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The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh

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Synopsis:

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

*Copied from Goodreads.com

Review:

This book captivated me from the very beginning. A strong female lead with values and ideals that get shaken to the core. This is a reimagining of A Thousand and One Nights. I don’t know what I was expecting from this novel but I had heard so much about it that I just had to pick it up. Shazi has become one of my new favorite characters. I have the next novel ready to go.

Favorite Quotes:

“Love is—a shade of what I feel.”  ― Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath & the Dawn

“So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?”
“Shazi?” Jalal’s grin widened. “Honestly, I pity the wolves.”
Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath & the Dawn

“Her conviction wavered further. “I told you; don’t try to own me.”
“I don’t want to own you.”

She swiveled her neck to meet his gaze. “Then never speak of sending me away again. I am not yours to do with as you will.”

Khalid’s features smoothed knowingly. “How right you are. You are not mine.” He dropped his palm from the door. “I am yours.”
Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath & the Dawn

“So you intend to go through life never loving anyone? Just … things?”
“No. I’m looking for something more.”
“More than love?”
“Yes.”
“Is it not arrogant to think you deserve more, Khalid Ibn al-Rashid?”
“Is it so arrogant to want something that doesn’t change with the wind? That doesn’t crumble at the first sign of adversity?”
“You want something that doesn’t exist. A figment of your imagination.”
“No. I want someone who sees beneath the surface-someone who completes the balance. An equal.”
“And how will you know when you’ve found this elusive someone?” Shahrzad retorted.
“I suspect she will be like air. Like knowing how to breathe.”
Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath & the Dawn

Recommendations:

Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1) by Kate Elliott

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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The Lost Heir – Allison Whitmore

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Synopsis:

Isabella Foxworthy was just another girl…until she learned she was an empath, able to read the energy of others. A secret world known as the Violet City lies beneath her family’s hotel in Los Angeles. Through this discovery, Isabella is catapulted into a whirlwind of magic, adventure, and danger. The Violet City holds the key to protecting her stability; her family hotel, her friends, and her very sanity. With morphlings, empaths, and fair folk also comes a powerful entity that twists her mind into knots, threatening everything she loves. Now, Isabella and her new friends—a guitar-playing jock, his gifted but neurotic brother, and a set of over-indulged twins—have until her 16th birthday to save her world with the help of someone who’s been lost for a very long time…the lost Foxworthy heir. But will they find him in time? And will he be a friend or foe?

Review:

While there were many elements of this story that I enjoyed, the premise, the dialogue driven plot, there were so many elements that just fell short for me. The characters seemed much younger than their actual age. The moments that could have been great were just good. The intrigue in this novel built to an anticipation level that simply didn’t pay off.

While still good and quite readable, it just didn’t pack the punch I was hoping for.

No quotes due to the fact that this was an ARC from NetGalley

Recommendations: (My recommendations are for books that are fantasy but simply not of your typical variety, I felt that this was the best option if you do end up liking this one.)

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)  by Kelley Armstrong

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)  by Marissa Meyer

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  by Laini Taylor

The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)  by Holly Black

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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The Last Days of Magic – Mark Tompkins

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Synopsis:

What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and—with her twin, Anya—unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today’s world—and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.

Review:

The rich history in this novel makes it worth the read. However, there is also a wonderful story here. Tompkins is able to paint a beautiful backdrop to his story as well as allowing you to connect with the many characters he brings forth. I was hooked from the first page to the last. Any historical fiction or fantasy fan will be happy with this one for sure.

(No quotes due to the fact that my copy was an ARC from NetGalley)

Recommendations:

Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

The Shards of Heaven – Michael Livingston

Children of Earth and Sky – Guy Gavriel Kay

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Snakewood – Adrian Selby

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Synopsis:

Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning, alchemical brews, and cold steel. Whoever met their price won.
Now, their glory days behind them, scattered to the wind, and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated one by one. 
A lifetime of enemies has its own price. 
Adrian Selby brings us into an unforgettable new world filled with magic, mystery, intrigue, bloodshed and betrayal.

Review:

OH. THE. DISAPPOINTMENT.

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. I was super thrilled when I received an ARC through NetGalley. I couldn’t wait to jump right in. However, the excitement was quickly overtaken by sheer confusion. The book didn’t make any sense. Who are these people? What’s going on? Why do I care? These were my thoughts through most of the book and by the time I figured out the answer to my first two questions, I really didn’t care. The book is so haphazard, no real plot structure, no real story, no characters to love or love to hate…

No quotes, due to the fact that this was an ARC.

Recommendations:

The Night Angel Trilogy – Brent Weeks

The Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson

The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie

Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Montpellier Tomorrow – Marylee MacDonald

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Synopsis:

Mid-life mom, Colleen Gallagher would do anything to protect her children from harm. When her daughter’s husband falls ill with ALS, Colleen rolls up her sleeves and moves in, juggling the multiple roles of grandma, cook, and caregiver, only to discover that even her superhuman efforts can’t fix what’s wrong.

Review:

This is a heartbreaking look into what it takes to care for someone with a debilitating condition. How do you deal with something like this? How much heartache can one family take? When you read this book, and you should, have a box of tissues handy because you are in for a night of crying.

Recommendations:

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

If I Stay – Gayle Forman

Hopeless – Colleen Hoover

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Books For Breaking Yourself Out of Your Paranormal-Romance Funk

Have you found yourself wanting a little more paranormal and a little less romance? I have got the solution for you. Have you come to realize most paranormal-romances tend to follow a particular formula? Yeah, it gets kinda boring when that happens. The solution, find the ones that are deemed Urban-Fantasy. Generally, these are the ones that fall just short of Horror and aren’t quite Romance either.

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The Dresden Files – Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden — Wizard Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. 

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting. Magic. It can get a guy killed. 

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The Hallows/Rachael Morgan Series – Kim Harrison

All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead… or undead.

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Women of the Otherworld – Kelley Armstrong

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

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Georgina Kincaid Series – Richelle Mead

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid’s life is far less exotic. At least there’s her day job at a local bookstore–free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can’t.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle’s demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won’t help because Georgina’s about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny. . .

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Sign of the Zodiac Series – Vicki Pettersson

When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert. By rights, she should be dead.

Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset—a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow—seeking answers to whom or what she really is . . . and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.

But the nightmare is just beginning—for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful shadows want her for their own .

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The Fever Series – Karen Marie Moning

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death—a cryptic message on MacKayla Lane’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed—a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae. 

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Darkest Powers – Kelley Armstrong

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost – and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House… before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

I hope this list helps you get out of your funk. I know these top my list of go-to series in the paranormal-romance genre.

Happy Reading!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Red Queen

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Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

Review:

This book was so incredibly hard to put down. I did not want to adult. I wanted to lock myself away and not come out until I was done… oh, wait, I did that.

I loved that this novel, while still following the dystopian formula, had some surprising turns. Just when I was ready to accept something at face value… Boom! The tables were turned.

I am a fan and I will be purchasing Glass Sword on its release date in just a few weeks!!

Favorite Quotes:

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Anyone can betray anyone.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Rise, red as the dawn.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Words can lie. See beyond them.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I told you to hide your heart once. You should have listened.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“If you know someone’s fear, you know them.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“A lie will raise me up, and one day another lie will bring me down.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“It’s our nature. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I’ll make the others scream for you, Mare, every last one. Not just your parents. Not just your siblings. But every single one like you. I’m going to find them, and they will die with you in their thoughts, knowing this is the fate you have brought them. I am the king and you could’ve been my Red Queen. Now you are nothing.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I’m a Red girl in a sea of Silvers and I can’t afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I can’t believe I didn’t see him for what he was from the beginning: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And now I’m the sheep pretending to be a wolf.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Red in the head, Silver in the heart” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Mare?”
“Are you afraid, Maven?”
“I am. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of letting this opportunity pass us by. And I’m afraid of what happens if nothing in this world ever changes. That scares me more than dying.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

Recommendations:

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

The Young Elites – Marie Lu

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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