Shattered Stars (Broken Skies #3) by Theresa Kay

36480990Blurb: Unexpected allies. Unexpected betrayals. Unexpected abilities.

The last thing Jax Mitchell ever wanted was to be a weapon. Her abilities are unpredictable at best, but with her twin lost, there’s no one else with enough power to take on Jastren and his mental manipulations. She doesn’t have to do it alone, though. Not only can she rely on the unwavering support of Lir, Rym, and her human friends, she also ends up with help from a surprising source.

Meanwhile, her twin brother Jace—his body controlled by Jastren, and the shattered pieces of his mind locked inside—has become a monster. The struggle to hold on to what’s left of his humanity has left him weak and more confused than ever before. Every thought, every impulse, and every memory has the potential to destroy him—and everyone else around him.

The futures of both the humans and the E’rikon are on the line, but as ulterior motives and political machinations are revealed, it becomes clear that the betrayals aren’t restricted to only one species. Can Jax and Lir get everyone to work together in time to prevent the two species from destroying each other? Can Jace find some measure of redemption for all he has done? And will Jax be able to harness her powers… without losing herself in the process?

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5 stars

This story was fast paced and attention grabbing from the first page. This is not some easy plot that you can guess at the 30% point.  No, it makes you think and gasp and cry and rage!  And if you are a fan of Sci-fi like me you will appreciate not only this story but HOW it was written. It’s almost a throw back to the older authors with their deep world building and danger from multiple directions.  Such great story telling.

Jax is one of my favoritist and most memorable characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading about.  I could read about her forever.  She’s feisty, intelligent, responsible and incredibly vulnerable.  She has no qualms about fighting for what she believes in. One of the things I love about her is the fact that half the time she is playing it by ear. She has no idea how to handle everything going on around but she just doesn’t quit!  I can relate so hard to that you guys.  She is forgiving and isn’t too proud to accept help when she needs it.  I mean, yeah she can be a stubborn little shit too but the good outweighs the bad.  🙂

Lir is so understanding, like the perfect counterpart to her wildness and impulsiveness.  He grounds her when she needs it and doesn’t try to control her when she gets wild.  He just accepts her as she is and loves her.  This little alien boy has grown and matured over the course of this series. I think maybe even the most in this book TBH.  I really enjoyed this aspect of their relationship. It evolved into something we don’t often see in a Science Fiction/Dystopian.

I’m sad to see this story end, hopefully we can get a novella from her cause I need just a little it more to satisfy my love of this world and all its players.

Curly Carla_small

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All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham

Blurb:
31450972Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

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My Review:
2.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

OK, this was a frustrating read for me.  And I’m having a hard time judging what all comes into play in my final assessment.  There is definitely a component that is a bad match writing style for me I think.  But there’s also bits that were honest to goodness not written as well too.  And this is where it gets complicated: the part that doesn’t match with me style-wise is that things aren’t spelled out for me in a clear manner, and I really really hate that (I’ll explain in a second).  But the problem with disliking that, is that I have a hard time judging what was bad writing versus just not a match, you know??

OK, I’ll attempt to explain…  Well, did anyone else see that movie The Arrival?  My husband loved it, whereas that movie made me SOOOOO angry and annoyed and frustrated and mad.  And while I could enjoy so many aspects of the movie, if I can’t have my theories confirmed on what was happening, then I just don’t like it.  Like, I need things to be closer to black and white, I don’t play well in gray area and subtlety.  I’m probably not making any sense.  *sigh*  Regardless, this book was kind of like that.  I’m left at the end of the book thinking I have a pretty good idea of what happened, but I’m not sure.  And I want to be sure.  I don’t understand what the point is if I’m not sure.  So was it bad writing, or style??  I DON’T KNOW!!

There were definitely parts of this book where I can categorically say that it needed better editing and needed to be cleaned up.  There were quite a few TINY continuity issues (like the showers on the ship were supposed to be ionized air, but then Leda talks about her hair being wet from her shower; or the drug that was supposed to put that guy to sleep for about 40 hours, and less than 24 hours later he’s wide awake; or how did the pain meds work on the tethered cord surgery, but not for the bullet wound?).  See?  Tiny, but I noticed them, and it annoyed me.  But it probably only annoyed me because I was having other problems.  The book just felt…for lack of a better word, fragmented.  From individual sentences that were probably trying to be too pretty, but then I would have to read them over again to understand them; to the overall plot and the way I would feel like I missed something from one section to another.  It was just kind of choppy in places, and didn’t make for a nice read.  And then there was the tiny plot thread that was completely dropped at the end of the book (what Enren said about Toovu and the Woede — purposely being vague to avoid spoilers), which I suppose could have been ok if there was going to be a sequel or something and they’d tackle it there, but I don’t get that impression.

So yeah, frustration.  The book needed a bit more clean up and definitely needed to be smoothed over.  Things happened so fast, I kind of couldn’t follow what people were talking about sometimes, or the conclusions they were coming to.

And then there’s the characters and chemistry.  *sigh*  This review could get so long if I really went into detail on those parts, but I’ll try to keep it brief (*snort* yeah right).  Quite honestly, I didn’t dislike the characters, but I wasn’t totally enamoured with them either.  Like none of them.  And hence I didn’t find my emotions engaged at any of the potentially heartbreaking parts.  It was a little bit insta-lovey between Leda and Roar, which I don’t always mind if I get something else out of it.  But there was so much else going on, I never really did understand why they were in love…  I got the draw and the connection, but not the emotions I guess.

And there were a ton of potentially intriguing side characters with potential little side plots, but we never got to learn about them or dive into them.  They were so many moments where the author could have delved deeper, but chose not to in favour of action I suppose.  Which is not horrible, but I hate getting teased with depth and then not getting it.  We could have learned so much about Aurelite society, how it was, how it affected people, how it shaped them.  From Stein to Petrus to even Roar.  And Nils!!  What about Nils and his mom??  And why tease us with those things and not go into them?  Why say them at all and make them part of the story and not go further?  I think the author tried to do too much with the story, and had to cut back, and didn’t really get the right focus back.  Or not.  Honestly, that’s conjecture, I shouldn’t say I know anything.

*sigh*  So yeah.  It had a lot of potential.  And despite the way this review sounds, there were interesting moments!  I even enjoyed the kisses between Roar and Leda.  I loved the inclusion of some diverse elements, and how Leda always had Spina Bifida, regardless of whether she was some fabled weapon or not.  But she pushed through it.  And there were some really quotable pretty lines!!  When the author hit her mark on those, they were really beautiful!

And that is that.  I’m sad.  Reading books that don’t match me is really taxing on my reader’s brain.  Ah well.  Onward and upward!

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A Girl Like Me by Ginger Scott

Blurb:
35166507I’m not supposed to be here.

Death has come for me more than once, and each time it’s been a boy who’s stood between me and my final breath.

I called him Christopher when he saved me as a child. When he came into my life again, only months ago, I knew him as Wes. Just as he did the time before, he disappeared the moment he made sure I was out of harm’s way; as if I didn’t need any more saving.

This time, though, death left me with a reminder of how powerful it is. I know it meant to strip me of my spirit again, but it failed.

Even so, I know I need Wes to survive. Our souls are woven together somehow, our every breath in sync. I feel it, even though everyone says I shouldn’t.

The world thinks he’s missing.
His loved ones don’t want to believe he’s dead.
Only I know just how special he is.

I’m going to find him and bring him home, where he belongs. Together, we’ll face impossible—we’ll rewrite our ending.

And when the bad guys come calling, we will always win.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — Technically I did receive an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review/opinion, but since I was so behind, I just read the copy that I preordered and showed up on my Kindle.  🙂

I ended up rereading book one before diving into this book, hence why I was behind on my ARC reading, but it was so nice to be fully immersed in this book universe again so I remembered absolutely everything.  I’m just that kind of girl.  I always worry that the sequel is not going to live up to the first book, especially when the first book blows you completely away.  I’m happy to say that for *me*, this book did NOT let me down!!  While I did find it to be a slightly slower read than the first book, I was still so ridiculously satisfied with all the answers I got and where the story ended up going.

For those readers that are curious about the paranormal aspect, I can definitively say that this is not a strictly contemporary read.  I’ll leave the rest for the book to dive into, but the hint of paranormal/sci-fi is definitely there.  I know that’s not everyone’s bag, but I actually really enjoyed how it felt very natural to the story, but also didn’t take OVER the story.  It’s hard to place this fully into a paranormal/sci-fi genre, b/c it still had a very contemporary feel despite that aspect.  It was, in some ways, a bit of a coming-of-age story, or a story about a character’s growth and struggles with some very real life problems.  So take from that what you will.  I can see folks who are strictly contemporary maybe not enjoying this, and I can see folks who are all-paranormal-all-the-time not enjoying it either.  But for those readers that like to cross into both, it was a delicious mix.  There is a part of me that maybe was still left with a whole schwak of questions as a result, but for some reason I was OK with that.  It fit the story.

Joss was entirely inspiring in this book.  You really get to see her shine, and I was raising my hands in solidarity for her choices for most of this book.  I honestly had no idea where this book was going to go after the ending of the last one.  And it honestly surprised me a LOT with the different twists and turns it took.  Certain plot aspects that I thought would be the main ones ended up being somewhat resolved and we were plunged into the next obstacle.  Other side plots I had never even considered were presented and really added to the story as a whole (Grace).  But I particularly loved what Ms. Scott did with Joss, and how Joss handled some of the revelations.  She reacted just as I expected her to, even if I didn’t realize it until after I read it.  It was like “yup, that’s Joss.”  The thing that I really love about this character is that she’s NOTHING LIKE ME.  Like, nothing.  I would have totally reacted in completely different ways, but because of the way she was written, I fully bought into every decision and action she made.  I empathized with her, and genuinely LIKED her.  That’s good writing yo.

And then there’s Wes.  Oh Wes.  You know what I loved about him in this book?  He wasn’t perfect.  He made bad choices, decisions that hurt the people he loved.  He was vulnerable, and afraid at times.  He was confused.  He had a lot going on in his own story.  But through it all I still loved him.  And I still rooted for him.

And I loved Wes and Joss together.  They make my heart so happy.  Their journey is just so fraught with obstacles that I really feel like Ms. Scott owes it to them (and us) to write them a little short story where everything is happy and awesome and we get to just revel in the fun that is them for like 50 pages.  I realize most people would find that boring, and thus it will never happen, but a girl can dream.  They’re so sassy and snarky with each other, but also so ridiculously sweet, and just REAL with each other too.

I LOVED the developments we got with Joss’s Dad.  I fully bought into his growth, and the growth of their relationship.  He still broke my heart, but I was all in.  And I loved that we got to learn more about Joss’s Mom, often through Grace, and that the answers weren’t all Hollywood/storybook clean and good, but that they felt real and believable and shed some light on other topics.  I loved Grace and what she added to the story (as I’ve already said).

And as always, I LOVED our secondary characters.  Kyle, Taryn, TK and Levi were da bomb dot com.  Even Bria had a tiny moment.  I love when a book gives us not only fabulous main characters to love, but an amazing supporting cast.

So yeah.  There’s my novel of a review.  This book left me happy and satisfied.  The only reason it’s not a full 5 stars is because I felt like the pacing could have been tightened up in places.  But I was so satisfied with so many other aspects, that it really didn’t affect me as much as it might have in another novel.  And on a strange final sidenote, I do not have any interest in baseball as a sport whatsoever.  But this novel actually made me consider watching a game with my Mom…that’s a miracle folks, a miracle.

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A Princess of Mars (Barsoom #1) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A pirncess of marsBlurb: Her oval face was beautiful in the extreme, her every feature finely chisled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Similar in face and figure to women of Earth, she was nevertheless a true Martian–and prisoner of the fierce green giants who held me captive, as well!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 stars

Did you know the movie John Carter is based on this series?  I did not, which makes my reading of this book that much cooler for some reason.  So this is my second book in the Decades of Sci-Fi challenge that I have finished.  I am officially two books behind.  ::shrugs shoulders:: Whatever, I do what I want.  🙂

This book was fantastic!!  It was fast paced and explained simply.  Okay, so there was a LOT of telling but, it was done so well.  I was quite happily able to overlook it. I loved how easily he was able to incorporate himself in to each civilization he encountered.

I loved the mystery of it too. How did he come to be on Mars? It’s left up to the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks.  This is a risky endeavor for any author to partake in but he pulls it off quite nicely.  The writing was extremely easy to follow considering the book was written almost 100 years ago.

Compared to the last book I read in this challenge, it was a cakewalk.  I’m not much for ‘”classic literature” but if the rest are like this, I will definitely have no problems finishing this challenge.

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Waking in Time by Angie Stanton

Blurb:
41qzzukgasl-_sx335_bo1204203200_Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request to “find the baby,” Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbi’s journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. Communicating across time through a buried time capsule, they try to decode the mystery of their travel, find the lost baby, and plead with their champion, a kindly physics professor, to help them find each other again … even though the professor gets younger each time Abbi meets him. This page-turning story full of romance, twists, and delightful details about campus life then and now will stay with readers long after the book’s satisfying end.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Well damn.  This book was sooooooo weird for me.  I was extremely compelled to read it, and couldn’t put it down (staying up until the wee hours of the night to finish it).  But I was also kind of unsatisfied with many aspects of the story, and I’m not exactly sure what was compelling me.  Honestly, I think I just wanted to know the answers.  I wanted to know the different mysteries, and I wanted to know how the time travel was going to work and be explained.

I can honestly say that the mysteries were my favourite parts of the story, from how the time travel was working to the lost baby plotline, even though the lost baby mystery wasn’t really remembered and reintroduced until fairly late in the story.  I think it’s so odd when something is part of the blurb, or mentioned at the very beginning, but ends up only being a small part of the plot as a whole.  I wasn’t expecting that, and it was kind of frustrating how it kept getting lost in the shuffle.  But at the same time I was really interested in finding out, and while I had some theories pretty early on that ended up coming to fruition, I was still really satisfied with the way that worked out.  I think I just would have liked for it to play a more central role in the book, instead it felt a bit tacked on…even though there was groundwork laid earlier, we as the reader didn’t know that.  I don’t know…

And then there’s the time travel.  I found it really compelling, but I have to say the explanation was very underwhelming.  But I think it still ended up being enjoyable for me, just because of the way the time travel was working and the theories I would come up with in my head, and that anticipation, that even though I was unsatisfied with the explanation, it still made for a fun read.  I think time travel is extremely hard to get right, and in the end this book just left me with a lot of confusing questions and plot holes, which is a shame.  Also, if you’re looking for a time travel book that’s science based, this book isn’t for you.  This was more just hand-wavy in the end…which would have been ok if a major part of the book wasn’t about the Physics Professor making it his life’s work to figure it out.  *shrugs*  See?  Mixed bag.

Honestly, I could write a lot more negative things about this book than positive things.  Abbi was not a very well-developed character, and I really couldn’t tell you what she was like, what interested her, any of that.  She was extremely shallow.  She was really just a vehicle for the plot I guess.  Which is kind of disappointing when she’s your MC and voice.  The Professor, Sharon, Ruby, and even Walter a bit, were more interesting and 3 dimensional.

The love interest, Will, was very sweet, but we really don’t learn much about his journey either.  And I was even less satisfied with his reasons for time travel than I was for Abbi’s (I was satisfied with Abbi’s).  And while the romance was sweet, it was a bit insta-lovey just because of the nature of the way their stories intertwine, and because we don’t really get to see them connect, it’s sort of glossed over in that they share time talking over weeks or whatever.  I want to see that chemistry and connection, not just have it exist out of nowhere.  And it really wasn’t a very prominent part of the book either, just a small section.

So see?  Not a lot of positive to say, but at the same time I really was entertained.  It was a quick read.  I’m not sure how well Ms. Stanton did getting the historical stuff right, but I’ve never been a historical book reader so that wasn’t what drew me to the book.  In the end it was pretty light on history, mostly just shallow details there as well.  So I guess I would mostly recommend this to those who enjoy a good mystery.  Because in the end that’s what drew me in and had me turning the pages to find the answers.  I’m just not going to guarantee that you will be satisfied with the time travel resolution.

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Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1) by Vic James


30337432Blurb:
 Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Pre order Releases February 14, 2017

Favorite quote: 

Trust was what made everything possible.  Trust lent you someone else’s eyes, someones else’s strong arms or quick brain.  Made you bigger that just yourself.  Trust was how the club worked.  How this whole crazy dream of abolition could work, if people could just come together and hold their nerve.  Not even the Equals-not even their Skill-would be more powerful than that.  

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4 stars

Wow!

This book took me a while to finish because it had so many great aspects to it and I wanted to savor them all.  Slavery, oppression, rebellion.  All wonderful obstacles to read about in a book.  This is totally my taste.  And I was surprised that the author is a woman, since, the name is a bit masculine.  But whatev’s, I usually read books written by woman.

This concept of slavery in this book is different than other books with this underlying theme.  Instead of being forever indentured, it is a finite amount of time you are required to serve.  Almost like a draft for the military if you will.  And you get to choose when you serve it, nothing like a little leeway for your slave days to feel a bit more in your control eh?

This author didn’t skip on the descriptions in this book.  We see the slums they live in as well as the extravagant estates the Equals live on in contrast.  We hear the screams of the slaves that can’t take the abuse they receive and we feel the uncontrollable loss of hope most of the people have when justice is constantly favoring the powerful.

My favorite character was by far Luke.  He was young and naive at first. But we get to see his transformation from boy to man as his story unfolds.  It’s subtle enough that you almost miss it.  How his family becomes less about blood and more about the people he surrounds himself with.  His character grows the most in this book I think.

I’d say that the second best characters were the entire Jardine family at Kyneston.  Some good, some bad, some you couldn’t really tell, but all highly entertaining in their own way.  I can’t wait to read the next one. Which means a whole lot of waiting on my end.

Poo!

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

Curly Carla_small

Agent I1: Tristan (The D.I.R.E. Agency #1) by Joni Hahn


20307976Blurb: 
He’s an agent for hire.

She’s a small town sweetheart.

What could they possibly have in common… except danger?

Raised in the art of warfare, Former Navy SEAL Tristan Jacobs has always been a force to reckon with. Now that D.I.R.E. has successfully implemented his scientific enhancements, he’s a walking weapon. Unstoppable, as long as he stays focused.

When ex-BUD/S teammate Aidan Monroe interrupts his long-awaited sabbatical to call in a favor, Tristan reluctantly fills the simple request: take out his sister’s fiancé.

One problem: Rachel Monroe – smokin’ hot, kind-hearted, and in desperate need of a protector. After a night of mind-blowing passion, Tristan’s afraid unstoppable is just a memory. Knowing Aidan’s temper, Tristan could be, too.

Rachel Monroe had a plan to help her mother. Her brother ruined everything when his gorgeous, super-agent friend teleported her to his island getaway – and his bed. She’s drawn to him despite the fact he’s a professional agent, much like the people suspected of killing her father.

Now, his enemies have come to her small town, looking for vengeance. Have they found more than they bargained for? Or, does the past have its own retribution in mind?

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Favorite Quotes: 

Rachel smiled as love struck her like a placid wave, washing over her, soothing her with the comfort of its truth.

“Don’t you get it? Ensuring you’re safe is worth more to me than my life ever will. I don’t have anything outside of D.I.R.E. If I die, I want to die for something I believe in and, take my word for it, there isn’t much out there. But you, Rachel, you’re worth dying for.”

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4 Stars

This book is perma free!  It is a pretty steamy read with sci-fi aspects and lots of action. A trifecta of awesomeness for my tastes.

The brothers best friend romance’s are some of my favorite ones to read.  I loved how strong willed and fiesty Rachel was.  But she was also very self-sacrificing for her family and very inquisitive. An all around three dimentional character.  The best kind!

And Tristan was the tall loner that never had as much to lose as Rachel with regards to a friendships and love.  Her brother being the closest thing to family in his lonely life.  And he has one of the coolest powers ever!  What I felt was different about this book is usually the romance is the subplot but in this one the sci-fi seemed to be the subplot and it read differently because of it.  In a real good way.  It was very underplayed and his powers were very much made an extension of his other qualities, such as his SEAL training.

They were total opposites and boy did they attract!  Their chemistry was very steamy and they had a hard time attempting to resist, which I thought was awesome.  The back and forth banter between them was like foreplay.  Great romance, opening the door for the supporting character’s books of their own.  I love these kinds of series.

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Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown


21425079Blurb: 
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

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Favorite Quotes:

I’ve seen her hanged a thousand times now as her martyrdom spreads across the worlds, city by city. Yet each time, it strikes me like a physical blow, nerve endings shivering in my chest, heart beating fast, neck tight just under the jaw. How cruel a life, that the sight of my dead wife means hope.

 Part of me wishes I would remember only Eo. That my mind belonged to her, so I could be like one of those knights of legend. A man so in love with one lost that he closes his heart to all others. But I am not that legend. In so many ways, I’m still a boy, lost and afraid, seeking warmth and love. When I feel dirt, I honor Eo. And when I see fire, I remember the warmth and flicker of the flames across Mustang’s skin as we lay in our chamber of ice and snow.

A dread creature stitched from shadow and muscle and armor. Flowing, not running. Perverse. Like looking at a blade or a weapon made flesh. This is a creature that dogs would flee. That cats would hiss at. One that should never exist on any level above the first tier of hell.

She is different from her people. And when she tries to do as they do, it cracks her heart to the core. Looking at her, I know I was wrong. She is not a distraction. She does not compromise my mission. She is the point of it all. Yet I cannot kiss her. Not now when I must break her heart to break this empire. It would not be fair. I’ve fallen in love with her, but she’s fallen for my lies.

It is a humbling thing knowing someone cannot live without you, knowing that though they’ve betrayed you, they wish for nothing but absolution. And as he clenches my back, I wrap my arms around his armor and try not to cry myself. Even the cruel feel pain. And even the cruel can change. I hope this changes him. He could do so much, if only he would learn.

Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair. 

These Peerless thump their chests in salute to me. The monsters. They go with the wind, chasing power. But they don’t realize power doesn’t shift. Power is resolute. It is the mountain, not the wind. To shift so easily is to lose trust. And trust is what has kept me alive. Trust in my friends, and their trust in me.

If I can protect this city of Agea, if I can show them that there is a better breed of man, then just maybe I’ll win Agea’s heart. Capture it. Protect it. Be loved by those in it as I’m loved by my army. But first I must crack her open.

Some men have threads of life so strong that they fray and snap those around them. Enough friends have paid for my war. This one’s on me.

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5 stars

The political intrigue, outer space, the murder, the gore, the dystopian setting. I love this book. Its better than the first one. There is so much violence that is tempered with introspection.I can’t tell you how well written this book is.  I loved the first one immensely and never thought for a moment that the second could be so much better. I love being wrong!

There was depth in the first book.  The characters were well rounded and intense,  but in this one they go deeper.  We learn who is really with Darrow and how he navigates the fine line between successfully creating dissent among the political leaders and failure causing a civil uprising.

He is like an M&M.   A tough hard outer shell protecting the soft vulnerable inside. And I think he is delicious.   I love him for his faithfulness to his dead wife.  He is constantly weighing and measuring himself, trying to make sure his choices are what Eo truly stood for.  It was quite a beautiful  read.

There was nothing that was left out in this book.  The action scenes were spectacularly detailed.  The intrigue was substantial and I could piece together the different factions that were involved.  The love story was epic.  EPIC I tell you.  There wasn’t a lot of romance to speak of.  I know it sounds confusing but you must understand this is during a time of reform and the people are capable of great love but unable to express it and become involved till their nation is at rest. That’s the caliber of characters I was reading.  So brave of them to put aside their petty self interests for the great of their world, don’t ya think?

I can;t say enough about this book.  If you haven’t read it and are a fan of Sci-fi/Dystopian, this is the book for you!  If you can’t afford it, hit me up and I’ll see if it lets me loan it to you.  Everyone should read this series!!!  Can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on the next one!

Curly Carla_small

Unthinkable by Nina Croft

Blurb:
31838433.jpgJake Callahan, leader of the Tribe, has always believed he’s one of the good guys. Now, hunted by the government he used to work for, he’s taking a crash course in being bad. What he desperately needs is a bargaining tool, and that’s unfortunate for Christa Winters, daughter of Jake’s former boss.

Christa is a scientist, a total geek, and a good girl with a secret hankering for bad boys. Which turns out to be embarrassingly inconvenient when she’s kidnapped by a stunningly gorgeous—but obviously bad-to-the-bone—man intent on using her against the father she loves. A man with a seemingly uncanny ability to know exactly when she’s thinking about kissing him—which is most of the time.

But people are dying, and it becomes clear that the stakes are much higher than Jake ever imagined. Someone is out to obliterate the Tribe and everyone associated with it, including Christa. Only by working together to uncover the secrets behind the past, can they ever hope to have a future.

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My Review:
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

You know, it’s actually been a while since I read a good paranormal romance/urban fantasy.  I don’t actually read a lot in this genre, but for me what makes this more urban fantasy in my head is the greater action sequences, and the sort of government/military aspect of the characters.  I don’t think that’s actually correct, but just shows where my head is at.  Regardless, those were the elements I really enjoyed about this book.  It had some great sassy characters, an intriguing paranormal aspect that looks to be setting up for a great new series (I can’t help but wonder if the next books will be about Christa and Jake, or other characters in the Tribe), and a good deal of suspense, mystery, and action.

I enjoyed being in both Christa and Jake’s heads…and I enjoyed watching Jake read Christa’s mind.  Christa was such a delight — innocent and sweet, but with a side of sassy and strong…and quite frankly her head was hilarious.  And Jake was the typical broody alpha-ish male who takes a lot on his shoulders, but is taken down by sweet little Christa.  They had great chemistry, and I thoroughly enjoyed the steamy scenes.

We had some fantastic secondary characters, especially in the Tribe members.  I can see this setting up to be a series where we get to see each Tribe members story, and I can’t wait.  There’s so many I’m curious about.

And the paranormal type aspect kept me engaged…I was definitely curious to find out what the mystery would be, and I received enough answers to leave me satisfied, but with enough still unanswered to make me want to come back for more.

Strangely enough I think I have a few Nina Croft books, but this might be the first I’ve actually read..no wait, I’ve read a short story by her in an anthology, and now that I vaguely recall, I wonder if it was about one of the Tribe.  I think I need to go reread it.  She’s very engaging, I will be looking forward to reading more of her in the future.

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Ten Lives by Christian Terry

ten livesBlurb: After agreeing to hunt down an ancient relic on an alien world, Mike Wesley may have gotten more than he bargained for: the mark of the hero which gives him the ability to respawn after death, ten times.

Now, between the deadly booby traps and the cute, cuddly murderous cat creatures that inhabit the world of Kelenia, he’ll need each one of his new lives if he wants to make it back to Atlanta in one piece.

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Favorite Quote:

“The portal is near a vast underground river that can be accessed through man-sized holes in your thoroughfares,” Ariel said with a flourish. “You’re talking about the sewer, aren’t you?”  “I do not know this word: sewer.”  “Does it stink down by this river?”  “There is the smell of putrescence, yes.”  “You live in the sewer.” 

3.5 stars

This book had some subtle humor in it.  I’m not sure if I am the target audience for this book.  It seemed to be a play on video games.  I don’t really play those that much but I understand the concept.

The story was easy to follow and predictable, a fact which I suspect was the authors intention.  I mean, it follows a game story line pretty good.  And I started to see how it could be a game itself.  Like when they were trapped in that room with the walls closing in, totally a problem solving part of the game.  The characters were something I could see in a game world too, the lovable but clumsy sidekick , the mentor and the love interest. Mike, the MC, was a pretty straightforward guy.  Hard worker, didn’t like drama, and in the habit of helping those in need.

One thing that I really didn’t like was the fact that Louis’ name kept getting changed to Lou or Piggy.  It was done so often that it really stuck out to me.  If you are going to have a nickname, only use the given name in moments of depth that you want to stand out to the reader. Otherwise, the switching of the names becomes tiresome to me and holds no meaning.  Three different names is too much.

I did love the cat though, wish we could have saw more of him. Also, I didn’t understand why Ariel’s daughter hated Mike.  And when he asked, they told him it was complicated and suddenly Mike understood, but I didn’t.  I have been known to be a bit of a dense reader though so maybe that went over my head.

All in all not bad for a debut novel.

Curly Carla_small