Thursday, 27 September 2012

Review: Tiger's Destiny

Book Four of the Tiger Saga (therefore contains spoilers for the previous books)

With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all.

I had loved reading the first three books of this series, especially the second one. Ren was my favourite in Tiger's Curse and then in Tiger's Quest I fell helplessly in love with Kishan and Ren revealed himself to be the over-protective man (I generally hate over-protective guys). I was looking forward to this book, but also scared of how this will end and who Kelsey will choose in the end.

Throughout the series my respect for Kelsey sank and sank in each book, she slowly becomes a selfish coward who harms everyone who loves her in an attempt to keep herself happy. This book and the way she treats Kishan and Ren completely ruined all the likeness of her and in the end I couldn't help but hate her. I didn't like the ending, and I didn't feel like Kelsey deserved to be happy after all she had done. Her disregard for people's feelings just makes me so annoyed and frustrated that two loving men such as Kishan and Ren would ever fall so completely in love with her.

I don't know what the next book will be about and I'll read it although right now I don't really know how I feel about the series any more. The ending could have ended the whole series here and I have no idea whether the next book will redeem the series or make it worse. This review is short because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone and everything I want to comment on can spoil things for others.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Review: Throne of Glass


"Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin."
When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin come to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin the land, she will be the King's Champion and be released from prision.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Capitan of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will be the one thing Celaena never thought she'd have again: a friend. But something evil dwells in the castle - and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival - and a desperate quest to root out the source of evil before it destroys her world.

I had been dying to read this book the moment I read the blurb and it captivated me. I was ready for a book about a kick-ass assassin and a book full of action and mysterious deaths. I did not see the huge role of magic coming for this book and was a bit disappointed that it wasn't really about all the assassin-y skills and the combat. This book was wonderful, but not what I had in my mind when I started and not what I had wanted to read at the time so I think it made me enjoy it less than I could have had I read it at a time when I wanted a book about magic and fantasy.

First off I loved the two male leads, from the moment I met them both, I knew I wouldn't be able to decide which of these boys I liked best. Chaol, the Capitan of the Guard, was the cold and responsible man, he could understand parts of Celaena and yet he had no hope of understanding all of her. Dorian, the Crown Prince, is the charmer and sexy royal who was witty, kind and smart. Throughout the whole book, I had moments where I like one more than the other and vice versa, but I can't choose who I like best, however I do hope she ends up with the prince.

Celaena is an interesting character. She's dangerous and smart, yet you can see plain as day that she lets her emotions from the past control her too much. She has weaknesses and she has strengths, it was great fun to read about her funny and smart conversations with the prince (especially when they shame the annoying lady) and just as much fun to read about her vainness.

One thing I think the author could have done better was make the reader connect more with the characters. Celaena wasn't too inspiring or kick-ass, she was the main character yet I didn't root for her as much as I thought I would. The two boys, Dorian and Chaol, definitely had potential to become characters who could make the readers fall head over heels in love with them, yet I can't say they were that intriguing or if they invoked strong emotions from me. I love a book which could make me love the characters more than anything (I've read about many characters who still have me enchanted long after I've finished the book), but sadly the author didn't try to build a connection between the reader and character very much.

Overall it was an interesting read, I didn't expect what I got, but I still had fun reading it. I'd recommend this book to those who like a mystery involving magic and monsters.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, 3 September 2012

Giveaway: One Year Anniversary

A Daydreamer's Thoughts is holding a giveaway to celebrate it's one year anniversary here!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Giveaway: Signed Copy of Storm Glass

Framed in Words is holding a giveaway for a signed copy of Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder here.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Review: The Selection

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

When this book was first announced, I was dying to read it. Then the reviews popped up and I thought it would be a waste of time to read a book everyone hated. Finally a friend read it and told me how good it was, so I tried to stay unbiased and give the book a chance. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed reading this. I did hear about the author being rude and mean to bad reviewers of this book and I considered giving this book a lower rating for it, but I did enjoy it even if the author is an ass.

It's true that this book is hardly original, the writing isn't amazing and yes, the names did indeed suck very, very much. However having read many chick-lits and crappy, paperback romance books in the past, I'd say that The Selection would be a pretty good one. I had fun reading this book, the storyline was plain and easy to understand, with some exciting parts scattered around. Many scenes were hilarious to read about and gave you a good laugh. 

Starring Prince Charming, Cinderella and the Forbidden Lover this book has a love triangle where the girl doesn't know who to be with (so she goes with both). Maxon is the sweetest guy out of the two, but Aspen is pretty cool too. Because this book is one of those relaxing, easy reads, the characters are not like characters such as Dimitri from VA who invoke strong feelings and emotions. I still have people I like and dislike but like I said, this book was relaxing to read with no heavy emotions brought out by the characters.

This book is pretty similar to The Bachelor. Girls cry, dresses are ripped and the cameras are rolling. You've got the two hot guys and the main girl, with a class A bitch and the sweet friend who's hiding something. The drama was pretty fun to read, cat-fights and weird seduction techniques that make you laugh at the silliness of it all.

I would recommend this to those who like to read those cheap funny romantic stories that can make you giggle. Compared to a lot of books out there The Selection is pretty good, its just that the blurb makes it seem like one of those awesome YA dystopian books with amazing writing hence attracting the wrong audience into reading the book. As a relaxing read, this book was great, I loved some of the funny scenes in this book and how Maxon seems to listen to America's advice. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and seeing who will win the crown/Maxon.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Giveaway: International

Nocturnal Book Reviews is holding an international book giveaway here!

Giveaway: August Releases

Bookfever is hosting a giveaway for many popular August releases here!

Review: Seraphina

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

I had very high expectations when I started this book and I'm glad to say that it didn't disappoint. Seraphina is an enticing tale about a girl who is skilled in the art of music and the art of lying. Her life is full of secrets and lies, things she dare not tell anyone else. The blurb immediately captured my interest and the story held it all the way to the end and beyond.

I absolutely loved the setting of this story. I have a love for court life and handsome princes. This book was full of love, mystery and action. Seraphina is a very interesting character, she is strong and yet scared of herself. What she is terrifies and disgusts her, yet she is so determined and courageous in her dealings. The Queen and Princesses in this book were written beautifully. We got to see the public side of them first and then slowly devoured into their real personalities to see who they actually were.

Prince Kiggs was a lovely character to read about, he is obsessed with finding the truth and then meets the girl who's whole life is a lie. Engaged to the Princess of the realm, we realise from the start the the road to love for him and Seraphina will not be a easy and carefree one. Orma constantly breaks my heart, his love for her is so true and real yet for him it is a crime. I loved him as a character so, so much, never have I felt so strongly for a side character. The challenges in his life and the decisions he makes is plain for the reader to see, making the reader sympathise with him so effortlessly.

The mystery in this book was very well written, many things unpredictable yet so reasonable. I loved the feeling of surprise when something was revealed (most book these days are so predictable that it just ruins the whole book) and how everything revealed made so much sense. The action towards the end was stunningly beautiful, dragons in action are so fun to read about.

Hartman's version of dragons are not completely original, but she gives a edge to them that makes them refreshing and interesting to read about. She did a fabulous job of showing us slowly throughout the book what the dragons she created were exactly like. It made the book feel like a journey where at each stage something new was shown to us. One thing that pulled the rating of this book down slightly was how at the beginning/middle-ish part of the book I wasn't that engaged in the story. I liked it, but it wasn't until the end that I felt like this was the best dragon book ever written.

Dragons in this book could not feel emotions unless in their human form, and it was so exhilarating to see how different emotions effected our lives. I loved the range of love Hartman wrote in her book, the love between friends, siblings, family, teacher/student and lovers were all included in her book. It was so nice to read a book where the love of friendship makes my heart warmer than the love between two admirers. I adored the trio of friends at the of this book, I know there will be challenges that may tear them apart, but I believe that together they could lead their kingdom into a golden time (or maybe I just love them because its so much like Merlin). 

I'd recommend this book to those who have a love for dragons, mystery and intriguing court dealings. Seraphina was a beautiful read, a story I won't forget any time soon. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and see more of this fabulous tale. I can definitely see this series get better and better, I'm hoping for a lot more action in the next one book and excited to see how the author will write the love storyline.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Review: Pure

Book Two of the Covenant series (therefore contains spoilers for the previous book)

There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

When I picked up Pure, I never expected to love it so much. Half-Blood was hardly original and although I loved it, I was scared that Pure would ruin it. The beginning of Pure was what I expected, cool but not awesome and then BAM! everything exploded and I was trapped inside Alex's world. Pure was beautiful and heartbreaking. Very, very heartbreaking.

Alex is still pretty much the same as ever, although she has grown up and seems to be more mature. Aiden is still as sexy as ever. He's the honourable man who loves Alex with all his heart, she's just too stupid to see it. Nearly throughout the whole story my heart was breaking for him. Seth... now this is where it gets complicated. In the first book, I liked Seth on sight and then everything went downhill. I was Team Aiden all the way. Pure shows you a side of Seth that makes you love him too, I wouldn't say this was a love triangle since I don't think Seth's intention is to marry her but he does love her and in a way she loves him too. I'm still Team Aiden, but my love for Seth grew in this book and I can only hope he'll continue to deserve my love in the next books.

The storyline this time was completely different from the first book, Alex and co. go to another Covenant and she has to deal with the council of ministers. The head minister is out to see her sent into servitude and everything is at stake in this book.

The end leaves you with lots and lots of things to think about and a million questions you want answered. I can't wait for the next book to come out and see how Armentrout continues with this series. I'd recommend this book to those who don't mind their hearts being broken, it'll also be good if you liked storylines similar to the VA. If you love hot guys who are willing to give up everything for the one they love, then this book is definitely for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Review: Half-Blood

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck. 

This book was a nice surprise, after everyone saying that this was very similar to the Vampire Academy I was expecting that this would be good but not amazing seeing as copies never really were. Instead I found that this book was amazing and that I absolutely loved it. Yes its true, it has a lot of similarities with Vampire Academy, but its not all the same. I loved Armentrout's characters and writing, this book made me laugh and fall in love so easily and effortlessly.

Alex is a bit like Rose and Aiden is a teeny bit like Dimitri, but I don't think they are exact copies. I'll admit that the name Aiden didn't do it for me at the beginning, the name just didn't sound badass enough, but then I got to know him and I have a new appreciation for the name. Seth was pretty cool when he first appeared and then he started giving off evil vibes and then he stopped... in short, I don't really know how I felt about him at the end of the book, I can't say I like him but then I can't say that I dislike him either.

For me the characters in this book was what made it so great. I loved Alex's Uncle and Stepfather, they weren't nice people but they were the 'cool' bad guys. Aiden's brother is a laugh and I'd love to see more of him in the next book. Caleb was a suspect candidate for a love triangle at the beginning so I stared clear of him. Lea is a Class A Bitch who plays the role of Alex's enemy. Leon is the guy who keeps reminding me of Sir Leon in the BBC show Merlin and I giggled whenever he appeared in the book. The relationships between the characters in this book and the banter they had between them were hilarious to read.

At the end of this book, I see a love triangle coming and I don't know if the next one will be a serious love triangle or not, but I do hope that its not. This book was a light, funny and exciting read. Armentrout proves herself again at being able to write stories that lighten up the mood and aren't too serious or depressing. I'm looking forward to the next book and I'd recommend this to those who loved the VA and to those that want something funny and light that has a good plot.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, 10 August 2012

Book Trailer: Onyx

The brand new trailer for Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Giveaway: Jennifer L. Armentrout Books

Giveaway for upcoming books by Jennifer L. Armentrout can be found here.

Review: Tiger's Voyage

Book Three of the Tiger Saga (therefore contains spoilers for the previous books)

With the head-to-head battle against the villainous Lokesh behind her, Kelsey confronts a new heartbreak: in the wake of his traumatic experience, her beloved Ren no longer remembers who she is. As the trio continues their quest by challenging five cunning and duplicitous dragons, Ren and Kishan once more vie for her affections--leaving Kelsey more confused than ever. 

From the beginning of this book, I knew I was setting my heart up for breaking. Tiger's Curse was the beautiful start of this series whereupon I fell in love with Ren, Tiger's Quest was the amazing sequel that rocked my world and made me fall head over heels in love with Kishan, Tiger's Voyage is where everybody's love is tested and everyone's heart is made to be broken. By the end, I can safely say that I have not died, but was standing on my tippy toes on the edge of the cliff waiting for a breeze to knock me off.

Kelsey loses a lot of my respect in this book, since it's been ages since I read the last two, I can't remember if I liked her that much in them or if I've always kinda disliked her. She leads and uses her men without thinking of them and at the end, I felt like she didn't deserve to have neither boys' love. Kishan is the patient, loving man at her side and I don't think a book character has ever captured my heart and then crushed it in one go before. Throughout the whole book I loved him, and I hated him for being so real and worthy of love because I knew I was giving my heart to the man who has near no chance of winning this love battle.

Ren... my love for him was non-existent at the end of the last book but this book just made me feel so sorry for him. Kelsey pushed and pressured him to love her, punishing him whenever he didn't do something right, and I hated having to watch him suffer like that. But then I could also say that I hated him for moments in this book, in fear of giving too much away, I'll give one example: Ren likes Kelsey with long hair and when she wants to cut it off shorter because it's easier to manage, Ren threatens anyone (including Kelsey) that wants to cut it and pretty much forbids her from cutting her own hair.

Finally the dragons, I absolutely loved this book because of the wonderful tasks they had to go through with the dragons. My favourite would have to be the Green, Gold or White dragon, I can't quite choose. Houck's writing is still so fun to read and I loved this book. Since I can't remember what really happened in the last two books, I can't say which I like best out of the three books but overall this series is awesome and I'd recommend it to those who love adventures and magic.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Review: Obsidian

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

The blurb completely sucked me in. A hot neighbour who's got a killer mouth? Cliché, but totally fun to read about. And then there were the aliens. Well, there isn't much cliché about that and I have to say, aliens have never been so sexy until I read this book which makes them not only sexy, but totally badass and to die for.

Obsidian is fun, exciting and one of those books that keeps you laughing long after you've finished the book. The main character Katy is better than most girls in books, she's strong and independent, always ready to prove herself to the world (or more accurately: Daemon). Her love for books makes her easier to connect with, and her funny thoughts also makes this book more enjoyable to read. I really liked her sensibility and caution when dealing with relationships, although there were times when I thought she could have thrown caution out the window.

Daemon is the guy who has a killer body and a killer mouth. His words are always sharp and cut deep into you soul, sometimes its nice words, but most of the time, he's an award winning ass. What I loved was that Armentrout helped you understand him throughout the story and most of his decisions. He isn't the nicest person alive (far from it) but you get why he does what he does and sometimes you have to admire him a little for it. At the back of the book, there was a couple of chapters from his POV and I loved the chance to get into his head.

Aliens. Well, I've never read a book on drool worthy aliens and I have to say that Obsidian has changed my view of aliens forever. Next time I see the word alien in a book, it's going to have a high expectation to live up to. Armentrout's brand of aliens were physically amazing with even better abilities.

After reading this book, I'm desperate for the next one. The ending wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but it definitely left you wanting more. I would recommend this to those who love books that make you laugh. Aliens might not sound appealing but trust me, this group of aliens will knock you off your feet. Fun and witty, Obsidian was a light and relaxing read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Review: Power Study

Short 3.5 for the Study Series (therefore contains spoilers for previous books)

Ari and Janco deal with a Sandseed Story Weaver and a cocky young soldier while Valek is off helping Yelena.

Power Study is a hilarious short about Ari and Janco after the alliance Fire Study ended with. Their bromance is one of the best I've seen and together they are full of laughter and adventures.

Ari is the calm to Janco's storm and when a green soldier brags about his swordplay skills and issues a challenge for Valek, Janco steps in to take on the arrogant twit. With his award winning rhymes, Janco's fights are the best ones to read about. I never thought I could laugh so hard at two men sparing until I read this and nearly fell off my chair.

If you've finished the Study series then I would recommend this lovely short to you if you don't mind being half dead from laughter at the end. Never before have two side characters made me love them as much as these two but they are just simply amazing.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars