ARC Review: Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision

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Threats of Sky and Sea

Author: Jennifer Ellision

Publication Date: 5/20/2014

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

*This book was provided to me by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

My Thoughts

This book is not getting talked about enough. Guys. It is SO good!  From the writing to the characters to the Elementals; everything combines to make the perfect story.

They think I am glass. But I am not. I am not delicate. I am stone. If they want to break me, they will have a hard time of it. I am unbreakable.

I just want to yell from the rooftops that everyone should read this book! Ok, maybe not EVERYONE, but if you have a love for fantasy and kick ass heroines then you will probably enjoy ToSaS. It’s been compared to Throne of Glass and I can completely see why but at the same time it’s not at all a carbon copy, it has it’s own unique twists and story line that keeps it feeling fresh and new.

I really enjoyed Breena as a character. She’s loyal, honest, down to earth and feisty as hell. Loved her! I also liked that the author kept Breena from being over the top, kept her from being an instant hero. It takes Breena a little bit of time to wrap her head around events, to come to terms with her new reality, so instead of instant change we get to watch as she grows into her courageous self as the book progresses. I have high hopes for Breena as this series continues on.

Wishes, I am finding, are fickle things when they turn on you.

Breena isn’t the only character who captured my attention.  There is a whole cast of secondary characters that have captured my heart, I literally fear for the well being in the rest of the books.  And lawd please let my ship sail!

You know what’s more exciting than finding a book you love? Finding out that the book is part of a series that is already COMPLETED! That’s right friends! You can go ahead and let yourself be completely swept up into the story without having to wait in between releases.  Excuse me while I go do just that! Commence the binge!

 

5star

The Sunday Post

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Check out what you missed last week:

This past week was my Chills and Thrills Halloween Read-a-Thon and Giveaway, I was able to meet all my book goals so I consider it a success, thanks to everyone who participated by entering the giveaway! My next giveaway is slotted for the end of November to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Chills and Thrills Halloween Giveaway Winner:

Laura B.

Congrats Laura!

Book Haul

I was a good bookworm for once and didn’t purchase ANY new books this week.  I did however pick up a few ARCs..

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Special thanks goes out to Edelweiss, the publishers, and the authors for giving me the opportunity to read and review these exciting looking books!

Friday Flicks

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Hi friends!  Friday Flicks is a weekly feature where I will share what I’m currently obsessing over on the main screen.

This Week’s Obsession/Recommendation

The Good Wife

Good God! I just discovered the show but even as I type this it’s taking me longer than I should because I keep getting distracted.  I can already tell this is going to cut into my reading time. *sigh* But, seriously, Alicia is every bit the type of woman I want to be.  Strong, independent, take no bullshit/cut no slack.  I’m excited to see how the show works out.

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Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Author: Paige McKenzie

Publication Date: 3/24/2015

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

My Thoughts

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is…cute, yeah that’s it, it’s cute.  I wouldn’t even really categorize it as horror.  It was too washed out for that.  I feel like I was little mislead in what I thought I was going to be reading. I was expecting more haunting type things to occur, and while the first few chapters start out creepy that factor is quickly taken away by Sunshine finding that the ghost is a twelve year old girl who just wants to play board games.

While I was disappointed by it’s lack of a scary story line I did enjoy that there was a paranormal reason for Sunshine being able to sense the ghosts. It’s obvious that it’s setting up for the rest of the books so if you’re looking for something with a side of scary but a paranormal “hunter” type of heroine then you may enjoy Sunshine Girl.

Overall Sunshine Girl just wasn’t for me, between the lack of horror and the younger YA feel to the characters I just couldn’t get into it.  I do kind of want to check out the YouTube channel that it’s based off of though, that could be interesting…

 

2star

The Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c43c17702/

Review: Nightfall by Jake Halpern, Peter Kujawinksi

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Nightfall

Author: Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski

Date of Publication: 9/22/2015

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

My Thoughts

“Thank you for rescuing me.” he whispered.

“I haven’t yet.” she whispered back.

Holy canaries! Nightfall was one heck of a ride.

I was leery about the book when first getting started but this turned out to be a prime example of why you shouldn’t rely solely on Goodreads ratings when making a decision to read a book.  Nightfall has an average of 3.4, but I’m giving it a four! I feel like it’s also an example of why publishing houses should stop trying to “brand” a book after other successful books. More often than not when a book is compared to another the comparison ends up falling short.

Nightfall is not for the type of reader who prefers tons of dialogue between characters.  It is perfect for the type of readers who love world building and suspenseful action.  The entire idea of the book surrounds this whole 28 year calendar.  14 years of day and 14 years of night.  History and instructions have been passed down over the years but by the time Line, Kana, and Marin’s first night is upon them they have begun to question the reasoning for the strange things the townspeople do.

I have no idea where the authors came up with the concept but they delivered it without hesitation.  And amazingly they kept me engrossed until the very end!  I’m one of those readers who normally prefers more dialogue than internal monologue but there was just something about this book that drew me in and kept me captive until the last page.

My only complaint is the ending!  I’m left completely hanging.  It’s an open ended ending, and I hate those the most.  Ugh!! Don’t mind me as I throw a temper tantrum about having to use my imagination…

4star

 The Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c43c17702/?

Review: Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

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Bad Girls Don’t Die

Author: Katie Alender

Publication Date: 4/21/2009

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?

My Thoughts

Oh this was good, this was real gooood.  I am so buying the rest of the books in the series because how could I not after finishing this one? There is just something about Katie Alender’s writing that sucks you in and holds on tight until the very end.

Bad Girls Don’t Die is the perfect example of a slow build up to the super scary.  Right from the very beginning we get the feeling that something isn’t quite right at Alexis’ house. It doesn’t take long for us as readers to figure out what’s going on but in true scary story fashion Alexis doesn’t quite catch on til about halfway through the book.  Why is that anyways? I mean, if I had a sister and her eyes switched between two different colors right in front of me my first thought would be ‘GHOST!’ not ‘Contacts?’ but I digress.  I really loved the added element of the creepy dolls that Alexis’ sister Kasey collects. (I love creepy dolls, there is just something about them that I can’t get enough of!) Between the slow build screams, the creepy dolls, and weird glowy lights Bad Girls Don’t Die had me gripping the edge of my seat.

‘How could something that made a person feel so safe be so BAD?’

What’s even better is that it isn’t just about the creep factor.  There is an actual story line to go along with the hauntedness of it all and it was great to see Alexis grow and mature as she had to handle this crazy situation basically on her own thanks to an absent mother and father. I haven’t looked to see what the other books in the series are about but I’m secretly hoping we haven’t seen the last of Alexis, I’d like to see her growth continue.

Bad Girls Don’t Die delivered in the chills department and left me a little too freaked to walk through my darkened house.  I highly suggest you read this one on a gloomy evening, it amps up the scary factor for sure.

4star

 The Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c43c17702/?

Review: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

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Daughters Unto Devils

Author: Amy Lukavics

Publication Date: 9/29/2015

When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn’t right on the prairie. She’s heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

My Thoughts

OK, judging a book by its cover is definitely a fault of mine.  Seriously though, if a book has this creeptastic of a cover then it needs to deliver in the scary department.

Sadly, Daughters Unto Devils just didn’t live up to its cover hype.  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it just was a different read than what I was hoping for.  As you can tell from the synopsis, Daughters Unto Devils is a historical thriller.  I really think that aspect of it, along with the families religious beliefs, helped to build up the story.  What didn’t work about this was the fact that half the time I wondered if Amanda was making it all up in her head as a way to punish herself for her perceived sins.  If it was the authors intention to cause me to question Amanda’s sanity, then well done, it worked.  If I was supposed to automatically know that Amanda 100% did see the devil then I didn’t catch the memo until the last few chapters of the book.  I also had issues with Amanda’s pregnancy and the outcome of it, it just didn’t make sense how it ended.

‘The only devil inside of you is the one you created yourself.’

Again though, I really did enjoy reading Daughters Unto Devils.  Aside from it’s lack of jeepers creepers it still managed to hold my attention and I was able to finish it in just a few hours.  I loved the setting of it, I was brought back to my original love of historical novels with unconquered lands.  And even though the first half of the book lacked the ability to cause me to bite my nails, the last few chapters made up for it as answers were revealed and Amanda was left to decide who really was the devil.

If scary books are new to you then Daughters Unto Devils is a good place to start as you ease yourself into the genre.  But if you are a seasoned fright-a-holic like I am then you may want to go into it with lower expectations, just know that the story itself is a good one and the ending definitely delivers.

3star

 The Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c43c17702/?