super excited for this book, Legend by Marie Lu. It comes out officially on November 29, 2011, but I was lucky enough to snag an ARC at BEA this year and I'm trying to sneak it into my reading pile ASAP.

Here's the awesome description:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

And check out the newly released book trailer:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Movie Review - Cyberbully

ABCFamily did a wonderful job with this movie. Not only did they tackle a particularly relevant topic in today's society, but their lead actress, Emily Osment (from Hannah Montana), did a smashing job with the role.

Poor Taylor is the victim of online bullying through a site called "Cliquesters" (sort of like Facebook or Myspace). As things worsen at school, first her crush, then her best friends abandon her. Even as her mother tries to help her (and can I mention that the mother in this movie is wonderful...involved in her daughter's life), it becomes so bad that Taylor becomes suicidal.

When she goes to a support group after her suicide attempt, Taylor learns that though online bullying is very difficult to prevent, there are some ways to alleviate the harassment. As not all states in our country have laws that actually prevent cyberbullying (only when a verbal or physical threat has actually been made), victims must speak out and bring the problem into the open, rather than allowing the bully to back victims into the proverbial corner...

It's ironic that I am almost 30 and yet last year I became the victim of a cyberbully. It is not a problem that is solely in the realm of teens. Thankfully, as an adult, I was less afraid to speak out...I printed out evidence of the hateful harassment and alerted the authorities. Though technically nothing was prosecutable, the police were able to speak to the bully and let them know that they were not to contact me again. I shudder, though, to think how I would have handled this if I had been in my teens.

I think that this movie, much as it was entertaining, is very important. Though many teens may not admit that they need a movie like this, many will (hopefully) internalize the tips on dealing with cyberbullies and more real life suicides can be prevented.

The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas
by John Stephens
The Books of Beginning, book one

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right. (description from

This book opened with a bang for me...feeling a lot like the beginning of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Three children abandoned to one horrific orphanage after another... three siblings, resourceful and loyal...

Then, there was a slight slow period a few chapters in, but I pushed through and boy am I glad. As the story unfolds, there are such brilliant moments of loyalty, bravery, friendship, and familial love. Stephens builds an interesting and believable fantasy world around three awesome and devoted siblings.

Kate, the oldest, smart, loyal, forgiving and responsible. Michael, the middle sibling, even smarter, obsessed with dwarves, wants nothing more than the safety of his sisters and the chance to see his parents again someday...oh yeah, and if he could meet a dwarf that would make his life complete! Emma, oh Emma...she was my favorite of the bunch! Emma is brave, loyal to a fault, quick to feel any emotion to the fullest, and devoted to her older siblings. Emma's spunkiness was balanced by her emotional growth as she gets separated from Kate and Michael, meets a surrogate father figure, reunites with her family, and realizes she has a true destiny.

The world of The Books of Beginning was really great because, yes there are dwarves, evil monsters, and spirits, but it also felt like our world. It was the best kind of blend of real life and fantastic elements. You could truly believe that these children just stumble upon a town that no longer exists in the real world, but disappeared into a magical mist.

With great time travel twists, The Emerald Atlas starts off a promising new fantasy series. I'm really excited to read the second book. I cannot wait to see how the three children pursue their destiny, hunting for the other Books of Beginning to keep the world safe. It should be an epic journey.

2011 Debut Author Challenge title

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

For Review:

Priscilla the Great: The Kiss of Life by Sybil Nelson
Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

On My Nook:

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper

From the Library:

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


by Jack Ferraiolo

Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, an ordinary schoolkid by day and a superfast, superstrong sidekick by night, fighting loyally next to his hero.

But after an embarrassing incident involving his too-tight spandex costume, plus some signs that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy he pretends to be, Scott begins to question his role. With the help of a fellow sidekick, once his nemesis, Scott must decide if growing up means being loyal or stepping boldly to the center of things. (description from

Ok, Jack Ferraiolo absolutely cracks me up. I really enjoyed his first book, The Big Splash, a sort-of middle school mob story (see my review here). As in his first novel, Ferraiolo absolutely nails a blend of humor, gritty realism, and startlingly frank questions about people's intentions.

In this novel, that specific feature is even ramped up a notch. When Scott learns Monkeywrench's secret identity, it starts a domino effect, with Scott finding out not only several other secret identities, but learning much more about the people behind each mask. Is every Hero a good guy? Is every Villan truly evil? Scott begins to question the life he thought was so crystal clear.

What makes this book really special, though, is that not only are excellent questions brought up, but Ferraiolo's characters are also inherently funny. I snarfed my way through even the most serious parts and never once felt like I was having to think about right and wrong... I was too busy giggling and rooting for Scott.

I love Jack Ferraiolo's writing style and will absolutely be checking out any books he publishes in the future.

Anxiously Awaiting...

Two books I can't wait to read!

by Cynthia Hand
Unearthly, book two

Publication date: January 24th, 2012

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
*I loved the first book, Unearthly!*

Out of Sight Out Of Time
by Ally Carter
Gallagher Girls, book five

Publication date: March 20th, 2012

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.
*This series is totally addicting!*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

If You Like: Zombies!

If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

OMG. If you have ever visited my blog before, you probably know that I love zombie books! I was beyond excited to put together my recommendations for this week...I had to hold myself back and only really list the books I've loved enough to purchase for my own collection.

I hope you enjoy this week's list!

Monday, July 18, 2011



by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her. (description from

Veronica Roth's debut is amazing. Absolutely compelling.

Tris is...brutal, selfish, kind, selfless, brave, loving, and totally bad*ss! Her blend of diminutive physicality and sheer bravado called to me like no other heroine has in years. When she meets Four and the sparks begin to fly...I was hooked.

This dystopian Chicago was utterly fascinating. I could not get enough, gleaning the tiniest tidbits about the factions wherever Veronica Roth was willing to drop them into the text. I gobbled them up like the sweetest candies. I cannot wait to delve into this world again, as soon as possible - *hint, hint Publishers...this one's worth pushing through FAST!*

I should also mention that I actually listened to this as an audio book. It was fantastic! The narrator, Emma Galvin, sounded exactly how I imagined Tris would sound. It was a perfect match. I highly recommend the audio version, even if it was SO GOOD that I was too impatient to just listen to the book in the car and made excuses to listen to more and more and MORE...

Such a fantastic read definitely deserves a GOLD STAR!!

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile
2011 Debut Author Challenge title

Oooh...A SciFi Fairytale series??

So, I came across information today about what I think is a totally intriguing new series. Done right, this could be AH-MAZING!!

Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles will include four retold fairytales. The twist...they are futuristic sci-fi versions! Sounds awesome. The first title is Cinder and will be out in Jan. 2012.

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. In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.

I think this could be the start of a beautiful reading relationship!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The End of Time

The End of Time
by P. W. Catanese
Books of Umber, book three

The adventures of Happenstance and Umber reach their epic, surprising, and emotional conclusion. As Happenstance struggles to master his unusual abilities, he realizes that time is running out -- because Umber's rivals threaten to undo all the good he has achieved, while an unexpected new enemy with terrible destructive power approaches the kingdom. (description from

I loved this conclusion to the Books of Umber series. Happenstance is still one of my favorite middle grade characters. Catanese is so good at imagining interesting and intriguing characters, both good and bad.

Umber is an amazingly interesting and quirky character. His merry band of adventurers are also lovable. Each has their own multidimensional uniqueness. I love how no character is perfect...just a single flaw can make someone so much more fascinating.

I especially love Catanese's imagination for "bad guys." They are creepy, intense, and believable. He manages to take the fantastic and bring it to everyday life. In that way, the Books of Umber is able to believably mix our world and the fantasy of Umber's new world.

With amazing sights and adventures, quirky characters, and fantastic friendships, the Books of Umber series officially lives on my bookshelves as one of my favorites.

Full disclosure: Review copy received from publisher

In My Mailbox - July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

From the Library:

Dragon's Oath by P.C. and Kristin Cast
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

On My Nook:

The New World by Patrick Ness
Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris

For Review:

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
*Thanks to Zieghost Media!

Conspiracies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
*Thanks to Tor Teen!


Stealing Death by Janet Lee Carey
*Thank you, Janet!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dragon's Oath

Dragon's Oath
by P.C. and Kristin Cast
A House of Night novella

In early 19th century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate.

Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world.... In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling… (description from

Though I don't really feel that this was necessary or even really relevant to the regular House of Night series, it was interesting to see Dragon's back story. Anastasia was a very sweet character and I liked seeing her relationship with Dragon develop. It did give a little back story to Dragon and how Nyx has guided his life and is now sad to have lost him in his grief. I wonder if P.C. and Kristin Cast plan to do novellas for all of the HON teachers?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Can I Have a Poster of This Book Cover??

by Jessica Warman

I just love this imagery!! It would look great on my office wall....
*hint, hint Publishers!*


by Kathryn Erskine

In Caitlin's world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That's the stuff Caitlin's older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon's dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger's, she doesn't know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white--the world is full of colors--messy and beautiful. (description from

What an amazing little gem of a book. I suppose I should have expected did win the National Book Award, after all! Erskine deftly manages to tackle such weighty issues with really is incredible. I recommend that everyone should read this book!

There were so many things that I loved about this book. The writing style was simple, yet you were able to draw such stunning depth out of simple actions and phrases. The characters were beautifully drawn. Caitlin...I loved Caitlin. I loved watching her grow and try to help others through their grief, even as she was unable to understand how they were processing things differently. There were many messages in this book, yet you never felt as if they were right out in front of you. The layers were just amazing.

I can't even fully articulate the experience I had reading this book. It was just beautiful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hit List

Hit List
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake, book twenty

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, US Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

But some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers…and human police.

The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way. (description from author's website)

I am hopelessly obsessed with this series. The Anita Blake books are a true guilty pleasure for me. As soon as I know a new one is coming out, I begin to itch to have it in my greedy little hands. *wipes hands on jeans* See they're itching for the next one already, and I've only just relished Hit List!

There are lots of readers out there who love this series. There are also readers out there that hate this series...whether or not they've actually tried to read them. There are readers who loved the beginning of the series, but didn't stick with it... I have read and enjoyed all twenty of the books, though as the series progressed the things I liked about the books varied as the author explored different directions.

One of the things that I've really loved about the last three or four books is that not only has Laurell K. Hamilton kept many of my favorite characters to the forefront in an ever growing cast, but she has returned to what I feel is the core of Anita's character. The necromancy that really fueled the beginning of the series and the hunts that Anita participated in to find killers are back as a focus. This newest volume, especially, involved a really interesting case. The best part, though, is that the necromancy is now combined with the other aspects of metaphysical magic that Anita can tap into. Hamilton is not reverting back to an original formula; Rather she is incorporating it into a whole new writing beast.

I love the new style. I can't wait for the next book!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Anasazi Blog Tour

by Emma Michaels
A Sense of Truth, book two

One year ago, something happened to David. Following the only clue he had he headed out into the desert.

Now he has asked me to come see him. But when I arrived, he was gone. The people in town claim they have never heard of him and everyone wants me to leave. But I know he was here and he is in trouble. He can't survive out there for long. Can he?

David: I will find you. (description from author's blog)

Book two of the Sense of Truth series was somewhat different from the first, The Thirteenth Chime. The narrators were different, but loosely connected through the secondary (?) character, David. The settings were totally different, but again connected through David. The feel to both books, however, was the same.

Again, though I sometimes felt distance during character interactions, Emma Michaels is excellent at building suspense. The first half of the book was about a girl named Megan arriving in a desert town to meet the guy she likes, only to find that he's mysteriously gone, and trying to figure out how to find him. The second half of the book, which really picked up for me, really dealt with Megan figuring out that David's disappearance was malicious. She finds him and then they have to deal with the people that are trying to make them disappear.

The desert setting was really well done and fit the dangerous feel of the mystery surrounding David's disappearance. At first, I could not figure out the connection between this book and The Thirteenth Chime which was set in a coastal town. Then I realized that David was on the hunt for more information about his theory that people can sense more than just what we think at this point, but I didn't make that connection until I was almost done with this book. In some ways, I feel that these two books are much stronger taken individually than as part of a series, but maybe when book three comes out and David delves even deeper into his theory it will feel more cohesive.

I really liked Megan as a character, much better in fact than Destiny from the first book. Megan is tough, self-reliant, and sarcastic. She can also be sweet, though. I loved watching her relationship with David develop. He's a pretty cool guy, too, and I'm interested to see where he goes in the next book.

My favorite bits of the book, though, really dealt with the Hopi. You could tell that Emma Michaels had done quite a bit of research. It was very intriguing to picture the cave dwellings and artifacts and to delve a little more into their history. My only wish was that their connection to David and his theory had been revealed a little earlier in the book.

Full disclosure: ARC received from publisher/author to review for blog tour

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If You Like: Music and Dance

If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

Does the music in your head follow the beat of your heart? Can't keep your body still when you hear a beat? ...Or maybe you just wish you were musically inclined?? Check out these books and movies based around music and dance!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Remedial Magic

Remedial Magic
by Jenna Black
A Faeriewalker series bonus story

Having a prodigy for an older brother is not so fun…especially one who is magic wiz-kid. But Kimber has a plan to finally step out of his shadow. (description...such as it is...from

I really enjoy this series. I received the second book to review, but decided to go back and read the first, Glimmerglass before starting Shadowspell. Those books are from the perspective of Dana, a girl who decides to go live with her Fae father and experiences Avalon and the Fae kingdoms for the first time.

This short story is actually from the perspective of a girl she meets in Avalon. Kimber is the younger sister of Ethan, a magically powerful boy that starts pursuing Dana. Kimber actually becomes her best friend and is one of my favorite side characters in the series. I loved reading this story, even short as it was, from her view. I'd love to see more from her someday!

If you've never read any of the Faeriewalker series, I'd suggest you either get a taste with this free ebook or start with Glimmerglass. Hopefully, you'll get as hooked as I am!

An Auction You Won't Want to Miss...OR Join the Shambling Hordes!!

So ya'll might remember me blogging once, or twice, or you know...A LOT...about this book that I'm totally stoked's called Bad Taste in Boys. It finally comes out TOMORROW!! To celebrate it's shambling, but still remarkably sparkly release into the wild, author Carrie Harris has come up with a brilliant idea...

*click to go to the auction homepage*

There are tons of things up from some fantastic authors that you can go and bid, I won't tell you what I bid on, because honestly, I don't want ya'll scooping my potential goodies right out from under me!! I will say that I am desperate to win one of the Grand's a six month writing mentorship with CARRIE HARRIS!! OMG. *tries to stop hyperventilating*

Go. Check. It. Out.

Dragon Spear

Dragon Spear
by Jessica Day George
Dragon Adventures, book three

With peace established between the humans and the dragons, young couple Creel and Luka are planning their wedding. But then the dragon queen, Velika, is kidnapped by a band of rogue dragons in need of a ruler. When Creel and Luka rush to help, they discover that Luka's father has plans to take back the Far Islands from the dragons. Creel's happily ever after just might be postponed . . . again. (description from

I love this series and this was a great end to the trilogy (at least I think it's the last book). Creel is one of my favorite characters...and I love the relationship she has with Luka. They truly care for each other, flaws and all. Even when Creel continually gets herself into scrapes...and back out of them...poor Luka (he gets so worried sometimes!!) just has to trust that Creel will be okay.

Creel is an awesome heroine. She is smart and brave and loyal. Creel has become friends with dragons and is helping slowly to bring the humans and dragons back together. When the Queen Dragon, Velika, is kidnapped though, right before laying her eggs, Creel, Shardas, Luka, and Creel's brother, Hagen, have to set out after her.

Another great adventure ensues, imbued with questions about discrimination and morality. Many of the characters figure out exactly who they are and what they should be doing. Creel proves once again that she will sacrifice anything for her friends, and that her friends also trust her implicitly.

*Spoiler Ahead*
I love that you finally get to see Creel and Luka get married...not once, but twice!! ...and of course, Shardas and Velika's babies hatching...
*Spoilers End*

Well worth the read if you've read the previous two books, Dragon Slippers and Dragon Flight. If you love adventure, romance, friendship, and dragons...this series is for you.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Thirteenth Chime

The Thirteenth Chime
by Emma Michaels
A Sense of Time, book one

No one knew of its existence until it was removed from the attic upstairs.

In a beautiful house that overlooks the sea, an antique clock has the power to change the course of their lives.

The power the clock resonates will not only force Destiny and ex-boyfriend David on a journey into the depths of one man's mind long dead, but into the mind of a man filled with hatred and bent on revenge.

With the only clues to the nature of the clock having disappeared into the sea, Destiny and David must retrace the steps the man had taken into the darkness, before they fall prey to the trap he had set in motion over half a century ago. (description from Emma Michael's blog)

The Thirteenth Chime is Emma Michael's debut novel. The writing could be cleaned up some, but hopefully that will change with experience. The storyline, though, was interesting.

When Destiny joins her friend Stephanie at her new house for a short vacation, she's expecting to relax and have a fun time with a good friend. Unfortunately, Stephanie and her mother are attacked the first night and what Destiny has seen haunts her. In a panic, Destiny calls her ex-boyfriend, not her fiance, and has David come out while Stephanie and her mother are in the hospital.

Destiny and David begin investigating and soon tie the attack to the previous owner of the house and a mysterious grandfather clock that looms on the staircase landing. The ghostly aspect of the story was well done and the ties to the old prison on the nearby island were very interesting. I loved the twist with the clock and the suspense of not knowing if everyone would survive. For all that Emma Michael's writing is rough around the edges, she does know how to build suspense and set the mood.

I was somewhat confused, though, why this book was toted as being young adult. With adult characters and a focus on deepening relationships (marriage), I did not really get a young adult feel from this book at all. It is a contemporary paranormal story, but I think it actually should be categorized as an adult book....maybe the series introduces teen characters along the way?

Retro Demonology

Retro Demonology
by Jana Oliver
A Demon Trapper's Daughter, bonus story

Before Riley Blackthorne can take on Grade Five demons, she has to trap her very first. Her debut solo trapping experience should be a breeze, just a harmless Grade One after all. But throw in some dippy hippies (whose peace signs and Patchouli really aren’t driving any demons away), one mischievous demon, and a run-in with the police, and Riley might not be able to pull it off... (description from

I haven't yet had a chance to read The Demon Trapper's Daughter but I will be soon! Riley's snarkiness and the interesting premise of this short story totally drew me right in. I love that there are little Bibliodemons that live to destroy books. Fighting those would be right up my alley. In fact, there is a pretty cool Librarian in this story, which I totally loved. :)


by Carrie Vaughn

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain. (description from

I'm very conflicted about this book. While I loved the story and characters, I wasn't fond of the writing style itself. I was also left with some major questions unanswered and so felt a little unsatisfied when I finished.

Jill was a very believable heroine. She's tough and trained in swordplay, but she's also thrown into a scary and unbelievable situation, to which she's never quite sure how to act. I loved the blend of her bravado and sheer terror at certain moments.

I really enjoyed reading about Captain Marjory Cooper, a woman that ran her ship based on respect, not fear. It was really interesting to read about the other female pirates, too. I know that there actually were some in history, same as female soldiers before it was allowed, and it was really cool to see how Vaughn showed different types of female pirates and what may have driven them to that life. In fact, all of the pirate lifestyle that was represented was interesting and realistic.

While I loved the time travel aspect of this book, I didn't really understand how it happened or worked. There was sort of an explanation towards the end, but I didn't really feel that it was at all believable or well told. That was one of the things that I really just didn't connect to, and as such a large part of the story, that made it hard to truly love this book.

I felt like there were several things that just didn't click for me on this one. Lots of other readers out there have loved this book, though, so if you like pirates, time travel, romance and adventure, you may still want to give it a shot.

In My Mailbox - July 10, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

From the Library:

Mixed Messages by Tina Wells


The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
*Thanks to Alex at Electrifying Reviews!


Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
*Thanks to Sharon at I Mainline Fiction!

On My Nook:

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Misfit by Jon Skovron
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for all these great titles!!