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Archive for October 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday: 5th Edition

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 § 15 Comments


Hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine:
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
I've been getting into some steampunk books lately, and I was happy to see that there's a YA release coming up in a few months from Simon & Schuster. They always manage to satisfy my YA needs. This one is the first in a trilogy called the Secret Order of Modern Amusmentists.
Legacy of the Clockwork Key
Author: Kristin Bailey
Series: Secret Order of Modern Amusmentists, Book 1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 403
Release date: March 5, 2013
A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London. When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.


Also, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Whatever you may be doing or dressing up as, have fun and stay safe! I will be hanging out at home... studying and doing homework. Fun, fun. I did carve my pumpkin, so my part's done. Lol. Might give out some candy if I need a break from all the schoolwork. Check this out:



Review: Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski

Monday, October 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

Title: Order of the Dimensions
Author: Irene Helenowski
Genre: Sci-fi
Publisher: Irene Helenowski
Release date: September 14, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781105654442
Format: eBook
Source: Author
When Jane Kremowski first began her graduate studies in physics at Madison State University in Wisconsin, little did she know where her work would take her. Now, she is embroiled in a multitude of dimensions all leading to different outcomes. She and her colleagues therefore must act wisely in order to take and keep away the Order of Dimension from falling into the wrong hands for the sake of her loved ones.



My Review:
Jane Kremowski is a graduate physics student at Madison State University. She has been working on a device called the Multiverser, which, as the name implies, allows the user to visit alternate universes. The story follows Jane as she tries to stop the Multiverser from falling into the wrong hands, especially from one Dr. Anthony Zelov, who has ulterior motives and ideal dimensions involving our herione. Jane must stop Dr. Z from using the device to gain power, in order to save the innocent and especially her loved ones.The idea of the story can't get any more creative. I loved the multi-verse aspect and how it could change based on certain instances. And with a clever device like the Multiverser! It was all very complex and layered that I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what would happen next and try to make sense of it all.

While the story was thrilling, the characters fell a little flat. The narrative was in the third person omniscient, but there wasn't much depth, so it was quite difficult to feel any connections with them. There was a lot of dialogue to keep the story moving, however. I just felt that it was missing something. The switching dimensions was also confusing at times, as great as a concept it was. It was a little hard to keep up with; I kept trying to get a feel of who these characters really were and found it quite difficult, as their personalities shifted depending on the dimension they were in. Overall, the character of Anthony Zelov was the real hook for me. He seemed lovely from the outside, but the guy's pretty twisted. He manipulates people in the most cunning ways and sometimes his plans for people got downright creepy. Plus his obsession with Jane borders on psychotic, which made him the classic and best kind of villain. But really, the guy is like Hitler, it's scary.

Helenowski described each dimension with great detail, but sometimes it was so much information that it felt kind of draggy in places. There were also a few grammatical errors, but that's nothing that a good editor can't fix. All in all, I thought Order of the Dimensions was an interesting read. I'd definitely recommend it to sci-fi fans, or just science fans in general. There's a vast time-travelling, science-y vocabulary all over this book, and while that's never been my strong point, I found myself pretty fascinated with the whole idea.

Thank you to Irene Helenowski for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Visit the author:
Facebook | Goodreads
Buy this book:
Lulu.com | Amazon.com

Review: Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell [ARC]

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Title: Midnight City
Author: J. Barton Mitchell
Series: Conquered Earth (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release date: October 30, 2012
ISBN-10: 1250009073
ISBN-13: 9781250009074
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet’s youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira’s growing attraction to each other.



My Review:
Eight years ago, an alien race called the Assembly invaded Earth and emitted the Tone, a signal that caused the adults of the world to forget their lives, board the alien ships, and never be seen again. Holt Hawkins is a Heedless, a human that is immune to the Tone. In order to survive, he's taken to hunting bounties. After losing everyone close to him to the Tone, his only companion is a dog named Max. Together they cross paths with two others named Mira and Zoey. Mira has a high price on her head, and Zoey can sense things that the others can't. The four of them set out to survive and make their way to Midnight City, where more adventures await them.I'm such an avid fan of authors creating unique and mystifying worlds. Mitchell does exactly that with this book as the descriptions were so detailed that I started picturing everything in my head. The image that formed in my mind freaked me out and really didn't look like a place that I wanted to live in, which I guess was the intention. As good as a world without parents may sound to some, it calls for a quick case of growing up. The main characters were around 18-20 years old; they were old enough to take care of themselves, but still young that they needed that guidance that only a proper adult can provide. Too bad they're all brainwashed and being held somewhere. The titular Midnight City has this kind of Lord of the Flies vibe to it, and the kids that reside there have developed a whole system for how things work. It's insane in the best way possible.

The characters were all strong and very interesting. From past experiences, there are authors that can write switching perspectives really well, and some that just don't. Mitchell accomplishes this feat well, I just wish there was more focus on Zoey, the 8-year-old who might just hold the key to saving everyone. The book switches perspectives between the characters, mostly Holt and Mira, with an occasional look into Zoey's mind.You'd think that being the key would be enough reason to include her more, but at the same time it makes me look forward to the rest of the series. Sometimes not revealing too much makes it even better in the long run. Holt and Mira have the typical relationship of initial-loathing-turned-into-love, but Mitchell gave it a new twist with the captor/captive aspect. It started with them on the same level in terms of survival skills. Because of this, they clashed and saw each other as enemies, but it evolved into mutual understanding and respect and grew into something more, especially on Holt's end. I hope we get to find out more about how Mira feels. Also, special shoutout to Holt and Max's relationship; very sweet companionship between them.

I think the only setback for me was the pacing of the story itself. Sometimes it all came on very strong; there were spots where the event felt like too much at once and the feelings between Holt and Mira were more intense. Just a small qualm, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

There's a kind of StarCraft meets War of the Worlds type feel to the book, so I'd imagine that a lot of sci-fi enthusiasts would be interested in checking this out. I was never much of a sci-fi book fan, but Midnight City certainly changed my opinion. I love that there were still some mysteries left unsolved by the end. My fingers were itching to grab the next book already. The books officially comes out tomorrow, October 30. Be sure to look for it!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with the ARC.

My rating:

Visit the author:
Official website | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy this book:
BarnesandNoble.com | Amazon.com | Indigo.ca

The Sunday Post: 5th Edition

Sunday, October 28, 2012 § 3 Comments


Hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer:
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
This week has been super hectic. I completely missed last week's Sunday Post due to being up to my elbows in midterms and assignments, thankfully I had my last one on Thursday. Last night we celebrated my precious little goddaughter's 3rd birthday at their place; my family got her a Dora bike... I spent a bit of time wheeling her around their apartment then ended up having a pretty epic Star Wars blaster fight with the cousins until 2:30am, so I'm kind of a zombie right now. Speaking of zombies, Halloween is coming up and I finally got my pumpkin! I'll start carving tomorrow and will post the end result. Today's just about me lazing about at home and catching up on my PVR. I did still manage to get a lot of reading done in the last two weeks! Also got a great haul since then, which I'm really stoked about.

Also... I got a new layout! I spent the wee hours of last night on Photoshop, coding, and further figuring out how Blogger works. I think this is the first time in 5 years that I had to reach into my brain and dig up some of my rusty HTML knowledge. Hopefully it's not too horrid.

Last (2) weeks:

This week in reviews:
  • Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell
  • Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski
  • We Are Savages by Jessie Atkin

New bookshelf additions:
ARCs (from NetGalley)

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Sheidt
Eleanor & Park (U.S. release) by Rainbow Rowell
Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell
Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon

Purchases

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Blessed by Tonya Hurley
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Transcend by Christine Fonesca
The Tale of Findo Gask by Huw Thomas

Review: Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Friday, October 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

Title: Sweet Shadows
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Series: Medusa Girls (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: September 4, 2012
ISBN-10: 0062001833
ISBN-13: 9780062001832
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters — after all, she's spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss — but that doesn't mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes. Can she rely on Grace and Greer, or even trust herself to keep them safe? Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won't leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.

Grace has worries closer to home—like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He's hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

With the warring factions among the gods of Olympus coming for them, the creatures of the abyss pushing into their world, and the boys in their lives keeping secrets at every turn, the three girls must figure out where their fate will take them and how to embrace the shadows of their legacy.



My Review:
The second installment of the Medusa Girls picks up right (and I mean right-at-that-very-moment) where the first book left off. Medusa's descendants, Gretchen, Greer, and Grace are back, they're together, and now they find themselves fighting for their lives as monsters from the abyss plan on killing them in exchange for freedom. Olympian gods are involved and has the potential to get deliciously messy, the girls have new (or old?) allies, and all the while they're dealing with their new-found lives clashing with their old ones.There's so much that I loved about this book. Sweet Shadows had more action and an up-close look into the abyss as opposed to just being set in San Francisco. Childs gave the reader a look from both sides this time, and we were introduced to more of the monsters. And not all of them are bad! Cheers! This other world is such a contrast to the city. It's dark and ridden with monsters who have absolutely no desire to be there, which is why they want to escape any chance they get.

In addition to the change of setting, the characters were further developed really well. Greer wasn't my favourite in the first book, but I have to say that without a question she was my favourite in this one. Especially when talking to her adoptive parents... my heart broke for her. Another revelation lies in the character of Nick. Throughout the first book, there was this obvious underlying that there was something going on with him. I love that his role was expanded beyond being a pretty boy always hanging around Gretchen. The relationships were also more cemented, and will continue through the next book if this one is any indication. Childs did it again; I already can't wait for the next book.

Alright, I'm going to go into fangirl-mode for a sec, but am I wrong to think that something might happen between Thane and Greer? And that I got positively giddy just thinking about it? Potential to be awkward, though, because Greer looks exactly like Grace, who is very much still Thane's little sister. ...Or has Thane ever really considered Grace his sister? It's obvious that Grace thinks of him as her big brother, but it's never talked about how Thane feels. I think I've typed Thane out more than 4 times in this little blurb. Such a cool name. Plus he's still very much a mystery as he was before, even more-so now at the end of this book (Greer even called him an enigma. Did I call it, or did I call it?). Back to him and Greer, they seem to share some kind of link, and I'm really curious to see why. He still wins out as my favourite guy in the books. I'm really interested to know what his deal is; he's so vague. Just when I thought all the mysteries from the first book have been solved.

Just like the first book, this was written in the three different perspectives of the sisters. My only issue with the first one was the switching points of views, as there was no real flow or uniformity. This book was set up the same, so it was a little confusing at times. Again, not a huge issue because even though the girls were more in tune with each other and had similar goals and experiences, they were still very much distinct. All the storylines and characters moved forward at a nice pace with every chapter, and it's getting more apparent that this war is going to be something big.

Once again recommended for Greek mythology lovers and lovers of kickass heroines; there are three of them in this one. I got through Sweet Shadows in less than 30 hours--that almost never happens. Definitely no sophomore slump here!

Note: Read for the Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge

My rating:

Visit the author:
Official website | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy this book:
IndieBound.org | Amazon.com | Indigo.ca

Feature & Follow: 4th Edition

Thursday, October 25, 2012 § 8 Comments

Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read:
Gain Book Blog Followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me. The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs! This week's features are The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger & Carmen Jenner.
Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.
Well, let's see... love triangles, love triangles, and love triangles. It works for some books. The Infernal Devices? For some reason, it works for me. Twilight? Ehh, why not. But love triangles involving two brothers and a girl? Rarely ever works for me. Here's looking at you, Vampire Diaries (seriously, Bonnie is the only reason I continue to read). I just, I really can't. When the brothers are completely different and the girl is being pushed and pulled because "Oh, one brother is so sweet and lovely and everyone loves him and he makes me feel safe!" -- but -- "Oh, his brother is so broody and angsty and ~dangerous, let me love him so I can change him and make him a better person!" It's especially annoying when the brothers loathe each other then the girl tries to mend their relationship. Because of that, the guys obviously still hate each other but worship how nice she is for trying, as if the sun shines out of her ass. I also hate self-important heriones, so imagine how annoying it is when the girl is all, "My life sucks because I have two hot brothers fighting over me". Cringeworthy.

Love triangles obviously lead to "Team [Boy #1]" and "Team [Boy #2]". Then if authors are writing it for a series, that's pretty much all everyone thinks about is who the girl will end up with. Sometimes, authors even use that as central focuses: "This book in the series will be all about 'Girl/Boy #1', and the next book will shift focus onto 'Girl/Boy #2'... who will she choose in the conclusion?!?" I've been in enough online fandom communities to know that it never ends in lovely tea parties and cupcakes. Claws will come out, "Team" t-shirts will be made, and words will be said. It's frightening sometimes.

I got all riled up just thinking about that one! Lol. Negativity aside, have an amazing weekend everyone!

Giveaway: YA Mythology Hop

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YA Mythology Hop // October 26 - November 4, 2012
Hosted by For Those About to Read and I Am A Reader Not A Writer.
Mythology of any kind is my absolute favourite thing to read about in YA novels, so if you're like me and enjoy the likes of Percy Jackson, The Goddess Girls, or Eon, then please feel free to enter. This hop runs from October 26 to November 4.

There will be one winner, and they'll get a copy of one book of their choice from the list below. I've put a variety of mythological stories: Greek, Chinese, Hindu, Egyptian, Norse, and Roman. Whatever fits your fancy.


Rules:
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • The giveaway is open internationally, provided that BookDepository.com ships to your country
  • All entry methods will be verified
  • The winner will have 48 hours to respond to a confirmation e-mail from me with their title of choice, or another winner will be chosen


Sounds easy enough! There are a lot of other blogs participating in this giveaway hop, so please check them out by clicking here for more amazing titles. Good luck!