The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman

a1q9j5agl8lTitle: The Dark Days Deceit
Author: Alison Goodman
Series: Lady Helen Trilogy
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Dark Days Club
2. The Dark Days Pact
Date Started: January 12
Date Finished: January 17
Format: ebook from the digital library

Bath, December 1812. After the shocking events in London and Brighton, Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are now the newly forged Grand Reclaimer, a dyad of power bonded through blood and death. They cannot, however, yet control this terrifying new force between them. They and their Dark Days cohort have taken up residence in Bath, looking for the Deceiver who can give them the key to wielding their power and help them find their nemesis: the Grand Deceiver. Helen and Carlston are not only struggling to control their new dyad power. They must also contain their illicit feelings for one another as Helen prepares to marry the devoted Duke of Selburn. The wedding, to be attended by the Queen, is fast approaching and Helen must juggle her imminent life as Duchess with the dangerous and unseemly duties of a Grand Reclaimer. When an old enemy arrives in Bath bringing death and deceit, the final confrontation between Grand Reclaimer and Grand Deceiver is set into terrifying motion. Can Helen and Carlston finally unleash the power and love between them to save mankind from annihilation? Set against a background of glittering Regency society, this thrilling finale to the Lady Helen trilogy hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of passion, betrayal and heartbreak

So I should probably start off this review by saying that I was reading it as I was getting ready for a major event at work, so my attention wasn’t entirely focused on this novel. And if you remember my review for These Vengeful Souls I got this series and TVS confused plot wise. So, in theory, I really shouldn’t have read this book yet, but when it becomes available from the digital library, what are you going to do? Anyway, as I said, I wasn’t really focusing on this novel, a good fifty percent of the time I don’t think what I read actually registered, and near the end I was actually skimming past all the detail to figure out what happened.

And really, this thing was a monster – as a digital book with my font and size preference it was over 900 pages – because of all that detail. Normally, I would have been captivated by it, but I was just waiting for it to be over. Especially once I figured out that whatever was going to happen as the big finale was going to happen at the wedding. Not that I really needed all the details once I got into my head who the Grand Deceiver was probably going to be too, but I appreciated Goodman’s attempt at a twist.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Another series to add to my re-read pile once my TBR list gets down to a reasonable number again (ha). Otherwise, a lot of unnecessary description, and a very guessable conclusion. Although I am happy that it ended happily for our characters.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library.

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

Untamed by S.C. Stephens

24299682Title: Untamed
Author: S.C. Stephens
Series: Thoughtless
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Thoughtless
1.5. Thoughtful
2. Effortless
3. Reckless
Date Started: January 12
Date Finished: January 17
Format: Kindle book from my collection

The spotlight doesn’t only shine. Sometimes, it burns.Being the bad-boy bassist for the world’s hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife, Anna. The one thing it hasn’t brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.

Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he’s caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos. One that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he’s seen an ache in her eyes–and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers . . .

I went into this novel already feeling somewhat anxious. I wasn’t Griffin’s biggest fan. He was lewd. He was obnoxious. And he was definitely too cocky for his own good. And as the novel started, I had a feeling that I was going to DNF it so fast it wasn’t going to funny. And I was seriously, SERIOUSLY considering it. Griffin was too proud. He was very loud and the potty mouth on him… I don’t really consider myself a prude, but sheesh. It was way too much. And the ego on this guy!

I was so happy when everything – that I kind of saw coming – happened to Griffin. He really needed to be taken down a peg or two. And when it happened it was glorious. Especially because of the way his character developed after the fact. He worked his ass of to get back to where he was. He became humble, and less of a swearing machine. It was wonderful and the saving grace of the novel.

Final Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. I’ll bump this to 4 on Goodreads, but after a really slow and mind numbingly horrible beginning, this book finally kicked up steam when Griffin lost the TV gig. I really liked his growth as a character after Anna left. My one complaint about the ending, was that Kiera should have gotten a really big hug from him considering what she did (when pregnant no less) to get him going on this path!

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary, Erotica, New Adult Fiction, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

81lapl9fl0lTitle: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Date Started: January 9
Date Finished: January 10
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

For Twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts…he’s at Hogwarts.” Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

Okay, am I the only one who goes back and rereads this book and every time Ron mentions how ‘unwell’ Scabbers screams, “Because he knows Sirius Black is coming for him and he’s a murderer!” Yes? No? Anyway…I have to admit that out of the seven Harry Potter novels, the third one was never my favorite. I mean, sure, Harry realizing that Lupin was friends with his dad was pretty cool. Even that brief moment of hope that he had when Sirius was about to be proven innocent and he wasn’t going to go back to the Dursley’s was amazing. And the Quidditch Cup Final – I’m still mad to this day that they didn’t include that scene in the movie!

But. As I’ve probably said a good ton, time traveling books always annoy the crap out of me. Not because it’s badly written – I usually find time traveling books very well written – it’s just the concept of there being alternate timelines that completely messes with my mind and makes it feel like it’s going to explode. And unfortunately, Prisoner of Azkaban is no exception. Although I do have to admit that my mind didn’t go too wonky with the novel – the movie version was completely worse.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I love how progressively darker these books got as Harry got older. I love that these books are still comical even now. I especially love re-reading Lee Jordan’s commentary of the Quidditich matches and catching his almost use of expletives.

Bookshelf worthy? Why won’t they release the cover redesigns in hardcover as well as paperback? Not that my Harry Potter shelf really has the room for my copies of the book, but still.

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, Youth Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisited: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

91VCdXKM3DLTitle: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Date Originally Started: May 13, 2013
Date Originally Finished: May 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?

So when I originally read this book almost six years ago, I didn’t know that The Heroes of Olympus series was somewhat connected to the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. Which meant that instead of reading book 5 of Percy Jackson, I read book 1 of Heroes first. You can probably guess how confused that made me and how spoilerly it made The Last Olympian. But I’m really glad that I decided to go back and re-read these books before continuing on with the series. I remembered that Jason was from another camp of demigods, but that he didn’t remember his time in the other camp or who he was. But that was pretty much about it.

And you know, it could be because it’s been a while since I’ve finished reading PJ, but so far, I kind of like this series better. The plot is richer and not just multiple chapters of chaos, the big battle, fuzzy prophecies, and bam. The end. There was character flashbacks, deep thought, and the gods didn’t make me want to punch them in the face with how they were behaving. The prophecies are still fuzzy, but I have a better understanding of them than I did in the previous series.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to see what happens next, and I’m really hoping that with the title The Son of Neptune, we’ll get to see Percy and how he’s faring at the other camp (and maybe even a name for the Roman camp?).

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Rick Riordan, The Heroes of Olympus Series, Youth Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

5125z1ru55L._SX331_BO1204203200_Title: A Reaper at the Gates
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes
Previous Books in the Series:
1. An Ember in the Ashes
2. A Torch Against the Night
Date Started: December 23
Date Finished: January 1
Format: Hardcover from local library

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

Yikes. A Reaper at the Gates was by far the bloodiest book so far in this series and I don’t want to say there’s no way that it can get bloodier from here, but who knows what Tahir has up her sleeves? I will admit that this is another book that I was kind of sort of reading over the holidays and when I was reading it, some things weren’t sinking into my brain like they should have. It also didn’t help that I checked this book out of the library so I started reading it in hardcover, but then Amazon put the Kindle version on sale and I then stared reading it on my Kindle. Shockingly enough things went better on the Kindle then with the physical copy.

Anyway, from what my brain did process from this story I will say a few things.
A. I really liked Laia’s character development in this book. I still remember her when she was a sniveling, whiny boneless character. Her obsession with the Nightbringer, while totally understandable, did get a little bit annoying at times, but I liked her perseverance when the stakes were stacked against her.
B. I’m still not sure about Helene/the Blood Shrike, while she made some good progress too, there were some moments where I think she let her anger cloud her judgement. Also I didn’t like the final scene with Marcus and her. It was such a bleeping let down after everything. I’m curious to see how she’s doing now that things have turned a little bit sideways.
C. Oh, Elias. This character deserved so much better than what he got. Although after being so blatantly obtuse during a good chunk of this novel, I kind of blame everything on him. Though that final scene with him and what Laia left behind makes me question if we’ll see him again. (And don’t you love how vague I’m being, future me is going to hate past me when I go back to read this when book 4 comes out next year).
D. The Nightbringer is incredibly interesting now. This could completely be because I’m a sucker for villains in YA lately, but damn. His story arc has me questioning a lot of things, but then again that is basically my thought process during this whole novel.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This will probably be another series that I will re-read before the final book in the installment comes out in 2020. But I liked the progression of characters, and I liked how Tahir deepened the world she had created. I’m intrigued to see what happens in the conclusion.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

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Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

91wqjluP8ILTitle: Catwoman: Soulstealer
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: DC Icons
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Wonder Woman: Warbringer
2. Batman: Nightwalker
Date Started: December 22
Date Finished: December 26
Format: ebook from the digital library

When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . . Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking. Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing. Continue reading

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As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows

35429996Title: As She Ascends
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: The Fallen Isles Trilogy
Previous Book in the Series:
1. Before She Ignites
Date Started: December 18
Date Finished: December 23
Format: Hardcover from local library

MIRA, THE HOPEBEARER
Mira Minkoba is on the run with her friends after a fiery escape from the Pit, where she’d been imprisoned for defending the dragons she loves. And she wants answers. Where have all the dragons been taken? Why are powerful noorestones being shipped to the mainland? And did the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sell out the Fallen Isles to their enemies?

MIRA, THE DRAGONHEARTED
As her connection to the dragons—and their power—grows stronger, so does Mira’s fear that she might lose control and hurt someone she loves. But the only way to find the truth is to go home again, to Damina, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust. Home, where she must rise above her fears. Or be consumed. Continue reading

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