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Posts Tagged: Series

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blog Tour Review + Contest: Wicked Thing by Angeline Kace

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, New Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Blog Tour Review + Contest: Wicked Thing by Angeline KaceWicked Thing by Angeline Kace
Series: Wicked Thing,
Published by Publisher: Accendo Press on 26 September 2013
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 220
Format: eARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
Goodreads
four-stars

 

Place(s) Traveled to: Unnamed, Texas

First Line(s): Jake and I sneak in through the back door.

Related Posts: Wicked Thing Excerpt // Spotlight Post // Win a copy of Wicked Thing

Wicked Thing Companion Series Order
Book 1: Wicked Thing
Book 2: Untitled (Release: TBD)

First off, I apologize in advance if I ever refer to the main character Carmyn as Camryn. My crazy, selective, self-diagnosed dyslexia kept reversing the letters in my head as I read Wicked Thing and I fear that might carry over here.

Going into Wicked Thing by Angeline Kace I wasn’t sure what to expect other than your typical new adult type of story. You know the one, the ultra good girl who is very ordinary and the very hot guy who is covered in tattoos and is usually a secret MMA fighter or some such crazy thing. And while there is some of that in Wicked Thing its not over the top crazy as many New Adult Titles can be. Carmyn and Dallas both had a similar childhood experience and it affected them in entirely different ways. Carmyn decided to try and live the perfect structured life and find the perfect boyfriend in the hopes of never getting her heart broken by someone cheating on her. Dallas decides to just avoid all relationships, something he is very upfront about, as no one can hurt you if you never let them get close. Carmyn’s world then comes crashing down when her almost fiance is caught cheating and she decides that maybe a night of fun with the campus playboy might be just the thing she needs before she moves on to perfect guy number 2.

I really liked the interaction between Carmyn and Dallas and thought their banter and relationship. And I also enjoyed all of the secondary characters as they really helped to flesh out this world and make it real. Carmyn and Dallas have all these hidden little facets that you just don’t expect and so that adds a fun bit of discovery to the story. I also enjoyed how these two characters start to reach for something more and the person who moves first may not be the one that you expect. Wicked Thing is also a dual POV story so it was fun to get into both Dallas and Carmyn’s heads to see just what was making them tick. I also enjoyed that the thing that almost breaks them apart is something more than a lack of communication.

So often in stories its the main characters refusal to talk to the other that leads to a giant misunderstand. Thankfully what happens between Dallas and Carmyn is a real conflict. While it may not be a life and death one it is one that is entirely realistic for the college setting that these two characters live in. Where this book lost me a bit was the ending. I really could have done without that final scene as it was a bit too much and seemed like it was a whole different tone than the rest of the story. If I re-read this story then I will probably stop before I get to that scene.

In New Adult there has also been some chatter on the golden couple….you know that couple from high school that EVERYONE talks about? Well, there is a bit of that in Wicked Thing but when I see it in this book it doesn’t seem like something out of high school. Instead, Dallas and Carmyn are both big in the Greek community in various ways. The Greek community at most colleges tends to be very close when you start going to all the events and even more so when you are a member of it. So to me, when Carmyn worries that everyone is talking about her Dallas I don’t see it as the entire college campus but just those in their immediate sphere.

Wicked Thing won’t be a story for everyone but it was one that I enjoyed when I read it. I liked the writing and I liked how it left some openings for more books in the series. I know that I am curious to learn more about Denton’s story. Denton is Dallas’s half brother and to say that there relationship is strained is putting it mildly. But there are reasons for this, even if they mostly live in Dallas’s head. But sometimes its really hard to get over perceived slights and doctrines that have been drilled into your head from a young age. Wicked Thing is among my favorite stories read so far in this New Adult category and I look forward to reading what Angelince Kace comes up with next. The writing was sharp and the story was engaging and this is a story that I’ve been recommending to friends with positive results. So if my non-blogger, not huge reader friends are enjoying this book then maybe you will as well.

 

Click here to see the other stops on the tour

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky winner will receive a WICKED THING charm bracelet with 6 charms. They will also receive a Dirty Dancing blu-ray and some candy. This contest is international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the book:

Carmyn Rafferty witnessed the aftermath of her mother’s affair. She learned at a young age not to trust anyone. Especially not your spouse. So she’s planned. She’s planned every detail of her life: who her husband will be, what their careers will be, what their lives will be like. All to avoid the pain of infidelity.

Dallas Brown lives a life all his own. He doesn’t do relationships, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, and he doesn’t live up to anyone’s expectations but his own.

When Carmyn’s fiancé cheats on her, it sends her into a whirlwind of one-night stands with the most infamous player on campus. She can’t seem to stay away from this tough guy and his dangerous motorcycle. Everything about him is the complete opposite of who she’d planned to fall in love with: tattoos, dark stubble along his jawline, and hair that brushes his shoulders.

As Dallas and Carmyn begin to fall deeper and deeper into each other, they learn that love can truly be a wicked, wicked thing.

Angeline Kace’s Bio:
Angeline is a Scorpio living in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and dogs. She loves all things paranormal, believes ghosts are real, werewolves aren’t, and vampires? Definitely real! At least in the Vampire Born world they are

Links: 
Website // Facebook // Facebook Fan Page // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes and Noble

four-stars
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Audio Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Everneath by Brodi AshtonEverneath by Brodi Ashton
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Series: Everneath,
Published by Hachette Audio on 24 January 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 42 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Everneath // Park City, Montana

First Line: I was picturing his face – a boy with floppy brown hair and brown eyes – when the Feed ended.

Everneath Series Order
Book 1: Everneath
Book 1.5: Neverfall
Book 2: Everbound
Book 3: Evertrue

The first thing that drew me to Everneath by Brodi Ashton was its pretty cover. The second thing that drew me to Everneath was that it was a retelling of a couple of Greek myths cobbled together to make a new story. I’m always a sucker for Greek mythology retelling and there were many raves about this book so I thought, why not? But alas, this book was not for me and its taken me forever to put my thoughts about it down as sometimes the meh reviews are the hardest to write.

The main character Nikki is one of those characters that just makes my eye twitch. She has a limited time on the surface to find a solution to her problem and yet for 3/4th of the book all she does is whine about how little time she has and how much she loves Jack. And I swear it seemed like Nikki thought or said the name Jack in every other sentence. It literally began to make my eye get all twitchy.

Out of curiosity I did a search with the Amazon Look Inside feature and Jack’s name is mentioned 101 times and Cole’s 110…I knew those names were mentioned a lot! Although to be fair I did a similar search with a book I liked and that character’s name was mentioned 134 times…so in this case annoyance is all in the eye of how annoying the main character is.

The mythology of this book was just so-so. Maybe there was just too much that was being used as the source material or maybe not enough. I could see hints of the various Greek myths used in this story and I think that maybe this one would have been a bit better if it had focused on one story. It also has hints of vampirism and I am just getting so tired of those paranormal beasties. No, there aren’t actual blood-sucking creatures in Everneath but the Everliving (the name for Cole and those like him) need to feed off the energies of humans in order to live forever. Its the feeding off of another person that makes them seem a bit vampiric in nature.

Then the worst part of the whole book, the love triangle. Oh sweet baby Jesus do I dislike those. Especially when you have two so uber-hot guys who both desperately want the main character and everything she says or does just makes you want to smack her. There was nothing special about this girl and I don’t get why Jack or Cole wanted her when all she did was mope and whine. It also seems to boggle my mind a bit that for someone who was that Nikki was supposedly in love with Jack for the entire book and yet despite that fell instantly in love with Cole (the typical bad boy to Jacks uber goody-goody persona). Nikki’s life was so bland and ordinary and its never really explained why she decided to chuck it all to be Cole’s thing to feed on. Well, truth told that may have been explained but there is just so much of this book that is so completely forgettable that I kinda wish I’d been able to find the words sooner to write this review.

For me, Everneath is a book where nothing happens until the very end which is this horribly cliched and overly predictable ending that would have made me toss the book across the room if I wasn’t listening on my iPod. Everneath is a very commercial book and I can see how it would appeal to many but its just not my cup of tea. It reminded me in many ways of Twilight – just without the vampires and werewolves. So if you liked that book you’ll like Everneath if you did not, then you won’t. Overall, I found this one to be very bland, generic, entirely forgettable.

About the narrator

I think that the only thing that kept me listening to Everneath until the end was its narrator Amy Rubinate. I first discovered Rubinate’s narration style with Shadows of the Moon and enjoyed her voice and her way of bringing a story to life. And it was Rubinate that drew me to the audio version of Everneath and I am just glad that I listened to Shadows first. It can be hard sometimes to separate a narrator from the characters that they portray and if I’d heard Rubinate narrating the oh so annoying Nikki I may have sworn off listening to other audios by her. The end result with this book was I loved the narrator but I wasn’t a fan of the story she had to tell.

People who liked this book better than I did (Click blog name to read their full review):
Making the Grade – “Everneath is a story of perseverance. It is a story of pure grit, determination, and not excepting defeat. More than that, it is a story of unconditional love that defies all odds.”

The Book Scout – “The plot was extremely unique and Ashton incorporated the mythology in such a new and refreshing way. There were quite a few twists and turns that kept me engaged and several things completely shocked me. I had a hard time setting Everneath down, especially towards the end when Nikki’s time was running out.”

Book.Blog.Bake – “Jack and Cole are both fantastically written characters. They’re both intriguing in their own ways while being complete opposites of one another. The way the characters are written and the subtle themes that run underneath this work make this a 4/5 star read for me.”

two-stars
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda JonesFourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson,
Published by St Martin's Press on 02 October 2012
Genres: Adult, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge, Seventh Grave and No Body

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

First Line: I sat watching the Buy From  Home Channel with my dead aunt Lillian and wondered what my life would’ve been like had I not just eaten an entire carton of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy with a mocha latte chaser.

Its always hard to review a series while trying to keep spoiler free but I will try my best with Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones. I feel hard for this series and I blitz read through all the available books because I just didn’t want to leave this world. I love Charlie, her family, her friends, her frenemies, and her who knows what he is Reyes. (*swoon* Reyes) I even love the quirky chapter titles and this is normally something that I royally dislike. But they work for these series and I love hitting a new chapter to see what saying or quote is used next.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet picks up soon after the crazy climax of the previous book with Charlie dealing with the consequences. She is not handling things as well as she would like and has developed a bit of an addiction to shop at home networks. Not to mention what happened with Reyes and Swoops. What I love about this series is that it always feels so real, yes even with all the demons and grim reapers. Things happen and there are consequences and repercussions for them. Well, except for when Charlie gets injured as she has some super amazing healing powers that I wish I had as I really do not like pain. lol

As with the previous books in the series there is a mystery ARC that covers the book from open to close and then there is this whole bigger story line that has been brewing over the previous books. The main mystery is solved and neatly tied up in a bow and I like that and there was just enough clues for this bigger story given to keep me interested in learning more. Though I do wish that Darynda Jones would pick up the pace a bit with these little nuggets for the bigger background story ARC. I also liked getting to know all the characters just a little bit better. I know that I’ve said that before and will probably say it again but that is the real benefit of a series.

A true series with the same MC in every book and not just companion novels linked together by a theme. I like learning all of Charlie’s quirks and idiosyncrasies and can really relate to her. I love the chemistry she has on the page with everyone in her life, even her evil step-monster. I love how these books are able to make me laugh out loud.

When I pick up a Charlie Davidson mystery I know that I am in for a good time. There are humorous moments and serious ones. There are hot steamy scenes and then there are things that can make a girl cringe. These are great beach time reads or sitting by the fire on a cold winter night. There is just something so fun about these books that I can’t help but recommend them to everyone I know. They are just such good fun and I hope that they never end because I would be so sad to have to leave these characters and this world forever.

Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

four-stars
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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Audio Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Audiobook, Review6 Comments

Audio Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia BriggsIron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Mercy Thompson,
Also in this series: Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, River Marked
Published by Penguin Audio on 01 November 2009
Genres: Adult, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Length: 9 hours 11 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, River Marked

Place(s) Traveled to: Tri-Cities, Washington

First Line: “A cowboy, a lawyer, and a mechanic watched Queen of the Damned,” I murmured.

While searching my library’s digital catalog one day I stumbled on the audio of Iron Kissed by Patrica Briggs. I really enjoyed listening to the first book on audio and so deiced to DL it. This book picks up not long after Blood Bound ends and deals more closely with the Fae than the previous two books. What is missing however, if Mercy’s vampire friend Stefan. Though after the events of the previous book that’s not entirely unexpected.

I really liked learning more about Brigg’s version of the Fae which incorporates the various mythology that currently exists. Mercy has to navigate this treacherous rule where the Fae and lie without lying in order to free her former boss and friend Zee who is accused of murder. Mercy knows he didn’t do it and the Fae aren’t doing much to set him free so its up to Mercy and her friends to make sure the real murderer is brought to justice.

As with the previous books there is a good overall mystery ARC with a few twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. Mercy also makes a choice in this book for which I am thankful because I am not a huge fan of love triangles. But what I hate more is a love triangle without end (*coughs*Stephanie Plum*coughs*). Though I don’t like how this one was resolved. I like the choice and think that it was pretty clear from the start just how it would go. Its the how it happened because it really wasn’t Mercy making a choice it all just sort of happened. So that was a bit of a disappointment but I am looking forward to seeing how things go between Mercy and her man.

The overall plot was really good and I enjoyed getting to know the various characters a bit more. There is a cliff hanger ending that would have driven me a bit mad if I didn’t have the next book available. Iron Kissed is also darker in some ways that the previous books and Mercy is really put through the ringer. There will definitely be some mental fallout that she has to deal with and that won’t be easy. It will also probably carry over into other books because if she heals quickly from this than it will just break the false reality of the story.

Iron Kissed isn’t a perfect book but there is enough entertainment contained within its pages that its easy to overlook the flaws. I also really love to listen to this series on audio as the narrator, Lorelai King, does an excellent job with all the voices. There is never any doubt as to who is speaking when. And her style is just perfect for history major, turned mechanic Mercy Thompson. King has become these characters and I can’t think of any other narrator who could do a better job.

four-stars
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Title: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Goodreads)
Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Source: Library
Publication Date: 31 Jan 2012
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 1250001544
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 310

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: There was a dead clown sitting in my living room. Since I wasn’t particularly fond of clowns, and it was way too early for anything coherent to come out of my mouth, I pretended not to notice him.


Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light (July 2013)
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

You know that I am in love with a series when I do a little dance when the next book in the series comes into the library just as I’m finishing up book 2 and just before I’m about to head onto a plane and all that glorious uninterrupted reading time. This was the case with Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones which became available the day before I was headed out to see my sister in New Mexico (where it should be noted this series is set, though just further north than where my sister lives.) I don’t usually travel with library book but this was a special circumstance as I just needed to know what happened next! I may have even asked my sister if she could request the 4th book for me from her library but alas that was not to be. 
The story picks up not long after Second Grave on the Left ends and features all the characters that we’ve come to know and love from the previous books. Charlie is her usual, crazy sarcastic self and I love being her head throughout this series. Not to mention the shenanigans that is Cookie and Swopes. I just love when these characters are on the page and their banter with Charlie. I also loved all the very hot, sexy scenes that involve our favorite son of Satan, Reyes. There were also some new characters in this book some which are nice and other are down right terrifying. 

As with previous books Charlie is wrapped up trying to help her Uncle Bob with cases for the APD and also doing some of her own investigating but stakes are also raised to a whole new level. There is a whole lotta action in this book and Charlie has so much that needs to be done in a short amount of time and she does it all on almost no sleep. Seriously, there were moments when I got tired on her behalf during my read of book. Third Grave Dead Ahead is one of the best books in this series and I just loved every moment. I blitz read through this one almost as fast (if not faster) than the previous 2 books. 

I was also so glad that the 4th book in this series was out when I finished this one I just had to know what happened next! Talk about your crazy cliff hanger but not the sort that forces you to read the next book. All the big story ARCs started in this book are wrapped up but this ending leaves just enough open that you just can’t wait to know what happens next in Charley’s life. There are new mysteries revealed to the overall series ARC and some wonderful twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I am a total fan of this series and can’t recommend it enough. 

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Audio Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Posted by Irish in Review0 Comments

Title: Monument 14 (Goodreads)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 04 Oct 2012
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 1427211302
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~7 hrs
Narrator: Todd Haberkorn

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Monument, Colorado (2024)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First Line: Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus.

Monument 14 Series Order
Book 0.5: Dress Your Marines in White
Book 1: Monument 14
Book 1.5: Jake and the Other Girl
Book 2: Sky on Fire
Book 3: Savage Drift (~2014)

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne starts with a second person narrative and as I am not a fan of that style I almost turned it off immediately. Fortunately that didn’t continue for long and I continued on with the story and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Whenever I read a book by a debut author I never know what to expect its not just the words that are new by the voice and perspective. Emmy Laybourne chose to tell her post-apocalyptic story from a a teen boys perspective and I wasn’t quite expecting that. Its so east to fall into assumptions as a reader that female authors will typically write female POVs and male authors will write the boy perspective. So when the author does the opposite with what you expect its a bit surprising but not badly so. 

Laybourne also chooses to set her story in a superstore, not unlike a Super-Walmart. She, like I’ve often done myself, has been in these stores and thought…well, this wouldn’t be a bad place to hole up during an apocalypse for you’ve got everything you need to survive for a good long while. Of course, in an apocalypse those are usually the first places to be raided so safety only goes as far as the security you have. Fortunately for the kids in Laybourne’s book they are driven into the story (literally) just as the sky starts opening up in this massive hail store that is the results of a larger disaster father away. There is a chain reaction of events that eventually leads to a cloud of toxic gas to be released into the air that affects those of particular blood types in a variety of ways. But since the kids got to the store just as events began to unfold they were able to secure it and so not only give themselves a great shelter but protection as well. 

During the course of this story the reader doesn’t learn too much about the outside world. Thanks to an EM Pulse of some sort the network connecting everything is down (goodbye internet, deep breath addicts its just a book) so this is a very character driven story. There is Dean, our faithful narrator, and some others from his school as well as a bunch of younger kids and they are all just trying to survive hoping that their parents will come and rescue them. One thing that I recall most from this book is that there is a lot of cooking involved. It seemed an excessive amount of time was devoted to this, but as I was telling a friend on Twitter that I’d rather many cooking scenes than lots of long drawn out ones about paintball

Monument 14 is evenly paced and made all the more scary as its premise is plausible. I can easily visualize these events coming about. But there was something lacking in the story that prevented me from falling head over heels in love with it. I liked Dean and his POV but never really connected with him as I’ve done with other book characters. I think part of my trouble was with the narration. Todd Haberkorn does a good enough job with the overall story telling but when it came to voices his little kid ones sounded overly whiney and his female voices just off. When it came to the male voices he always made them sound older than a teenager and so I always had to remind myself that the main characters were all ages 5 to 16 years in age. 

As a debut, I think that Laybourne has promise. I liked the world that she created and even though I was a bit disappointed when I first learned that Monument 14 wasn’t going to be a standalone. I am curious to see where things will go next. There is a flood of dystopian/post-apocalyptic books out there and you can do worse than Monument 14 but its not my favorite in the genre either.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Posted by Irish in Review4 Comments

Title: Blood Bound (Goodreads)
Publisher: Ace

Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2007
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0441014739
Format: ebook
Pages: 292

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Tri-Cities, Washington

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: Like most people who own their own businesses, I work long hours that start early in the morning. So when someone calls me in the middle of the night, they’d better be dying.

Mercedes ‘Mercy’  Thompson Series Order
Prequel – Homecoming

Book 1 – Moon Called
Book 1.5 – Wolfsbane & Mistletoe (short story)
Book 2 – Blood Bound
Book 3 – Iron Kissed
Book 4 – Bone Crossed
Book 5 – Silver Borne
Book 6 – River Marked
Book 7 – Frost Burned 
Book 8 – Night Broken (~2014) 

As with most books that I start on audio I debated on if I wanted to continue the series that way or move to print. Since I was out of audible credits and I had a gift card this time around I opted to read the ebook of Blood Bound. Sometimes this transition is easier than others and this time around the ebook was a bit harder to get into after the audio. Part of me wished that I’d waiting to get the audio and the other was happy to just read at my own pace.  

Blood Bound pics up not long after the events of Moon Called end and this time Mercy’s vampire friend Stefan needs some help. Mercy and her friends are quickly sucked into a dangerous mystery with the vampire clans and its a heart racing ride until the end of the story. Patricia Briggs really knows how to spin a tale and I love the mythology and world that she has created. As this series primarily involves werewolves one would think that I would hate it but Briggs has such a way with telling a story that I find in this case that I like them. 

I don’t like the love triangle and every time the two Alphas, Samuel and Adam, are exerting dominance trying to get Mercy to choose I just roll my eyes and sigh. I may be willing accept werewolves as a plot point but I don’t think that I will ever be ok with a love triangle. Although Patricia Briggs does present a more realistic triangle than most authors. In her story its not a choice between the ultimate bad boy and the good boy next store. Where the heroine is inevitably drawn to the bad boy as she knows that he will be healed by the gift of her love. *gag me* In Patricia Brigg’s world both Adam and Samuel are a flawed characters but they mean well and they care for Mercy. They are mostly good but they are will to do what it takes to protect those they love. 

They mystery that is at the foundation of Blood Bound is interesting and it holds a reader’s attention. Its not impossible to figure out but its fun to see the various clues that Briggs lays out for the reader to find. I also liked learning more about the vampires and Stefen and he’s grown to be a favorite character. As has Zee and some of the other members of the wolf pack. With a series its always fun to see how characters grow and change over the course of the books. And while in book 2 we are still just getting to know them the reader gets that feeling of visiting with old friends while reading the story. 

As with Moon Called, I enjoyed Blood Bound more than I expected. I was immersed in the world as I read it and I felt a little lost when I left. This is a series that I will definitely be exploring more although I might switch back to audio as I do enjoy the narrator, Lorelei King. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in Review2 Comments

Title: Second Grave on the Left (Goodreads)
Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Source: Library
Publication Date: 16 Aug 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0312360819
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 302

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: “Charley, hurry, wake up.” Fingers with pointy nails bit into my shoulders, doing their darnedest to vanquish the fog of sleep I’d been marinating in. They shook me hard enough to cause a small earthquake in Oklahoma. Since I lived in New Mexico, this was a problem.

Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light (July 2013)
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

After finishing First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones on audio I debated long and hard on if I wanted to continue the series in that format or not. I loved the audio narration and really could have done the whole series that way. But I also wanted to devour these books and that is something that the steady pace of an audio doesn’t allow you to do. Since Second Grave on the Left was just sitting there on a shelf at my library it seemed like the right choice to make to move to print. At first it was a tough transition, yes the reading was faster but it lacked the nuance of Lorelai King’s narration. So it should come as no real surprise that in the back of my mind I heard her voice as Charley’s as I was reading this book. 

Second Grave on the Left picks up not long after the first book ends and it starts off running. Well, it does once Cookie is able to get Charley out of bed. That girls loves sleep almost as much as I do. lol As with the previous book this story is filled with lots of humor but its not all fun and games. There is the mystery that spans the book from cover to cover that keeps the reader engaged and entertained. And then there is this bigger secondary mystery that carries over from the first book. One gets resolved as this book ends and the other lays a trail of seeds that leads the reader into the next book. Yet, despite the secondary story arc not being fully resolved the reader is not left unsatisfied. Instead, this does what all those crazy bomb dropping cliff hangers that are so popular in series reads fails to do for me. 

These little seeds make me want to read the next book as do all the characters that just grow and become deeper and more real as a series progresses. There is no big huge cliff hanger and if you never read the next book then you aren’t disappointed. As a reader, you can make your own ending, or you can move on and see where Darynda Jones leads you next. Its that desire to know what happens next that is key. Its what makes it so hard to put the book down once you start reading it. And for me this is one of those unputdownable reads. 

Second Grave on the Left is a laugh out loud funny story but there is a seriousness to it too. There is drama in Charlie’s world and lots of tension with her evil step-mother and uber hot and so very confusing Reyes. Oh, Reyes, if you pick up this serious for just one reason than he is enough. I adore Charley and I love her friends and family but there is just something special about Reyes. I like how he keeps Charley on her toes and keeps her off balances. I actually like that he’s the ultimate bad boy and yet he’s not totally evil. He’s just such a fun character and you never quite know just what side of the board he is playing on. 

Darynda Jones is a talented writer and I love her writing style. I love the characters and the world that she has created and I loved getting to know all these characters even better. I love a series in which you can see character growth and added depth with each new book. If you are looking for a fun and entertaining mystery then you will enjoy this book. Its perfect for the beach or for curling up on the couch on a cold winter’s day. I promise you’ll devour this story and immediately want to dive into the next book. I know I did.


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Title: Pushing the Limits (Goodreads)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Kaye Publicity
Publication Date: 28 May 2013
Series or Standalone: Series/Companion Book
ISBN: 0373210639
Format: ARC
Pages: 462

The author on the web:
Katie McGarry – Official Site
Katie McGarry – Blog
Katie McGarry – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Groveton, Kentucky // Louisville, Kentucky

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: I’m not interested in second place.

Pushing the Limits Series Order – Companion Book
Book 1: Pushing the Limits
Book 1.5: Crossing the Line
Book 2: Dare You To
Book 3: Crash Into You (26 Nov 2013)

When I first read Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry last year I was amazed at how good it was. I lost myself in the world that McGarry created and read the book in a single sitting and its a book I wish I could read again for the first time. When I finished the book I was so excited to hear that there would be at least one companion novel as I wasn’t ready to leave this world or these characters. I was eager to learn more about Beth and what made her so hard.

Throughout my read of Dare You To I flipped back and forth between absolute love and a wary outlook of the story. I wanted to love this one as much as I did Pushing the Limits but there was just something missing. I did enjoy this one, and it even kept me up well past my bed time the other night, but I was able to put it down. Beth and Ryan didn’t linger in my head whispering ideas on where their story might go after the final page was turned. They worked well together but didn’t seem to have the same chemistry as Echo and Noah. Perhaps it was because Beth was so very broken and Ryan not so much.

Ryan had his issues but they didn’t seem as intense as what Beth, Noah or Echo went through. This could be because Ryan’s issues weren’t as deeply explored as they could have been so they seemed to be more surfacy than anything else. Even Beth lacked some depth that I was hoping for in the first book. I think it might be because her surroundings changed so much and we really didn’t get to see Noah, Isaiah, or Echo all that much. I really missed seeing those familiar faces and I was always peaking around corners hoping to see that that I didn’t really pay as much attention to those new characters in front of me.

Now, it might seem like I didn’t like Dare You To at all and that is far from the case because I did like it. I’m just not head over heels I’ll beat you over the head until you read it over it. The story was fast paced and there were several heart in your throat moments. There were even those heart achy scenes that I loved as well. Like that seen with the rain when Ryan and Beth were starting to hang out more.*swoon* I did feel the ending was a little rushed but then I might be saying this even if Dare You To clocked in at 1000 pages long.

I do love the world that Katie McGarry creates and I can’t wait to read Isiah’s story later on in Crash Into You. As I said, I really missed seeming him in this book and I hope that in his story we’ll get to see more of Noah and Echo as well as Beth and Ryan. I really think this would have been a 5 star read for me if there were just as many scenes with old friends as well as the new. Or maybe even with Beth and Lacy or with Beth just hanging out in a group with Ryan. The secondary characters in this book just didn’t get much page time and as such they never really felt real.

I am still a huge fan of Katie McGarry’s writing and as I said I can’t wait to read not just Crash Into You but also the stories that come after. McGarry has a gift with creating wonder contemporary YA worlds and she’s definitely on my auto read/buy list for life. I may not fall head over heels in love with everything she writes but I know that each book of hers will be well written with realistic stories. You really can’t go wrong with a Katie McGarry novel.

irishdarkblue
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Audio Review: Game by Barry Lyga

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Title: Game (Goodreads)
Publisher:  Hachette Audio

Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 16 Apr 2013
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: B00C38S4WI
Format: Audio
Audio Length: ~13.5 hrs

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Lobo’s Nod, Any State, USA // New York, New York // Brooklyn, New York
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: She had screamed, but she had not cried.

Jasper Dent Series Order
Book 1: I Hunt Killers
Book 2: Game
Book 3: Untitled (TBD)


When I Hunt Killers came out last year I was hooked. I fell head over heels for the audio and loved every bit of it. The narrator, Charlie Thurston, game me chills and once I heard that there would be a sequel to the story I knew that I would have to listen to that one as well. Sequels can be such hit or miss things and while I was really looking forward to Game I was dreading it as well. Would it fall into the cliched role of a transition novel with not much happening or would it surpass the book that came before? While Game didn’t blow me away like I Hunt Killers did it wasn’t your standard transition novel either. 

In Game, Billy Dent is on the loose and there is also a new serial killer running around New York City. They police there decide to bring in Jasper Dent to consult as he does have a unique perspective on things. And even though he’s a minor and this is just a book I still find it a bit odd that he does all of this for free. But that is just a minor thought that I had while listening to this story. 

I mostly enjoyed this story and really liked its complexities. I enjoyed the twists and turns and was surprised a time or two during the course of this story. What I didn’t like was how this one ended. I didn’t like the cliff hanger aspect of it and how, as a reader, I am now forced to pick up the next book in order to find out what happens next. For me, cliff hangers are cheap plot devices that only take away my interest in a story. 

As with, I Hunt Killers, I enjoyed Thurston’s narration although unlike that book I didn’t get the same chills. Perhaps because this wasn’t a continuation of a story and so the voices weren’t fresh or new. It could also be because even though the story went to New York and Brooklyn – places that have some distinctive accents – none of the characters from there had an accent. Thurston gave them these lifeless voices that could have been from anywhere and I just think that it was a lost opportunity to further add some depth and realism to this story. 

I enjoyed Game but I didn’t love it as much as the first book. While I’m curious to see where a third book goes I’m also miffed at being forced to read it. I think that there are better ways to drive a readers interest in continuing on with a series and it doesn’t always have to be with a cliff hanger. Have I mentioned how much I do not like cliff hangers? I will most likely check out the third book but I’m not bursting for more, not like I was after finishing I Hunt Killers

If you enjoyed the first one you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Its a good installment in the series its just missing a little something that the first book had. At least, it was for me. I know many out there loved Game just as much if not more than the first book. Perhaps I just hyped this one too much up in my head to enjoy it fully. As an audio, it could have been better (see note on lack of accents above), but I will say that I will listen to the third book over reading it if Thurston is brought back as the narrator. He may not do a New York accent but he’s killer with the voice he does for Billy Dent.


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