Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Nightborn by Lou Anders

Nightborn (Thrones & Bones, #2)Nightborn by Lou Anders
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
From the author of "Frostborn" comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.
Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. "Not" a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.
Meet Desstra. She's in training to join the Underhand--the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.
Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?
The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more! 
My thoughts:
This was such a fun book!  While I did like the first one, I absolutely adored Nightborn.  It was unique and just a really fun adventure with humans, elves, dwarfs, giants, and gnomes!

Nightborn takes off pretty much where the first left off.  Karn is settling into his new role and learning how to trade and Thianna is off learning more about where her mom came from. All is okay until Karn is whisked away by a wyvern and finds out Thianna is in trouble.  Karn knows he has to help his friend so he sets out on another adventure to find Thianna.

This story is full of adventure and I loved the introduction of the elves. I have always been a sucker for a good elf story and Lou Anders has created some interesting ones.  I would honestly love another book based on just the Shadow Elves, but for now I will take what I can get.  

I really loved the rich world that Anders has created.  Just when I think he can't possibly throw anything else in he does and it fits like a glove!  He has created a huge world that has so many possibilities and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

What I lacked in the first installment I more than got with this one.  I fell into this story with ease and I loved looking through Karns eyes as well as his companions.  This also has a very nice balance between action and storytelling.  With some fantasy books they will be heavy on one side of those two, but I found this book to be very balanced which worked great for me. I loved all the history that was woven in, it just gave the book an extra spark.

This is a really fun series that I think adults will also enjoy as well as younger readers.  It definitely kept my attention and I can't wait to read the next installment because not everything was wrapped up nice and neat and I need to find out what happens!!  Plus I think we will finally get to see Thica and I have been dying to see it!!

4 snowflakes


Also I have some exciting news to share!  The first book the Thrones & Bones series, Frostborn, has just been released in paperback TODAY!!  You won't want to miss the first adventure of Karn and Thianna so be sure to click on the links below to purchase your copy!
Amazon / B&N
Frostborn (Thrones & Bones, #1)
Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.
PRAISE
“Frostborn is the fantasy adventure book I wish I’d had when I was a kid.”
Charlie Jane Anders, i09

“While I cut my fantasy-reading teeth on the works of Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman’s DragonLance and Darksword, I would have gobbled up this book at that age. Hell, I thoroughly enjoyed it at my current age.”
Rob H. Bedford, SF Signal

“Future fans of Tolkien and George R.R. Martin can happily cut their serial-fantasy teeth on this first book of an eventual series.”
Kirkus Reviews

⋆“The setting is rich, the characters well-defined, and the danger ever-paramount. It’s a strong and thoroughly enjoyable start to the Thrones and Bones series.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“. . . adventure fans will enjoy the action, the Norse background, and the occasional flash of humor.”
Booklist Reviews

"Anders sculpts a rich world filled with his deep sense of family and fantasy into this powerful journey of discovery and friendship not seen since Alexander first introduced readers to Prydain."
Scott Taylor, Art of the Genre

"Lou Anders's FROSTBORN is sure to appeal to young readers looking for a dose of monsters and magic. Not just a classic fantasy romp, Anders's debut novel explores the experience of feeling young and out of place in a world that refuses to see you for who you are—something readers of all ages can identify with."
James L. Sutter, author of Death's Heretic

ABOUT LOU ANDERS
LOU ANDERS’s research on Norse mythology while writing book one in the Thrones and Bones series, FROSTBORN, turned into a love affair with Viking culture and a first visit to Norway. Anders is the recipient of a Hugo Award for editing and a Chesley Award for art direction. He has published over 500 articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature. A prolific speaker, Anders regularly attends writing conventions around the country. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. You can visit Anders online at louanders.com and ThronesandBones.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @ThronesandBones.

 

Teaser Tuesday #97 Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...


Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs, #1)Tangled Webs by Lee Bross
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Expected Publication Date: June 23, 2015
SUMMARY:
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past? j

TEASER #1 (page 2 )

"She was good enough when they wanted something, but otherwise she meant nothing to them."

TEASER #2 (page 41)

"If I ended up like that..." She swept her hand out over the river, where the old man in the boat was now finishing something out of the water with his hooked pole. The words lodged in her throat and she had to force them out. "Would you care?"



*PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks!




Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Publisher- Harlequin Teen
Released- May 26th 2015
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

My Thoughts:
I've been a huge fan of Katie McGarry's, Pushing the Limits books so I couldn't wait to see what her newest release would bring. As I expected, she didn't disappoint! Nowhere But Here, was an edgy contemporary that combines badass bikers, family ties and first love. It's has everything I want in an escape. Intensity, gripping suspense, funny moments and sexy times. I couldn't get enough!

Ok, so I wasn't exactly sold on the idea of a story about a Motorcycle dudes, but ya know, this worked, or well, McGarry made it work. I like the concept of the Reign of terror as a legit club who works a clean business but still have to deal with their rivals, The Riots. I enjoyed the brotherhood and the expressive theme of loyalty that ran throughout the entire book. Their world is dangerous and extreme but at the same time it has enormous amount of respect, admiration and heart. There is a deep history here that I found fascinating and all the secrets seemed to only fuel my curiosity as everything unfolded. I loved that we don't know the whole story right away and while I usually like my reads drama free, this was the exception, it was always intriguing, moving and entertaining and all these characters made me want to keep reading till it's gasping conclusion.

There are a lot of characters that really made an impression and felt so very important to the story and really, I loved them all.
Told in both Oz and Emily's point of view, we see both sides to the coin as its being tossed in the air. Emily is a good girl who has a great life in Florida with her biological mother and step dad who adopted her when she was four years old. But when her real father Eli, sends the family an invite to his mother funereal in Snowflake Kentucky, Emily isn't very happy that she has to go see the family that abandoned her and her mom. What she didn't expect was all hell breaking loss and Emily stuck in the middle between two rivalry motorcycle clubs and a long ago buried secret that comes out to haunt her and her family.
Poor Emily. This girl really went through a lot in this book and I felt badly how she was thrown into a dangerous world she knew nothing about. But what I loved about her the most was, as intimidated as she may have been, she proved that she could more then handle her own. Oz stole the entire show for me, this guy was amazingly put together. He's strong and protective and kind and even though he can be a jerk sometimes, I loved the way he loves. I loved the way he is with special-needs children and how he loves Olivia and respects his family. He holds himself up with confidence and heart. The romance was really well done. It sizzled with both intense chemistry and hug-worthy swoon that only left me wanting more. I also really enjoyed all the other characters, they all have such unique personality that I found infectious and they brought a certain spark to the storyline, but it was Eli, Olivia and Jeff I loved the most.

Bottom line, this book was made of awesome! Nowhere but Here is exactly the kind of escape I crave in my edgy contemporary reads. It had some darker moments, sure, but it's still  funny and sweet and sad and has such an unexpected warmth I never expected to find, and I simply can't wait to see where McGarry takes this world next. An instant favorite!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                  5 Snowflakes

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge



Crimson Bound

by Rosamund Hodge 

Published May 5th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

My Thoughts

I adored Cruel Beauty so as soon as i heard there would be another likeness written by Rosamund Hodge I was thrilled. I can say I wasn't disappointed in the least!! Not only do I love her twisted take on some classic tales but I love me a good stand alone. I like the feeling of getting to the satisfying end in one sitting.

My favorite thing about this series (even though it's not a series) is that the lore is so detailed. There is a ton of history and it is nicely blended with the plot line so I never ever felt lost. Rosamund has this unique ability to reimagine and expand stories to such incredible heights. There is so much complexity in her work. She really has planned things out and it shows by her attention to detail. This lore was so unique,The evil lurking in the woods called the Great Forest and the curse of the forestborn. I'll give you quick rundown. If you are marked by a forestbound you can either become one by killing or you die yourself. Rundown over.

The characters are also very complex. Rachelle was so interesting to read about. I was on Team Rachele from the first pages. She is a very determined girl but also weighs her choices and what they do to her and her families future. I love the intelligence behind that. There is nothing worst then a hasty M.C. Well there is but you know what I mean. Let's talk about the boys. Okat so there is a teeny love triangle thingy BUT fear not for it is one that works for this story, very well if i do say so myself.

Erec who is in the same boat as Rachelle being a bloodbound, is charming and witty and most of the time a complete jerk off. For some reason he just rubbed me the wrong way. I don't like when people twist your words around and use them against you and Erec was the king of this particular manipulation of words. I was much more of a fan or Armand, who is one of the king's illegitimate children. I always tend to cheer for the underdog. 

I think that if you like a bit of a darker fairy tale with some serious world building and break neck plot twists then, you should read Crimson Bound. 

5 Snowflakes




Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #83

A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.

Our recap for the past two weeks!

Reviews:
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Alive by Chandler Baker
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman
Undertow & Stormfront by K.R. Conway
Don't Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine
Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
The Summer After Me and You by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Joyride by Anna Banks
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
The Novice by Taran Matharu
5 to 1 by Holly Badger

Interview:
Jessica Warman

WinterHaven Fun:
Spotlight Spelled by Betsy Schow
Twisted Fairytale Confessions tour

Here's what landed in our happy hands these past two weeks!
Shadowshaper The Moon and More Pretending to Be Erica The Thing About Jellyfish Spinning Starlight A Thousand Nights The Pirate Code (Hook's Revenge, #2) Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between What We Knew Gathering Deep The Witch Hunter Hello, I Love You Very in Pieces Persuasion When Love Happens YOLO Juliet srsly Hamlet Dream Things True Your Voice Is All I Hear
For Review:

*Special thanks to Auther A. Levine Books, Viking Books for Young Readers, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Disney Hyperion, Poppy, St.Martin's Griffin, Flux, HarperTeen, Simon Pulse, Avon Impulse, Random House Books for Young Readers, & Sourcebooks*

That's it for us this week! I hope everyone had an amazing week as well! Please leave me a link so I can see all your goodies!