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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cover Revealed: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Today I have a fresh From the Oven Cover for you. This cover is so fresh it is still hot. Which cover? The cover for Talon. Talon is the first book in the new Talon series by Julie Kagawa. 
This series will be about Dragons! If there is a legendary creature I love that is dragons, I also love Julie Kagawa’s writing, so saying I’m eagerly looking forward to this book is an understatement. 

I really love this cover, I love how simple and strong it is. What do you think? Do you like this cover? Are you planning to read this book?

Talon #1
YA Fantasy
October 28th, 2014

“Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Breaking Point by Pamela Clare

Today is that special day in the week. Yes? It’s Tuesday! More specifically it’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

Today I have for you the cover of Breaking Point. Breaking Point is the fifth book in the I-Team series by Pamela Clare.

I haven’t read this series but something about this cover tells me I should. What do you think?

“While investigating border violence in Ciudad Ju├írez, Mexico, Denver journalist Natalie Benoit is caught in a bloody ambush and taken captive. Alone in the hands of ruthless killers, she will need every ounce of courage she possesses to survive.

Betrayed by another operative, Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride has endured a week of torture and interrogation at the hands of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel. Ready to give his life if he must, he remains unbroken—until he hears the cries of an American woman.

Although Natalie is only a voice in the darkness of their shared prison, her plight brings renewed strength to Zach's battered body. With her help, he overpowers their captors, and they flee through the desert toward the border, the attraction between them flaring hotter than the Sonoran sun.

But past loss and tragedy leave both of them reluctant to follow their hearts, even when the passion between them reaches its breaking point. Faced with feelings neither expected, they fight to stay ahead of the danger that hunts them as forces more powerful than they can imagine conspire to destroy them both.”

If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Forever Song
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden, book 3
Genre: YA Paranormal Dystopian
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book

*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books in the series*

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.”
The Forever Song is the third and last book in the Blood of Eden trilogy by Julie Kagawa.

The Forever Song was one of my most awaited books of the year, sadly it was also my least favorite book in the series. Why? Angst, lots of unnecessary angst. That doesn’t mean it was a bad book, because it wasn’t. It just wasn’t as good as previous books.

The Forever Song starts right after the events in The Eternity Cure (second book). Allison, Kanin and Jackal are on their way to Eden. They need to stop Sarren at all cost before he unleashes the mutated virus that will eradicate everybody from the planet. Their road to Eden is not easy, Sarren has left them many surprises along the way, so many that their road could have been called The Gore Road.
To add to the difficulties they find on the road they also have to deal with Allison. She is devastated by Zeke’s death and her anger and pain is turning her into the monster she promised she’d never become, that equals to Allison’s Angst Festival.
Jackal is not too upset about it; he actually likes this new side of her, a side that matches him perfectly. Kanin is sad and heartbroken; Allison was his only hope, he thought she could be a model vampire, one that could live peacefully among humans. Despite all this they continue towards Eden, stopping Sarren is a priority and their own issues will have to wait.
One of Sarren’s surprises left for them is Zeke. Sarren turned him into a vampire, but not a normal one, Sarren has done something to him, something that even vampires frown upon. I can’t say more without giving spoilers away. I can only say that when Zeke joins the group Angst Festival Part 2 starts.

I really wanted to love this book, I wanted to love Allison, I wanted to love Zeke and I wanted to love Allison and Zeke together. Sadly that was not the case. If I’m honest I was bored with them and couldn’t care less for them. For me, Jackal and Kanin saved this book, especially Jackal.

In previous two books Allison grew and became a very likeable heroine. Sadly all that grow degenerates after she loses Zeke. I liked my heroines strong and no dependable of a guy. I understood her pain; losing somebody you love is devastating, but that shouldn’t mean you have to forget who you are to survive and that was exactly what happened with Allison.

Zeke, I used to like him, but in this book he was disappointing. I know he never wanted to be a vampire, but he was first and foremost a survivor and I expected him to be exactly that when he learns of his new nature, instead he drowns in angst and self-deprecation.

Of course, at the end Allison and Zeke come to terms with their natures and new situation, but after all the angst festival it was a bit too late-too much for me.

Now let’s talk about my favorite character in this installment, Jackal. Jackal is unpredictable, funny and unexpectedly wise. Jackal not only offered humor relief but surprisingly he also offered very sensible advice. As I said before, Jackal in unpredictable, it’s difficult to know if he’s trustworthy or not. Lucky for us in The Forever Song he shows us his good side. I can’t only say I really liked him and hope he gets his own spin-off series.

Kanin is a character I have loved since the moment he was introduced in this series and my love for him has only increased. Years back he made a mistake and since then he has dedicated his life to fix his wrongs. He loves his vampire children. Allison is his hope and even though Jackal is not the vampire Kanin wanted him to be he loves him and accepts him.
I loved seeing him interact with them, especially when Jackal and Allison were bickering like little children.
At the end he was able to do what he always wanted, even though it was heartbreaking I was happy he had his redemption.

Sarren! OMFG! He is one of the best villains I have ever read. He’s machiavellic and twisted. He is an insanely smart sociopath. Sarren knows what to do to affect them (Kanin, Jackal and Allison) the most and affect them he did. If his actions weren’t that crazy insane he will be somebody easy to admire. One of the most dangerous things about him is that he thinks he’s doing what’s best for the world.

The world building in Mrs. Kagawa’s books is always rich and very detailed and The Forever Song is not an exception to this. She also doesn’t shy about gritty details and that couldn’t be truer than in this installment.

The Forever Song is dark, gritty, dreary and full of angst. The end is very fitting for this series; it is not a HEA but one of hope for a better future.

Even though this book was not my favorite in the series it was still a really good book. I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I’m also happy Mrs. Kagawa ended it in a high note.
I recommend this book and this series to fans of dark dystopian (with a touch romance) books. The Forever Song is not a stand-alone book, it should be read as part of a series.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
The Forever Song

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Movie Trailer: Earth to Echo

"Tuck, Munch and Alex are a closely bonded trio of inseparable friends, but their time together is coming to an end. Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away. But just two days before they must part ways, the boys find a cryptic signal has infected their phones. Convinced something bigger is going on and looking for one final adventure together, they set off to trace the messages to their source and discover something beyond their wildest imaginations: hiding in the darkness is a mysterious being, stranded on Earth, and wanted by the government. This launches the boys on an epic journey full of danger and wonder, one that will test the limits of their friendship and change all of their lives forever."


Friday, April 11, 2014

Audiobook Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
book 3
Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Format: Audiobook
“By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?”
Dreams of Gods & Monsters is the third and last book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor. This audiobook is narrated by Khristine Hvam.

This review is going to be a bit difficult to write. Dreams of Gods & Monsters was my most anticipated audiobook of the year and although it was everything I was expecting it to be and more it wasn’t perfect, but at the same time its imperfections didn’t bother me nor did they diminish my enjoyment of the story.

The blurb explains very well what this book is about, saying more will be giving spoilers away and Dreams of Gods & Monsters is a book you need to experience all by yourself. It is also a book that should be read (listen to) as part of the series and not as a standalone.

Laini Taylor shows us once again how beautiful she can write. Her prose is poetic and inspires strong emotions; through her words we experience love, sadness, sacrifices, hope, friendship, failures, successes and much more.

Taylor’s characters are full of life and page by page we see them grow and becoming more. Karou and Akiva are dying to be together but they also know other things come first. Even though we may not like it they have their priorities in order and know that sometimes love has to wait, but they also know they won’t have to wait forever and when that moment finally comes… fireworks!!

I think this series has one of the best secondary characters ever. Zuzana and Mik are a great complement to Karou and Akiva. I love how they have become part of Karou’s family and they are accepted and loved by all. They are so great it’s impossible not to love them. They also bring humor and show us what it means to be a real friend.

In this installment there were also two other secondary characters that almost stole the show; they are Liraz and Ziri. Liraz had the most extraordinary transformation in this book. It wasn’t easy for her, her past, something that she used to be proud of, now only brings her repentance and shame, but she learns that it’s never too late to change if that change comes from the heart. I really couldn’t love her more in this installment.
Ziri, OMG! Ziri. He has the purest soul of all, he sacrifice so much for his people and for Karou knowing he will never get the recognition of his people or Karou’ heart. Still, he did what he knew was the right thing to do. His self-sacrifice was rewarded at the end and I couldn’t be happier with that outcome.

New characters are introduced in this installment. At the beginning I didn’t understand why they were brought into the story, but at the end they played an important role and their parts were clearly explained.

The pace is not action packed but there was always something going on, to add to that Laini Taylor gives us so many twists and turns and unpredictable situations that it was impossible to stop listening.
This audiobook is 18 hours 11 minutes long, it took me two days to finishing it. First day I listened until 3 am and second day I couldn’t go to bed until I finished it and that was at 5:10 am. Let me tell you something, if a book/audiobook keeps me awake until that time is because it’s a winner and that’s is exactly what Laini Taylor gives us with Dreams of Gods & Monsters, a winner and a perfect end to an amazing series.

Was Dreams of Gods & Monsters a perfect book? No, it wasn’t, but it was one of the best final books I have read for a series. Every open end was tightly close and explained satisfactorily. Some new threads were let open and I can only hope Laini Taylor is planning to write other books in this world or maybe a spinoff series.

As book I will give Dreams of Gods & Monsters a 4 paws, but my enjoyment was easily of 5 paws. So I’ll give it a 4 ½ Paws.

Now we need to talk about Khristine Hvam or should I call her the Super-Narrator; I’ll try not to gush but Khristine Hvam is simply amazing, she’s my favorite narrator ever and every new book she narrates only ascertains my love for her. Khristine Hvam is so talented sometimes I can’t believe she’s the only one doing the voices. She brings to life every single character giving it its own characteristics and attributes. She makes the characters’ voices so unique not once I was confused about which character was talking. Khristine Hvam is a brilliant narrator, one that took a great book and made it an excellent audiobook.

Do I recommend this audiobook? Hell yes! But I recommend you to read (listen to) it as part of the series, I don’t recommend you to read (listen to) it as a standalone. Believe me, you want to read (listen to) these books. Daughter of Smoke & Bone series is one of my favorite YA fantasy series and I’m sure it’ll continue to be one of my favorite series for years to come.

My Book Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
My Narrator Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Days of Blood and Starlight
Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Other reviews Goodreads

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