The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

26061581Title: The Dark Days Pact
Author: Alison Goodman
Series: Lady Helen
Previous Book in the Series:
1. The Dark Days Club
Date Started: February 16
Date Finished: February 20
Format: ebook from the digital library

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.

So, in my review for book one of this series, I said that I wasn’t sure if I was going to read book 2 because I wasn’t all that intrigued as I thought I was going to be. When I realized The Dark Days Pact was coming out, I decided to add it to my reading list anyway because I had already read the first book, maybe book 2 would take me by surprise. And the crazy thing is, it did. Now that Lady Helen was free from her overbearing uncle’s house and she was officially sworn into the Dark Days Club, things are less aggravating. Carlston is slightly more open with her about matters pretaining to the Club and other than Lady Margaret – Mr. Hammond’s sister – no one is really telling Helen what she cannot do.

Although, if we’re being completely honest, I do sometimes hate books from this time period only because of how women are treated. Take Mr. Pike, for example. The new secretary for the Home Office, doesn’t like Lady Helen at all and is slightly miffed that a woman is going to be joining their ranks. Add in the fact that Helen is also going to be taking her maid Darby on as her Teresene and I was disgusted by his reaction. And I get that during that time period it was appropriate because a woman was ‘sensible,’ but when you start thinking that there are others in THIS time period who think like that, I get really pissed off. Anyway, I also got really annoyed with the Duke of Selburn. The guy just could not take a hint could he? I mean, Helen in the last book told him that she couldn’t accept his proposal and yet he shows up in Brighton to try and convince her that he’s still a suitable match. And when she still won’t have it, he starts following her to make sure she isn’t getting involved in some nasty business because of Lord Carlston. Dude. Boundaries. As for the interesting Lord Carlston, I’m not sure what to make of him. Is what he felt towards Lady Helen just because they needed to be bonded to become the Grand Reclaimer? Or does he truly love Helen? I am actually curious to find out.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A much better sequel to a drab first novel. The plot in this case really does thicken as the investigation into the Grand Deceiver turns up a few new clues. I’m not sure if I like the love triangle in this one – or in this case a love square – but I have a feeling that it will be worked out in the next book. Carlston doesn’t seem the type to give up easily. Unfortunately for us, neither does the Duke.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

51khoiyge8l-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: The Fate of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Queen of the Tearling
2. The Invasion of the Tearling
Date Started: February 17
Date Finished: February 20
Format: Hardcover from local library

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader. And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies – chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable – naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne. So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself – will be revealed…

If you’ve followed my reviews for the previous two novels in this series, you’ll know that I was all over the place when it came to this trilogy. I didn’t really care for book one because it lagged and the court politics went over my head a lot of the time. Book two was slightly better with more action, but the whole ‘vision’ thing that Kelsea experienced was sort of trippy. Book 3 is the same. The constant back and forth between the members of Kelsea’s court, Kelsea herself, the Red Queen, and Kelsea’s visions of Katie from post-crossing gets a little crazy. While the action does pick up and there aren’t really any places where The Fate of the Tearling lags, I’m still a little bit mystified.

Kelsea seemed to have a friendship brewing with the Red Queen as she was held prisoner. The sapphires that she handed over to the Red Queen didn’t seem to work for the Red Queen, which was interesting. I still don’t know if I completely understand the reason why, but the same can be said for the last fifty pages of this book. Kelsea eventually meets up with the Queen’s Guard again, but the Holy Father of the Avath is attacking her kingdom with help from a pissed off Mort Guard and Row/the Orphan’s creatures are at her back on the verge of attacking her. But then she time travels back and rewrites it all? Gah. I hate time travel novels. I really do.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Out of the three, this one took my the shortest time to read, but I maybe should have slowed down a bit. Maybe I would have understood things better. Then again, when time travel is involved, my brain explodes either way.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Erika Johansen, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction, The Queen of the Tearling Trilogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

30254923Title: Take the Key and Lock Her Up
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row
Previous Books in the Series:
1. All Fall Down
2. See How They Run
Date Started: February 13
Date Finished: February 16
Format: Hardcover from local library

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought. Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light. There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk. If she wins, she will inherit a throne. And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

This was probably another one of my most anticipated releases last year. After the way See How They Run ended, I was excited to see what would happen to Grace and her brother next. But this book had the same problem that the other two did, it was a really slow start and it took me a few minutes to remember what exactly had happened in the last book – other than the cliffhanger ending. I also didn’t like the fact that you didn’t know who to trust, everyone had their own reasons for trying to ‘help’ Grace. The Society wanted to help her so that she wouldn’t spill the beans and make the world unstable. Ann wanted to help her because she was friends with her mother. And Dominic wanted to help her because he didn’t want her to meet the same end her mother did. Out of all three of those people only one was trustworthy, not that Grace realized it until it was almost too late in some cases.

However, I did like the dry sarcasm between the characters especially Grace and Alexei. I’ve been rooting for those two since book one and when they finally kissed in this one I was cheering on the inside. Then there was that nice little plot twist that could have ended really badly if Thomas – the crown prince of Adria – wasn’t one cool guy. I would have actually loved to know what happened to him after the ending. I know Grace said that no one was really going to know how he was for a few years, but I’m hoping that with Grace and her friends in his life that won’t be the case.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Another slow start with a very distrustful set of characters. A nice conclusion though to a good series.

Bookshelf worthy? Another book where the secret room is totally being misused. I would use it for my own personal library! Imagine the potential.

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Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren

22431039Title: Beautiful Secret
Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Beautiful Bastard
1.5. Beautiful Bitch
2. Beautiful Stranger
2.5. Beautiful Bombshell
3. Beautiful Player
3.5. Beautiful Beginning 
3.6. Beautiful Beloved
Date Started: February 14
Date Finished: February 16
Format: ebook from the digital library

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice. Continue reading

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

51lj8aw-86l-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Date Started: February 9
Date Finished: February 13
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up. Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world… Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Mystery, Rainbow Rowell, Romance, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisited: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

lightning-thief1Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Date Originally Started: January 30, 2013
Date Originally Finished: February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. Continue reading

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The Color of Fear by Billy Phillips

26004636Title: The Color of Fear
Authors: Billy Phillips & Jenny Nissenson
Series: Once Upon a Zombie
Date Read: February 8
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

She’s vulnerable. Phobic. And fourteen-years-old. Ever since Caitlin Fletcher’s mom mysteriously vanished (or left?) four years ago, Caitlin has become riddled with irrational fears. Her life takes a turn towards the bizarre when she winds up in a strange new universe where she discovers that there’s one thing more frightening than zombies and panic attacks—the truth! Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment