Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Spirit War: By Rachel Aaron



Eli Monpress is vain. He's cocky. And he's a thief.

But he's a thief who has just seen his bounty topped and he's not happy about it. The bounty topper, as it turns out, is his best friend, bodyguard, and master swordsman, Josef. Who has been keeping secrets from Eli. Apparently, he's the only prince of a rather feisty country and his mother (a formidable queen who's every bit as driven and stubborn as he is) wants him to come home and do his duty, which means throwing over personal ambitions like proving he's the greatest swordsman who ever lived.

Family drama aside, Eli and Josef have their hands full. The Spirit Court has been usurped by the Council of Thrones and someone calling herself the Immortal Empress is staging a massive invasion. But it's not just politics --- the Immortal Empress has a specific target in mind: Eli Monpress, the greatest thief in the world.


This last year has been is amazing in terms of new series. But in my opinion one of the best to come out was Rachel Aaron’s Eli Monpress series. Eli Monpress like the books his series is full of witty dialog, likable, and full of surprises. Rachel Aaron just does such a fantastic job creating such likable and engaging characters that keep the readers glued to the page.

Of course after all this praise it should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a huge fan of The Spirit War. I received an early copy of the book, and within a day was done with it. It was that good. If anything Aaron has improved in this next to last installment in the series. All of the characters from Eli, to Joseph, to Miranda are given the chance for readers to see them in different lights. Joseph’s back story gets fully flushed out, readers finally get the chance to find out why Eli chose a life of crime, and many of the mysteries of the Shepherdess are finally revealed as we learn about the stars, the shapers, and some of the events that have made the world the way it is.

Of course, the main characters are not the only ones to be looked into in this fantastic installment in the series. Both of Eli’s parents and their relationship are explored. Readers will discover how Eli’s parents met, why he ran away, and even why the split up.

While I love the characters in this book, the action and the surprises in The Spirit War are also superb. Joseph, Eli, Nico, and Miranda all face some of the toughest battles of their lives and readers will not soon forget these exciting events. Aaron does such a fantastic job crafting exciting scenes, characters, and witty dialog that readers will lose track of time, and wont be able to put down this captivating masterpiece until the last page, which will leave them speechless and begging for more.

All in all an amazing read that I would whole heartedly recommend to anyone. Everyone should read this series


Publisher: Orbit

Published: June 5, 2012

Price: $14.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316198382/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_title

A Confusion of Princes: By Garth Nix



You'd think being a Prince in a vast intergalactic empire would be about as good as it gets. Particularly when Princes are faster, smarter, and stronger than normal humans. Not to mention being mostly immortal.
But it isn't as great as it sounds. Princes need to be hard to kill—as Khemri learns the minute he becomes one—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor, and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.
Soon Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle he meets a young woman called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.
But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces that have very definite plans for his future. . . .


Garth Nix’s previous books drew me into this book. While this book has nothing to do with his previous series I assumed since I liked his other books I would like this one to. To be fair that wasn’t wrong.

I did like A Confusion of Princes. It had a fun and exciting idea, the potential for a lot of action, and some interesting characters.

That said, I had a few problems with the book. First, I felt like the issues with the Confederation came out left field. This wasn’t a big problem but it just seemed to not have a lot of backing in terms of back-story or info. Second, while I loved some of the characters like Haddad and Atalin, I felt like they were barely in the book. I understand that an author has to make cuts to characters and other storylines otherwise every book would be thousands of pages, but for characters that were as integral to the story as these two were there needed to be something more, otherwise some of the decisions that were made just seem trivial and trite. Finally, while there were some good action sequences in the book, Nix set up so many more exciting moments that I felt like he just glossed over.

Of course eve with those complaints I liked the book. There were enough action sequences to keep me interested. The characters were interesting, I just wanted to know more. And it was a fun read. All in all while there were complaints and I felt it could be improved I’m not disappointed I read it.


Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: May 15, 2012

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/A-Confusion-of-Princes-ebook/dp/B007ED6VWW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1338357795&sr=1-1

Cursed: By Benedict Jacka



Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...


When I wrote that Fated and Benedict Jacka would be perfect for fans of Jim Butcher I wasn’t lying, and Cursed, the second book in the series helps prove this statement.

Cursed follows the ramifications of Fated. Alex is no longer able to live the quiet hidden life he had become so accustomed to. Other mages have begun coming to his shop, asking him to take on cases, hoping to use him as a pawn in their own games. Of course these mages aren’t the forgiving type and if they can’t use him, they will make sure no one else can either. This leaves them with a very serious problem though, how do you kill a mage who can see the future?

Cursed is just bloody exciting. It is filled with action, magic, and assassination attempts. Readers will be drawn in and unable to escape until the final page. The character’s (especially Alex, Sonder, and Arachne) are all well written and complex. Alex is not the white knight of a character that he tries to be, and in Cursed readers really get a chance to explore his darker side.

Of course besides interesting characters and lots of action, Cursed is full of some pretty exciting magic. Some of it is not surprising (such as typical magic like fire mages, and ice mages), but some of the new additions, such as Sonder’s time magic, the monkey’s paw, and while not a new addition I still think the idea of using a curse as magic is pretty cool.

All in all, Cursed is fun and exciting, exactly what I wanted out of it. Jacka lays another strong foundation for this fledgling series that has the potential to become something huge. Definitely get in on the ground floor by reading Cursed, and another plus to getting it now is that Taken, the third book in the series, comes out in August, so readers wont have to wait long to read the next in the series.


Publisher: Ace

Published: May 29, 2012

Price: $7.99 

Link to Buyhttp://www.amazon.com/Cursed-ebook/dp/B006CUDE2S/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1338357369&sr=8-13

Thursday, May 24, 2012

No Safety In Numbers: By Dayna Lorentz



A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it's even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there's no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.

These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising styles, changing in ways they wouldn't have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly.


I was shocked with No Safety in Numbers.

The biggest surprise in my opinion, and this doesn’t give away anything, was that this is the first in a series, and not a stand alone book. I was shocked by this, and can’t wait to see where the series takes the characters.

Speaking of characters, Lorentz does a fantastic job creating engaging characters that really keep the story going. In my opinion it’s the characters that make the book what it is. Unlike most books with rotating narrators, readers will not be bored or dread having to read a particular narrators story. All of the different stories, wither it be based on making friends, survival, or young love are all fascinating and will leave readers itching for more. Further, each of the characters are relatable and interesting making it easy for readers to understand the terror that the characters themselves feel in the story. Of course besides the horror, the book also explores the more mundane aspects of a quarantine, the boredom, the looting, the gangs, and the initial excitement from escaping a normal days work/school.

All in all, No Safety in Numbers was exciting and tense. It leaves readers on the edge of their seats and heavily anticipating the next in the series. Most importantly though, the characters are interesting and well written. Because of them and the tense nature of the book this is defiantly an exciting summer read that readers will enjoy. 


Publisher: Dial

Published: May 29, 2012

Price: $17.99

Black Dawn: By Rachel Caine



Ever since the draug—mysterious creatures that prey on vampires—took over Morganville, the lives of student Claire Danvers and her friends have been thrown into turmoil. Most of the town’s residents have evacuated, but Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael have chosen to stay and fight.

Using the city’s water system to spread, the draug have rapidly multiplied. Things in Morganville look grim, especially since vampire Amelie—the town founder—has been infected by the master draug’s bite. 

Now, if Claire and her friends don’t figure out how to cure Amelie and defeat the draug, it looks like Morganville will become little more than a ghost town…


Last Breath breathed a breath of fresh air into the series (pun intended), with the introduction of the draugs and the titillating action that encompassed the town’s battle with them. Black Dawn continues this story and brings it to its head in a way that fans will be shocked and fully pleased with.

Caine does a wonderful job balancing the different character’s perspectives throughout the book. My personal favorite perspectives besides Claire, who readers are used to and of course love (otherwise why would they continue the series), were Naomi and Oliver. Readers will love getting to know the cut throat nature of Naomi and just what she has in store for Morganville if the town survives. And Oliver is just Oliver, he is strong, calculating, and so very complex. Reader’s will love getting into the heads of these characters who they have come to know through Claire’s eyes.

As for the story itself, it is filled with nonstop action that fans of the series will die for. Big changes come to the series, and like all changes it doesn’t come easily for the characters, some will be lost and some relationships are changed forever.

All in all fans of the series will love Black Dawn. It’s exciting, well written, and filled with surprises. Definitely read the previous books in the series before reading this one but very much a great addition to this already superb series.  


Publisher: NAL

Published: May 1, 2012

Price: $17.99

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revived: By Cat Patrick



As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency's true goals, she realizes she's at the center of something much larger -- and more sinister -- than she ever imagined.


When I read this book I thought it was just going to be another book about zombie esq nature of a girl who comes back from the dead only to fall in love. Something trivial and not necessarily very interesting to read.

Of course, then I actually read Revived, and boy was I wrong.

Revived is one of those books you just don’t want to put down. The book begins with the protagonist, Daisy, dying, while surrounded by people who are unable to help her, and in fact interfere with the real help from the paramedics who could have been able to save her. But instead of panicking Daisy is more ticked off. This is how the story begins and readers are introduced to Daisy and the world of Revived. Revive is a drug that brings people who die back from the dead. The drug is in the testing phase of clinical trials, but because of the nature of the drugs, the company is testing it on children from an unfortunate bus accident that killed 20 children years before. Daisy was one of those children. And she has now died 5 times.

The plot thickens as Daisy befriends a friend from her new school (having had to transfer to a new city after her death.) This friend causes her to consider the philosophical debate behind bring people back from the dead, and the motives behind the testing of this drug.

The story also includes love, death, and the tragedies that result from both. But more importantly the story is written like a mini thriller. The book will keep you glued to your seat the same way that the movie Disturbia with will. It is full of subtle tension from the growing mystery and looming situation that readers wont be able to put it down.

All in all, Cat Patrick does a great job creating a well written set of characters who experience and discuss the ramifications and realities of death in a way that will really touch readers. This combined with the nerve racking tension surrounding the drug revive and other issues that are brought up later in the book, readers will not be able to put the book down. Definitely a book readers should pick up.


Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Published: May 1, 2012

Price: $17.99

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Book You Need to Read (The SPIRIT WAR)

I've been a fan of the Eli Monpress, since the minute I picked up the book and read the synopsis on the back. This series is funny, exciting, well written, and above all else just a fantastic read. Now the fourth book in the series is coming out on June 5th so if you haven't read then please go pick up the first three books in the series or the Omnibus, which has them all nicely in one place, and do yourself a favor and read one of the best new series in the last few years.