Friday, November 29, 2013


It's zombies, they terrify me, and I'm reading it.  Enough said!

It's a really interesting premise.  The whole idea of being trapped in a city with supplies quickly dwindling knowing that the only hope for survival is to kill of the hordes of undead.... pretty freaking intense!  I'm not finished with the book yet (will be soon though, and I'll post a full review when I am), but what I've read so far is really, really good.  :)

You don't have to take my word for it though, because I've got an excerpt that can totally speak for itself.  It also explains why I'm still up at 1:00 in the morning when I have to be at work at 8:00.  Freaking Zombies.

That's not all I have either.  Not only is there a Black Friday SALE going on right now so you can grab your copy for a mere $0.99, there is also a giveaway at the bottom of this post where you can win your very own SIGNED copy + some seriously awesome swag.  How's that for a win-win situation!  :) 

The Last Bastion of the Living  

Rhiannon Frater

Excerpt from Prologue

A massive shockwave rippled through the perimeter wall, tossing soldiers off their feet and onto the catwalk, or over the wall into the Scourge horde below as one of the mobile units twisted around in one of the deeper craters and wrenched another unit completely about. The torsion between the two units sent another shudder through the perimeter wall and Maria clung to the catwalk as Ryan fell on top of her. Together, they rode the catwalk to the ground, tumbling into the mud. Maria immediately scrambled to her feet and gasped.

The steel mesh had torn free of one of the units and the Scourge were shoving their bodies through the frayed opening. The squads closest to the breach opened fire. The mesh wall shimmered as it wavered under the onslaught of the undead. The mobile units continued on their designated course to their next position, ripping another hole in the mesh wall.

“Fall back!” someone ordered as the Inferi Scourge shoved through the widening openings.

Ryan grabbed Maria’s shoulder and dragged her toward a section where the fallen catwalks formed a barrier along with some of the unpacked supply units. Lindsey scrambled to follow. The squads formed a line, shooting at the Scourge coming through the gap. For several agonizing minutes, they were successful at holding the howling creatures back.

“Tiltrotors are en route!” a voice intoned in her helmet.

Sweat poured down Maria’s face as she reloaded. Ryan lobbed several grenades toward the breach as Lindsey fired over Maria’s head.

“About that date…” Ryan said, grinning despite the fear in his eyes.

Maria slid around him into a better position and aimed at a Scourge trying to scale the fallen edge of the wall. “You’re supposed to give me a reason to live, dumb ass,” she groused.

Another soldier landed in the mud beside her and helped her obliterate the Scourge trying to scramble through another widening tear in the wall.

“This was a stupid plan!” she shouted.

“It seemed like a good one when we planned it,” the soldier answered.

It took her a full second to realize it was Chief Defender Dwayne Reichardt.

“Sorry, sir,” she said quickly.

He shook his head, still firing. “Let’s just live through this!”

The Scourge pushed further into the perimeter. Maria knew now it was only a matter of minutes before they were all dead. She tried not to hear the screams of the soldiers overcome by the Inferi Scourge. The Scourge tore at them, ripping at their body armor, trying to reach flesh so they could bite and infect. One soldier was pulled free of a group of Scourge, his armor still intact as his comrades gunned down the creatures that had attacked him.

Vanguard Stillson lobbed a grenade at a catwalk’s treads and the explosion toppled it over onto the Inferi Scourge.

They were losing ground swiftly and chaos ruled. No one was listening to orders barked over the feed anymore, but were just trying to survive. The perimeter wall attached to the city wall still stood intact with the catwalks still secured to it. Many soldiers clambered onto it, trying to escape the ground. Maria, Ryan, Lindsey and the Chief Defender started to fall back, providing cover to those trying to reach higher ground.

Rappelling ropes started to fall from the high wall. Frantic soldiers gripped the lines and climbed upward, their muddy boots slipping against the steel surface.

Maria tripped, falling on her ass, and the Chief Defender hauled her up swiftly. The Scourge were everywhere now, smashing through the clusters of soldiers, howling. Maria fired point blank into the face of one as it charged her. The Chief Defender knocked another one back with the butt of his rifle. Together they charged through the mud toward the city wall.

Ryan and Lindsey were just ahead of them and nearing the remaining catwalks when Maria saw a flash of light. A massive force slammed into her and sent her sprawling through the air. Blackness surged up to claim her, and she fought not to drown in it. Pulling herself onto her elbows, her body felt numb and her helmet was gone. Beside her, the Chief Defender struggled to get up. His armor was punctured with shrapnel and blood poured through the tears.

Lifting her weapon, Maria aimed toward the creatures trying to climb over the corpses of Scourge and soldiers the grenade blast had killed. Pulling the trigger, she felt the rifle pulsing as it hurtled bullets into the bodies of the rampaging dead.

“Tiltrotor!” Ryan’s voice screamed near her.

She kept firing, but flicked her gaze to one side to see Ryan carrying a badly-wounded Lindsey over one broad shoulder. The churning wind pulled her gaze up to the aircraft slowly descending over the fray. Beside her, the Chief Defender fell over onto his side, unable to get up. Maria grabbed his arm and shifted her body under it. Rising to her knees, she pulled him upright. He screamed. Together, they managed to get to their feet as Maria fired at the Scourge drawing closer.

Vanguard Stillson’s huge body moved through the crowd of Inferi Scourge like a rampaging elephant, tossing them left and right, shooting a few as he went. His helmet was gone and his armor was smoldering. Maria could see the shrapnel from the grenade had sliced away parts of his face. Yet Stillson kept fighting. The Scourge were so intent on him, Ryan and the others were able to skirt past the mob and head toward the aircraft.

Casting one last look at Stillson, Maria gasped as a Scourge grabbed the man’s thick neck and bit into his cheek, infecting him. Usually the Scourge abandoned a victim successfully infected with the virus and moved on to another, but this one kept tearing at Stillson, chewing and appearing to devour his flesh.

Reichardt stumbled, forcing Maria’s attention away from Stillson’s demise. Pulling her superior up to his feet again, she continued to fire at any Scourge rushing them. Around her, other soldiers continued to fall, fighting the undead to their last breath.

“Keep moving, Chief Defender,” she urged him. “I don’t want to die today.”

“Neither do I, and my name is Dwayne,” he said crisply, his voice filled with pain and determination.

“I’m Maria.”

“Nice to meet you, Maria. Now, let’s not die,” Dwayne said

“Is that an order?” Maria kicked over a Scourge and shot it in the face.

“Without a doubt,” Dwayne answered with a grin.


Book & Author Details:

The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: June 12th 2012
Genres: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction


The Bastion was humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. A fortified city with a high wall, surrounded by lush land rich with all the resources needed to survive, protected by high mountain summits, and a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion became the last stronghold of the living on earth. But one fateful day, the gate failed and the Inferi Scourge destroyed the human settlements outside the walls and trapped the survivors inside the city. Now decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city as resources and hope dwindle.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her whole life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of her lover, Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.




Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

You can find her online at:
Website: &
Email: rhiannonfrater at

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Blast: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

So excited about this one!  It such a pretty cover, and the storyline sounds fantastic!  It's on sale for just $1.99 from now until December 1st, so be sure to pick up your copy!  Don't miss the giveaway below either!  Enter for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or Paypal Cash.  You know you want to.  I can see you calculating how many books that would buy you...  Get on it!

the watcher cover 

The Watcher Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her. Can he face her without falling again? Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them. When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook. In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both? Ancient history is only the beginning.  
From November 28th to December 1st The Watcher is on sale for just $1.99!
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Download your copy today!!
  Praise for The Watcher "Voisin's THE WATCHER blends paranormal mystery and romance into a book that is sure to keep readers turning the pages late into the night." -- Eileen Cook, author of THE ALMOST TRUTH "Perfect for fans of angels and demons, Lisa Voisin has created an uplifting tale of redemption, love, and spirituality that gives hope. Never preachy, THE WATCHER is the perfect answer to critics who claim Young Adult literature is too dark." -- Stephanie Lawton, author of WANT and SHRAPNEL "The Watcher is stunning! A paranormal romance that you won't want to put down. Voisin will enthrall you until the very last page." -- Stephanie Keyes, author, THE STAR CHILD series "Grips the reader, pulls them in and leaves them cheering for good!" -- InD'tale Magazine “The Watcher is my favorite angel fiction tale yet.” -- Katrina @Kindred Dreamheart “This book is phenomenal! I was hooked in right away and didn't want to stop.” -- Michelle @Michelle’s Paranormal Vault   Book Trailer Excerpt Instead of saying more, he brushed his fingertips along my cheek, and his halo glimmered. I could hear the waves slapping the rocks behind us, the wind driving them in. That same wind whipped against my skin, but the touch of his hand on my face was all I could think about. It sent a current through both of us and filled me with longing for something I wasn’t sure I understood. “I’m sorry.” He stepped back and shoved his hands into his pockets as the light around him faded. “You don’t know what it’s like. Being near you now, remembering those moments we had…” His hair blew into his eyes, but this time he didn’t move. I wanted to brush it back, but I didn’t know how he’d react. Would touching him be bad? “You want to know who you were?” he asked. “You may look different, but you’re the same. I look into your eyes and see you.” He took in a deep breath, fixing his attention on the horizon. I’d seen and heard so much now that the logical part of my brain had long since given up arguing with me. I could feel what he was saying was true. All of it. lisa vAuthor Lisa Voisin A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction. A self-proclaimed coffee lover, Lisa can usually be found writing in a local cafĂ©. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine! Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancĂ© and their two cats.  
  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/18/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

We are so excited to share the cover for Amy A. Bartol's Under Different Stars!  This is the first book in her new YA dystopian series and I can't wait to read it!  The cover is so beautiful! Be sure to keep scrolling down as Amy was nice enough to share a tasty little teaser as well :)

AUTHOR: Amy A. Bartol | GENRE: YA Dystopian 
RELEASE DATE: December 17, 2013
Smashwords pre-order link:


All she wants is a home, but can she find one...UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?


I glance at Trey; he looks like an advertisement for Calvin Klein. Wearing only dark, athletic boxers, he’s something out of a catalog or a warrior movie. Blushing deeply, I want to crawl under the rock I’m on. “Wade into the water together. We should tie you two so that you’re face-to-face with both your heads above the water,” Jax says. Trey nods, extending his hand for me to take.
Avoiding looking at him, I stand up, walking to the water’s edge on my own. Dipping my toes in the water, I pull them back sharply. “It’s freezing!” I glower at them, hearing my voice echo off the walls again.
“It is,” Trey agrees, scooping me up in his arms and wading out quickly into the water before I can object further. When he is chest deep, he says softly in my ear, “Breathe.”
Clinging to him tightly with my arms around his neck, I inhale deeply before muttering, “’re interrupting my revenge plotting.”
“If you survive this, I’ll insist that you learn to swim,” he says, sounding annoyed as Jax wades to us with a line, circling us.
“If I survive this, I’m killing you,” I reply dryly, feeling the rope tense, drawing me tighter against Trey’s warm body.
A small smile touches his lips at my comment. “How do you propose to do that?” He gazes into my eyes as Jax knots us together.
“I’ll let you spend some sleepless nights worrying about that,” I reply, my teeth beginning to chatter as the cold water is chilling me to the bone.

Author: Amy A. Bartol


I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

What do you guys think of the cover? Are you as excited for this book as I am???

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Aimee Carter
Release Date: November 26, 2013
3.5/5.0 stars

There is a lot to like about Aimee Carter’s new series starter Pawn. It was a tightly plotted novel with gripping political intrigue, fantastic world building and some really shocking plot twists. Don’t let my rating deter you, this one is definitely worth reading.

When Pawn starts off we are immediately thrust into a future version of America that is very caste based. Kitty Doe, our amiable protagonist, has just turned seventeen and taken the test that decides your place in the world. Based on this one test you are assigned a number between I and VII. The numbers not only decide what job you will have but also what goods and resources will be available to you. Getting a low number condemns you to the crappiest jobs and harshest life, and it almost guarantees you will die much younger than those that score higher. As an extra (a second child from a lower caste family who is sent to be raised in a home similar to an orphanage with other extras) she sees the test as her chance to finally prove her value. Kitty was desperately hoping to get a IV (which is considered average in this society) but although she is smart her dyslexia interferes with her ability to complete the test and she earns a lowly III. She doesn’t really mind that she is assigned to a job cleaning sewers. She does mind that the job is in Denver, far from her home in D.C. and her boyfriend Benjy. Her reluctance to accept this causes her to make some less than stellar choices and she ends up being offered the chance to become a VII. This is the highest number and is reserved solely for the royal family. Lila Hart, niece of the Prime Minister, has been killed but the public doesn’t know this and the royal family would prefer to keep it that way. They offer Kitty the chance to be Masked and assume her life. With few options and some less than gentle coaxing, she accepts.

We have to talk about the world building first- it was fantastic! The economic crashes, food shortages, and overpopulation issues that led to the creation of this society were so realistic. I had no trouble believing this could actually happen in America. Elsewhere (the place all I’s, elderly, and those no longer able to pull their weight in society are sent) was worse than I even imagined. It was so horrifically cold and inhumane it still makes feel icky just thinking about it.

Kitty is a very likeable heroine. She is a smart and caring young girl who is willing to sacrifice anything to protect the people she loves. She has not had an easy life but instead of whining and carrying around a chip on her shoulder she is determined to make the best life for herself she possibly can. She’s got a strong backbone on her too and doesn’t allow herself to bullied or manipulated by the people around her. I think my favorite quality was that she isn’t very reactive. Some very traumatic things happen but she manages to rein herself in and actually think about what the wisest course of action is before doing anything. I also loved the fact that the author made her dyslexic. We don’t often see our YA heroines dealing with any learning difficulties. That being said, I found her ability to memorize entire books and long speeches in record time a tough pill to swallow.

The royal family was wonderfully complex. Their family drama and political maneuvering was really compelling. They all have their own hidden agendas and want to use Kitty to their own ends and I was never sure who I should trust. I spent most of the book pretty sure I couldn’t trust any of them. None of them are one-note though and whether you love or hate them by the end of it you do understand their motivations. Even one of the most evil “bad guys” in the story has some deeply humanizing moments that almost make you feel sympathy for them.

The romance and Benjy in general were weak points for me. In fairness, there wasn’t a whole lot of either in the book. Benjy was likeable enough in the beginning but there wasn’t enough time to truly develop an attachment to him or their romance. When he reappears later, he’s kind of flat and seems to be there simply as a means to threaten Kitty into compliance. Without getting to spend much time seeing their relationship or watching it develop I was left feeling rather “meh” about it. I understood mentally why she was willing to sacrifice so much for him but it lacked the emotional punch it should have had with me.

Overall, this was a really solid beginning but I didn’t invest as much emotionally in the characters as I would have liked. The other elements in the story were strong enough that I will be reading the next book and giving it another chance to fully hook me. I definitely recommend giving this one a shot, even if you’re feeling a little burnt out on dystopias.

Monday, November 25, 2013

REVIEW: Red River

Red River (Tent City #2)
Kelly Van Hull

I really liked Tent City... I loved Red River.

The story line advances really quickly in this one.  There were very few, if any, moments where things were just "chill".  It seemed like as soon as they got out of one predicament, they fell face first into another one. 

It was a lot grittier than Tent City as well.  The characters are forced into a lot of very intense situations.  I love that Van Hull did create weakness and flaws in her characters.  They didn't always choose the right way to deal with things, and they suffered consequences as a result.  It made the story seem a little more real.  Don't get me wrong, I love a bad-ass who can take whatever is thrown their way, but at the same time, its nice to see a character that isn't perfect occasionally.

Speaking of, yes, there are some very hard topics in this book, like drugs and abortion.  Personally, I had no issue with them.  Van Hull by no means candy coats or glorifies these things.  As far as I am concerned, these are real issues that real teenagers face, and there is absolutely no reason not to write about them. 

Additionally, this being a "religious" apocalypse, there are religious themes to this book.  Personally, I didn't feel at all uncomfortable or offended by anything that was said.  I felt like most of the so-called "bad things" that were said, were not said about religion, but rather about religious extremist and people who use religion to for no other reason than to gain power. 

It didn't bother me that the main character questioned the idea of having "faith".  I imagine a lot of people in her situation would, especially someone who was not brought up in a family with a strong religious background.  I didn't find it blasphemy.  I found it a realistic picture of someone trying to sort out whether or not they believed in a time where faith can be difficult.

That's my two cents on the "controversial" issues anyway.  Its very subjective, so i'm sure that will vary from reader to reader, but I wasn't bothered or offended by it.  I thought it was very well done personally.

Beyond that, this book really kept me on my toes.  It was one of those books that it drove me nuts to put down (and since my office kind of frowns upon the whole read instead of work thing, I had to put it down occasionally).  There was a lot of mystery and build up that kept me on the edge of my seat and my head spinning with possibilities.  It threw a few curveballs that I never saw coming in there too.

The end wasn't nearly the cliffhanger of Tent City, however, it really didn't need to be.  If there is a book three, I'll totally read it.  I still have a lot of unanswered questions, so I'm hoping...

I would hands down recommend this book.  I feel like Kelly Van Hull is truly growing as an author... can't wait to see what is next!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: World After By: Susan Ee

World After
(Penryn & The End of Days #2) 
Susan Ee

When this book showed up on my doorstep I promised myself (while happy dancing, it should be noted) that I would read slowly and stretch this out to savor it.  Who the hell was I kidding?! I was doomed as soon as I opened the cover.  This book kept me up ALL night!  I didn’t just “enjoy” this book I loved every single minute of the ride.  It’s been a few days now and I’m still having trouble writing a review that doesn’t solely consist of omg squee omg aghhh *random animal noises* (don’t even ask).

Susan Ee somehow manages to take everything I love most in books and blend it all together perfectly.  Intense action, creeptastic horror, witty banter, sexual tension off the charts, complex characters- the gang’s all here!

Penryn has got to be one of my favorite YA heroines of all time.  She’s bold, courageous, stubborn, selfless, smart and so strong yet despite all the hardship she has been through she’s still very empathetic to others.  Even when she does stupid things she’s smart enough to realize this is a bad idea but her conscience won’t allow her to just walk away.  The brief moments she gets to expose her vulnerability and insecurity  are so touching. It is a nice reminder that beneath her strength and bravado this is still a young, inexperienced girl.  Her stammering during the few romantic scenes made me laugh out loud and cringe for her at the same time.

Her family makes me think my family isn’t weird after all.  As creepy as her mom was in the last book she kicks it up a notch this time around.  I think I’m more terrified of her holding a lipstick now than the cattle prod she is so fond of.  There’s a scene between her and Pen that made my heart hurt.  I’ve known that having to deal with her mentally ill mother is what has made Penryn so strong and independent but it’s so hard to see it happening.  Paige is also featured a lot in the beginning of this book and it is just as unsettling.  We finally get to see what happened to her after she was taken by the angels in Angelfall and it isn’t pretty.  She’s only seven, you guys, seven and they have transformed her into something so monstrous even Penryn struggles to see the little sister she adores through it.

Of course we have to talk about our favorite angel with demon wings, Raffe.  While we do get to see flashes of him here and there he’s not really around until the end of the book.  Surprisingly, this did not detract from my enjoyment and he more than makes up for his absence once he does show up.  Believing Penryn is dead, he has been pursuing his beautiful white angel wings with a single-minded intensity.  It was both refreshing and true to his character that he didn't just give up after her “death” and sit around moping.  The banter between him and Penryn absolutely slayed me just like the first book but we also get some really touching tender moments between them too.  We also get to learn a lot about his past and why he is so against angel and human relationships.  The nearly combustible tension between them is driving me crazy but I love it.

The sword- yep, she’s getting her own section because this time around she’s basically a character in her own right.  This thing is not only sentient it is able to share visions of the past and is the sole reason we finally get to learn so much about Raffe’s past.  It uses them to teach her things, to motivate her, and even to comfort her.  Also, Penryn saddles it with what is quite possibly the worst name ever for an Archangel sword.  That and the disguise she made for it had me cracking up while feeling bad for it.  I felt bad for a sword- if that isn’t a testament to Ee’s writing, I don’t know what is.

If you loved Angelfall, you’re going to love World After.  It has everything you love about the first one kicked up a notch.  Now stop wasting time reading reviews and go buy this book!  You can thank me later.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Review: Tangled Tides

Tangled Tides
Karen Amanda Hooper

Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters--until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people--until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process--or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.
Overall, its a pretty good story.  The premise is interesting enough, and I didn't want to murder the characters.  The plot kept me invested, and I got rather anxious towards the end.

I certainly recommend the book to someone into mermaids and romance and the like.

I liked the characters for the most part, although I did find Yara a little whiny.  I let it slide because I could understand why she would react the way she did to things.  I liked Treygan, but he definitely didn't fall into the book boyfriend category.  I felt like he was a good match for Yara though.  I even liked the supporting characters, although I was really unsure about the Sirens up until the bitter end.

I think it was the little things that led to me dropping the rating more than anything.  The "seagarettes" and "c-weed" just seemed silly and somewhat ridiculous to me.

And the whole, "I can't have sex with you or kiss you, so I'm going to write love notes on your skin from head to to toe" was just a little to ewwy-gooey romance-y for me.

The end didn't really do much for me either.  GRANTED, it's not a bad end, and some people will love it.  However, there wasn't much of a cliffhanger, and it doesn't give me a whole lot of incentive to want to read the next book.  It was all pretty much tied up in a pretty bow at the end.  Like I said, I'm sure some people prefer that to the gut-wrenching cliffhangers I prefer, but to me it was a let down.

I certainly wouldn't want to discourage people from at least giving the book a shot, because a lot of people really loved it, and I *liked* it.  It just isn't on my top 10 list.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall
Tracey Ward
"I’m a girl stuck in Neverland with The Lost Boys. I’m no Wendy, I can hold my own. I don’t need to wait around for Peter to save me, but I’m also not an idiot. I know my enemies."
It's been nearly a decade since the world ended. Since Joss watched her parents die at the hands of a nightmare, a nightmare that stalks her even now, all these years later. That's the problem with the Risen - they refuse to die.
But Joss is a survivor. A loner living in the post-apocalyptic streets of Seattle. It's a world dictated by Risen and the looming threat of the Colonists, a group of fellow survivors living comfortably in their compounds and patrolling the wild, looking to "save" the orphans of the end.
Orphans like Joss.
Like Ryan.
As a member of an all male gang, Ryan is a threat as real as the Risen, a threat Joss avoids at all costs. Then one night their paths cross and Joss makes a choice that goes against all of her instincts. A choice that will threaten everything she has.
Now a new outbreak is imminent and the Colonists are closing in. Joss' solitary, secret world will be blown wide open and the comfortable numbness she's lived in for the last six years will burn away leaving her aching and afraid.
And awake

Okay, so if you read my review of Reboot, you know that my GREATEST fear = zombies and I avoid them like the plague.  Not even Norman Reedus can convince me to watch a single episode of The Walking Dead, and I looooove me some Norman Reedus. 

That, all by itself, should tell you exactly how much faith I have in Tracey Ward to deliver an amazing book.  She won me over completely with Sleepless, and she didn't disappoint with Writing on the Wall.  I loved it, zombies and all.

I absolutely love, love, love the main character, Joss.   I mean, c'mon, she's survived all by herself for almost a decade, in the middle of a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!   Not only has she avoided being eaten by a zombie, she's also avoided being taken in and made a sex-slave by one of the many gangs around, and avoided being captured by the Colonies.  She's smart, strong-willed, stubborn, and a total smartass.  She's everything I'd want to be (and probably wouldn't be) if the shit hit the fan tomorrow.

 The love interest, Ryan, hasn't quite gained book boyfriend status with me... YET.  He could.  He's got potential, but he's just not in the story enough yet for me to totally fall.  He's amusing though, and I really want to see more of him.  I want him and Joss together.  Their banter cracks me up.  Ward is a master of the banter.

The other characters in this book got major love from me as well.  Vin, Nat, and even Crazy Crenshaw (how can you not love a man that is described as "Merlin if he'd fallen on hard times and gotten really into pot"?)  were all amazing.

The characters were really well formed, and they all kind of kept you on your toes.  They all had their little surprises.

Not only was the character development superb, the story itself was awesome!

I had no idea where it was going to take me from one page to the next, and I loved it.  There was a lot of humor, a lot of action, and a lot of really intense nail-biting scenes.

And yes, there are zombies for those of you that are into that sort of thing.  There were enough of them that I will probably be cowering in a corner somewhere for the next several weeks pissing myself every time the wind blows.

I loved it though.  I really, really did. The end totally left me freaking out (it was a really big cliffhanger).

I literally sat there for a few minutes frantically swiping at my kindle trying to make more pages appear.  I stopped when I noticed the dog was looking rather concerned.

SO.  In short, I'm totally fangirling over a zombie book...

... and the ice rinks in hell are officially open.

Review: Damselfly

(Damselfly #1)
Jennie Bates Bozic
4.0/5.0 stars

Despite the fact that this book nearly killed me early on (death by sweet tea and a well placed screen name- what a way to go), I really enjoyed it. It was a light, quick, well-paced dystopian read. It was also a hell of a lot of fun.

The story centers around Lina (Thumbelina if you’re feeling formal) who is a six inch tall Lilliputin. Think pixie- wings and all. Her days are spent in lessons and training for survival with the scientists who are the only people she has ever been around. Her free time, however, is spent in virtual worlds connecting with her only real friend, Jack. He is a regular, full-sized, human boy and is completely clueless as to Lina’s real identity. She is eagerly awaiting her upcoming sixteenth birthday since she believes that once she hits this adult age she will be allowed to leave. When her birthday finally arrives she is crushed to learn that not only is she not being set free, she is being forced to participate in a The Bachelorette style reality dating show. Six Toms (Lilliputin males she never knew even existed) will be competing for the chance to be her mate.

I really liked the unique set-up of this. I’ve read a gazillion vampires, shifters, fairies, aliens, etc but I have never read a book where the main character could fit (comfortably, no less) in my purse. The dystopian elements in the story were interesting but due to her confined environment we didn't get to see much of what the outside world is really like.

Lina was a very likeable protagonist. She has lived a very controlled and confined life but she rolls with changes remarkably well. She experiences all the emotions and uncertainty a young girl in her situation would, but she doesn’t wallow in them thankfully.

The Toms were interesting, but with the exception of a couple most of them felt like window dressings. I’m really hoping we get to learn more about them and their individual personalities in the next book. Particularly Blue, I never quite figured out what he was about but he definitely caught my interest.

Jack was totally adorable. His screen name still makes me chuckle. Watching the relationship slowly build between Lina and him was just sweet. It had all the wonder and innocence of a first love and I couldn't help but be charmed by it.

This was a really good first book that sets the stage for what could be a really great series. If you’re in the mood for a quick, fun read with a unique premise I would definitely recommend giving this one a shot.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms,
Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Allie Brosh

This book is so incredibly cute, it’s incredicute.  Yep, I just made up a new word for it.  Err- I guess it’s actually a hybrid not really a new word…I think we’re getting off topic here. 
If you’ve ever read the Hyperbole and a Half blog then you already know what to expect from this book and it definitely delivers.  Allie has a way of bringing humor to virtually any topic.  Whether it’s the mundane act of training a new dog or the darkest throes of depression, she somehow brings out the funny.

Her style is remarkably charming and relatable.  Even when it is focusing on topics that I don’t have much experience with firsthand, I could still identify with the way she processes it. In fact, her internal battles are some of the funniest parts.  I think everyone assumes that having an internal dialogue with yourself is somehow crazy, but we all probably do it.  Or maybe I am crazy.

The ms paint style drawings, while admittedly simple, are quite effective.  The range of emotions she can convey in these doodles is mindblowing.  If you’re looking at them dismissively-give it a minute, they will win you over.

My only complaint is that I have already seen many of these on the blog and was hoping for more new material. Also, it left out my absolute favorite:  How Kenny Loggins ruined Christmas.  It was my first taste of Hyperbole and a Half long, long ago and it still makes me laugh so hard I cry.  You should go read it, like now