Tag Archives: Book Review

When you are rooting for the bad guy… a review of CITY OF ASHES

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Audiobook) This is book two of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series. This is a really interesting world with a wide cast of characters having to do with a secret group that fights bad paranormals (like werewolves and vampires).

I think I liked this more that the first book because we get to see more of the bad guy, Valentine. While yes, Daddy is a jerk, I have to give the guy credit for standing up for what’s right. Shadow hunters are supposed to protect humans (mundanes) from vampires and werewolves and the like. That’s their job. This guy wants to take it to the next level and wipe them all out.

Part of me – the part that has watched monster movies and read horror novels, is on his side. “Protect the innocent!” The only reason I’m not 100% rooting for him is because the monsters in this book aren’t all monstrous. (It’s kind of like hating everyone in one country because a few of them are bad apples) Okay, yes, Valentine’s methods are not the best, but I do UNDERSTAND why he does what he does. And maybe a little part of me is rooting for him. I actually find him a little more interesting than the male lead, to be honest. I will be continuing this series (maybe next year). I’m brushing off my pom poms for Valentine.

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The dating game in a futuristic Utopian Society – MATCHED by Ally Conde

Matched by Ally Conde (Audiobook) This book takes place in a dystopian/Utopian society where everything is chosen and planned for every citizen to make sure that they have a happy, long, fulfilling life (Until they are 80, when everyone dies). But that’s not the conflict in the story.

In MATCHED, a teenage girl goes to her matching ceremony to find out who the society chose as her perfect husband. She ends up “accidentally” matched to two people, but only she knows about it.

Now she is publicly matched to someone who she sees every day, but she is also matched to another boy, who is forbidden to her.

This is a very interesting story that will leave the reader asking a lot of questions like, “What would I do?”

It would be hard for me, I think, to do anything when so much is deemed illegal. While I did enjoy this book, I was never really completely engaged. I think I had a problem believing that a world like that could actually exist. I mean, there were only 100 songs, 100 history lessons, 100 poems, etc. Everything else was destroyed so people didn’t have to be stressed by too many choices. I had trouble believing this world could exist.

However, if you are able to suspend disbelief in the society, this is a well written and engaging story.

CLIFFHANGER ALERT: A major character’s life is left in jeopardy at the end. Even though I’d like to know what happens to that character, I don’t think I’m worried enough about it to continue with the series. I would, however, pick up another of this author’s books. The world she created was very alive and vivid. I just couldn’t make myself believe in it’s plausibility.

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Survival of the fittest on an alien planet – A review of THESE BROKEN STARS

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman (Ebook) First of all, COVER LOVE! This is one of only a few cover buys I’ve ever made.  Take a moment to soak in the loveliness.  All good? Then let’s continue.

This book starts on a luxury cruise ship in space. Something catastrophic happens, sending all 50,000 passengers running to the escape pods.

We follow the story of two survivors who crash land on an uncharted planet where weird things start to happen (over and above them rooting through other escape pods and ship wreckage).

This is a combination of YA romance and a survival story. The first half disappointed me a bit. It seemed all they were doing is walking forever and thinking about how much they didn’t like each other (While wishing they were not attracted to each other – Typical YA) but there is a ghosty-like theme going on throughout. Is one of them crazy? Hmmmm…

I stuck with this book because we were reading in my book club, and I’m glad I did. There is a very interesting twist at the end, and I did end up liking the book. I think this is a three star for me. It loses one star for non engaging me for the first half of the book, and another one, because the reason the female lead was mean to the male lead was very weak. I mean, seriously… If you dad is going to kill the guy just for talking to her, just TELL THE DUDE THAT. Why keep that a secret?

So, yeah, three stars. Good, but this won’t be a favorite (By the way, I think the people in my book club all liked it more than I did, and it was my month to choose. Ha!)

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Fifteen year old reviewer talks about In the Shadow of the Dragon King by @jkellerford

My oldest son reviews In the Shadow of the Dragon King.

I Wish I had a tape recorder on while he was reading over the past few weeks to catch all his comments along the way… Very refreshing as my picky reader has DNF’ed half the books I’ve given him lately. 

Apparently, he’s very into knights and dragons … who knew?


This book is about a realm called Fallhollow in a parallel universe to earth where there is a dragon called Einar that attacks the good kingdom of Hirth.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the Paladin David is summoned, but his good friends Charlotte is accidentally taken also, sending them on their epic journey to fight the dragon.

There is also this “main” character Eric who is not used to his full potential, much to my chagrin. (Because I was team Eric for the first half of the book) He is an honorable, brave young man, squire to the Epic Knight Trog (because Trog was pretty cool).

Trog was the best character in the book by the way… by far. Well, maybe a tie between Trog and Mangus – The larger-than-life mage dude. – Who is also underused. He is only in a few scenes of the book, but manages to stand out as pretty awesome.

Back to Eric – I think he was underused because he seemed to be a main character in the book, but some of his chapters were a page long, where most of David’s chapters were 10-20 pages long. What’s up with that? Definitely wanted more Eric.

Charlotte, I felt for her. [Dude places his hand over his heart] I like how she was strong, and tried to reach for what she wanted, but kept going even when she was unjustly denied.

David at points annoyed me, especially when he was with Charlotte. Ugh. You like her, she likes you. Just get together already! [Dude shakes his chair enough to rattle the springs – I take that as being annoyed in a good way] What was awesome about David is that he can do spells! He can teleport and go invisible, which is everything I’ve ever wanted to do in my whole life, but he underutilized his abilities. I mean … there is a dragon chasing you. Don’t run. Just teleport!!!

The overall plotline was good, but there were a few forced plot points. But they were miniscule enough (like the teleporting things) to not degrade my reading experience.

And Dragons! Let’s talk about the dragon. I think that Einar was pretty, like, creepy and scary. He was Huge! Like, seriously, building size. You couldn’t even describe him because he was crazy huge. But then you also had this tiny dragon (Mirth) who could fight the big dragon with lightniiiiing! So cool. [Insert several rambling comments about how cool the dragons were – mom couldn’t type fast enough]

Shadow morphs were creepy. They scared me. And they were annoying because they would brush you with a sword and you had to have your flesh cut away. Trog was, like, cut up all over the place. Blahhhhh! That’s nasty.

In conclusion, this book had dragons and knights and parallel universes that made me contemplate my human existence.

I give it a four out of five stars losing one half star for under using some great characters and losing another half a star because freaking teleport already!

But yeah, I really liked it a lot. I mean, dragons and knights, you know?

Next book please!


Rock on! Here’s where you can pick up a copy of

IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks


About the Book:

Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.

Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.

Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.

With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.


About the Author:

J. Keller Ford (known to all as Jenny) is a scribbler of Young Adult and New Adult speculative fiction. As a young Army brat, she traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights and wondrous magic that permeated her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind and oozes out in sweeping tales of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, swimming, screaming on roller coasters and traveling. Jenny is a mom to four magnificent and noble offspring, and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a quirky knight who was silly enough to marry her, and a menagerie of royal pets. Published works include short stories, The Amulet of Ormisez, Dragon Flight, and The Passing of Millie Hudson. IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING is her debut novel and the first installment in the Chronicles of Fallhollow Trilogy.

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Giveaway Information: Contest ends June 17, 2016

CHICK HERE TO ENTER 

  • One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
  • Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of In the Shadow of the Dragon King by J. Keller Ford (INT)

 

 

Holy Epic Fantasy! A Review of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – (Audiobook) This book follows several different characters from different kingdoms that are on the cusp of war with each other. I found this to be a very interesting concept, as it was not “This good kingdom” against “That bad kingdom” – You got to see all sides of the story, and the good and the bad within.

Initially, I needed to get used to switching countries and stories as we met all the characters. This was a little hard for me at first, but once I got to know the characters, I really appreciated seeing all the sides to this wonderfully developed world.

Warning that this is one of those books where characters you love will die. I’m not a big fan of this kind of story, because I like to see characters facing odds and beating them… not dying senselessly… but this is war, I guess. Other than that, I really liked this book a lot and would highly recommend it. Oh – cliffhanger warning. You will need the next book because the story will leave you hanging, but in an acceptable place.

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I’m kinda embarrassed I liked this book so much… A review of THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass – (Audiobook) Holy Toledo. For some reason I feel like I should blush and run and hide as I admit that I really, really loved this book! Is it genius, the literary epitome of perfect prose? Well, no. Not at all. It is a fluffy, girly novel that appeals to every little bit of me who still sighs when I watch a Disney princess movie.

In the world of The Selection, the USA is now a dystopian country ruled by a monarchy. The future queen is chosen from the ranks of commoners. If you are old enough when the prince comes of age, you can enter the lottery, and if you are picked for your state, you go to the capital with the 60 other “winners” and end up in something akin to a bachelor/Miss America competition—winner gets the prince, and the crown. America (Yes, the heroine has this incredibly cheezy name) does not want to be in the competition, but she tries to stay as long as possible, because each day she stays, her family is compensated handsomely, and they are very poor (so this is a pretty good gig for her.)

I kinda knew the outcome, because “The Selected” are narrowed down to “The Elite” who are the last six in the competition before a winner is chosen. Book two is called “The Elite” so, yeah, no surprise how it ends or who is among the lucky few remaining in the competition… but even though this was ultimately predictable, and I was disappointed that the love triangle that I hoped would die early reared its ugly head again at the end…(sorry minor spoiler)

Anyway – none of the predictability mattered, because the ride to get there was just so much fun. So far this, and Talon are in a class of maybe 5 books that I read in the past several years that left me reaching for the next book. Again, don’t expect anything epic or surprising. This is total fluff, but even typing this, I have a huge smile on my face. Gosh, I feel like a sap for loving this so much. [Hangs her head in shame]

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Review of International Adult Thriller “Sun Storm” by Asa Larsson

This book was awarded Sweden’s “Best First Crime Novel” award. This is not really my genre, but I picked it up because my WIP at the time, had turned into a murder mystery, and I wanted to see how another author handled a murder investigation.

In this book, a prominent, famous religious leader is murdered, and we watch through the investigator’s eyes, and through the eyes of the sister and former love interest of the victim. It took me a long time, but this book did interest me at the end.

However, while you do find out who the killer is, you never find out if the reason the victim was murdered was true or not.

Also, there are two kids in the novel that are very prominent. Their “fate” as it were, is left open in the end. I just wish there were more closure. I think this is a three star for me.

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Get your alien on! A review of Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I think this is my favorite book in the Lux series so far. In this book, human Katy has been abducted by a sinister organization and alien Deamon has to save her.

Origin ups the ante in so many unspeakable ways.

This is not the cute, fun story that Obsidian was. There is some serious sh*t going on here.

There is a HUGE cliffhanger in this book, but unlike the cliffhanger I mentioned  in Talon by Julie Kagwa, this one, being in the fourth book in the series, is fine with me. There is no way I would not read the next book anyway, and despite the huge OMG at the end, this book did feel finished.

I’m definitely looking forward to where this is going.

That ending – WOW– totally unexpected.

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Review from a Twelve Year Old Reader: Dragons Vs. Drones by @WesleyTKing

This review comes from my twelve year old son. As a mom, I need to point out that he was jabbering about this book the entire time he read it. He even dragged it back and forth to school with him. The poor book is TOTALED. It looks horrible, but I’d prefer to say it looks “well read”.

Swish thin


Dragons Vs. Drones by Wesley King

Expected Release date: March 15th

This book is about a boy named Marcus who is struck by lightning and sent to a dragon-populated world called Dracone that is being attacked by robot drones.

He meets a girl names Dree, and together they plan to make dragon/drone hybrids to combat the drones and save Dracone.

My favorite part of this book was when they snuck into the castle because it was really intense and it got me sunk into the book. It was really descriptive and I could almost feel the rats crawling against my feet. [Ewww]

There was also a great cliffhanger ending. The story is not over.

It is a very unique topic using medieval fantasy with robots. I like how descriptive it was. I really felt like I was there, and it was nonstop action. I kept wondering what would happen next.

I would recommend this book to people who like action adventure and unique topics.

I would give this book four and a half stars out of five. The only books I’ve read that have been better are Fablehaven series and The Undertakers series.

(Pretty high accolades. He’s pretty picky.)

Click here to find out more: Goodreads

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Get you Kick-Butt Action on! A Review of Forever Dusk by Jocelyn Adams

Dive into the thrilling third novel in the Mortal Machine series by Jocelyn Adams…

Woohoo! I really loved the first two books in the Mortal Machine series, Darkside Sun and Midnight Dawn. This is a kick-butt action series with one of the most incredible paranormal worlds I’ve ever read.
When I heard that the long-awaited final installment, Forever Dusk was finally releasing I jumped at the chance to get an ARC, and I’m so glad I did.
Now, first things first, I’m not sure what’s up with the cover for Forever Dusk, but don’t let it turn you off if you haven’t read the series. This IS NOT an erotic romance novel. This is about nasty demons trying to break into our world and eat everyone … and a group of kick-butt soldiers fighting and dying under the radar to keep us all safe. This is first and foremost paranormal action/adventure and maybe yes, a little romance thrown in for good measure.

My feelings for the final installment in the series were a little mixed. To be honest, I wish I could review just the second half of the book, because here is where I saw all the elements of the Mortal Machine that kept me screaming for more in books one and two. For some reason Addy was in a very different place in the beginning of the book than I expected her to be. To an action junkie like me, I felt like she was hanging around and “thinking” too much. I suppose there were two books of backstory in there that needed to be covered, but I didn’t see the Addy that I loved on those pages, and I missed her.

HOWEVER at about 40% into the story (I read on an E-reader) Baku lights a fire under our girl’s butt and she is off and running again. The second 60% of Forever Dusk is jam-packed full of all the awesome Mortal Machine goodness that made me fall in love with the series a few years ago. We also see one of the greatest races against time that I’ve read in a very long time. You know the kind I mean: Do something completely insane up against incredible odds, and be back before sundown or the world will come to an end. (Literally)

Woo-hoo! Love it!

Being as non-spoilery as I can, Forever Dusk tied up all the loose ends, pulling at all my heart strings and leaving me a very happy camper.

As a series, I’d give this a clean and easy five stars. If you are looking for something you haven’t seen before, THIS IS IT. Get ready for a great ride!


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Forever Dusk (Book Three)
Since their last battle, life for the Mortal Machine—the secret-society that protects Earth and its inhabitants from dark outside forces—has become almost…normal. For everyone but Addison. The evil she’s imprisoned in her soul has begun eating away at her sanity, and despite her soul mate Asher’s efforts to hold her together, it’s causing painful and terrifying delusions.
 
Consequently, nobody believes Addison’s warnings that Marcus, their old enemy, has returned. When Marcus threatens Asher and the Machine, she agrees to find what he seeks—a treasure that, in his hands, could be deadly.
 
If she relies too much on Asher, she knows he’ll likely imprison her, if only to preserve what’s left of her deteriorating mind. But if she fails this final test, Earth will fall. So Addison is forced to distance herself from her love, to prevent the life she wants with Asher from being over before it truly begins.
 
Find your copy of FOREVER DUSK:
 
 
 
 
Previous Books in the Mortal Machine Series:

 

Darkside Sun (Book One)
 
Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.
Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.
Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.

 

Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.
Normal was overrated, anyway.
 
Find your copy of DARKSIDE SUN:
Midnight Dawn (Book Two)
With only three days until the wraith king turns the earth into an all-you-can-eat buffet, Addison Beckett is forced to enlist brooding sentinel Asher Green’s help to unlock the Mortal Machine. According to the founder, all she has to do is find the sanctuary—the same sanctuary she can’t remember because Asher erased her memories.
Trying to save humanity while navigating Asher’s lies is a royal pain. But the more time she and Asher spend together, the harder her soul tries to remind her what else he’s made her forget—that he loves her, wants her, needs her.
When she’s trapped by the wraith king and forced to pick who will stand by her in the coming battle, Addison is faced with an impossible choice: the sentinel she loves who refuses to love her back, or a powerful stranger who insists they’re meant to be together. Her decision will determine the fate of humanity, and once decided, can’t be undone.
 
Find your copy of MIDNIGHT DAWN:

 

About the author: 
 
Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.

 

With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has eight published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.

 

When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

 

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