**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

House Immortal by Devon Monk

HOUSE IMMORTAL is a dystopian book like you've never seen before. It mixes science and politics wonderfully, and this futuristic world is so original, I have nothing to compare it to. The world is now separated in groups called Houses that govern things like water, agriculture, medical, technology, etc. Countries have ceased to exist and the world is led by eleven House leaders. I admit, the breakdown into groups like these is definitely something we've seen before. One can simply think of the Hunger Games or Divergent and think that it might have some similarities, but the concept is completely different. However, what truly makes this a novel original is the galvanized, a group of people from a failed experiment that have been turned into stitched up humans that are in essence, impossible to kill. They live forever because the experiment that was trying to manipulate time somehow offered them an unlimited amount of time to live out their lives, and turned them into immortals.

Immortality isn't a new concept and because as human beings, we're always trying to extend our lives, this book will appeal to many people even if they aren't fans of science fiction. Freedom is another powerful theme that people will be able to understand. The idea of being contracted out to someone or in this case a House, unable to choose what you will do with your life, is definitely a scary thought. I think the author did a wonderful job in showing us how this dystopian world is full of flaws, and how power and politics can turn your life upside down.

HOUSE IMMORTAL without a doubt pleases the science fiction nerd in me, but it also appeals to me for more simple reasons. For example, I sympathise with some of the characters, although they might not be human. Matilda, the newest galvanized, has been hiding out on her parent's farm her whole life, afraid to announce to the world that she's someone that's alive, only because she's literally been stitched back together with a special kind of thread. Although she want to see herself as a human, she describes herself as a monster, time and time again.

When she meets Abraham, a galvanized that has been alive for more than 300 years, her life is completely altered and for once in her life, she fears what the future might bring. She understands she cannot trust Abraham because he represents House Grey, the house that governs humans, but they form a bond that might just become something more than just friendship. It's this bond that convinces her to leave her farm and venture into the world in order to find out if her missing brother is safe and unable to contact her or if he's being held captive by a House leader. Neds is another wonderful character that might not be considered human because he's a mutant with two heads. Right Ned and Left Ned don't always see eye to eye, so their presence offers comic relief when they don't agree with what to do with their body.

Amazing and brilliant are words that comes to mind in order to describe this novel. HOUSE IMMORTAL might just end up being one of my favorite novels of 2014. The first in a series, I can only hope Devon Monk stays on top of her game and brings us an awesome sequel, and hopefully many more books after that. Honestly, this is the first book I've read from this author and if her other series are as wonderful as this one, I'm definitely going to check them out.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Team Tynga's Reviews New Look!

The new design is completed, I'd like to know what you think ^^

Is it too Halloween-y to keep on a longer term?

Also, I'd like to announce you that in a month a new event will be starting on the blog! Look forward for Paranorm'All Hallows Eve!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [126]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

From The Library:

Skink -- No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

For Review:

Eternal by C.C. Hunter

Unbreakable by C.C. Hunter

Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

Crashland by Sean Williams

A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray

The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleanson


Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


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Blog Tour: Review of Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Avery Roe's destiny has always been to be the next Prince Island witch. The whale hunters depend on her grandmother's magic to protect them at sea, and Avery is anxious to take over. Unfortunately her mother has other plans for her and is ready to stop her from becoming the next witch at all cost. Salt & Storm is the amazing story of a determined girl chasing her dreams.

Kendall Kulper's debut novel is an extremely original tale. She crafted a very potent and engaging lore and I have to command her for it. I loved how magic was passed down from mother to daughter and that a mystical element turns them into witches. Some perceive it as a blessing, others a curse, but the fact is, they can wield very powerful magic and the entire island depends on them.

The plot follows Avery's quest to reach her grandmother and become the next witch to stop her own murder. You see, she's a dream teller and she foresaw her own death. She is ready to anything to try and stop the prophecy, but her mother, determined to stop her from becoming the witch, won't make it easy. The young Roe goes as far as bounding with a strange tattooed stranger and using his wild magic to try and achieve her goal.

Of course the story needs a little romance and this foreigner will do just fine! Tanned, handsome and wild, Avery didn't want anything to do with him at first, but I loved witnessing their growing love and passion. Their story was full of surprises and I'm sure you'll love them as much as I did.

Surprisingly, the ocean held a very special position in this story, almost like it was an actual character. It is magical, mystical and dangerous and every character, even the sea witch herself, better beware of its power.

The conclusion was nerve-wracking and completely stunning and I would definitely recommend this great novel, especially if you love historical fiction with a flare of magic.


Hachette is offering 2 Hardcovers of SALT & STORM!

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About Kendall:

Kulper_Headshot_Small2Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. Her debut YA novel, SALT & STORM will be published by Little, Brown September 23, 2014. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full- time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby.


Week Two:

9/22/2014Supernatural Snark- Interview

9/22/2014About to ReadReview

9/23/2014The Cover ContessaGuest Post

9/23/2014Imaginary Reads- Review

9/24/2014Fire and IceGuest Post

9/24/2014Once Upon a TwilightReview

9/25/2014Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview

9/25/2014The Best Books EverReview

9/26/2014Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

9/26/2014Tynga's ReviewsReview


Visit Rockstar Books Tours to view the enter schedule!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Giveaway: In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

To celebrate the release of the conclusion in this very popular series, Big Honcho Media is organizing an amazing coverage including prize packs to represent each of the 5 Psi groups. You should definitely seek out all 5 color pack prizes – there will be a total of 50 Psi-group giveaways across the book blogosphere throughout September & October leading up to the release of In the Afterlight!

Before I give you all the details, here's a bit more about the book!

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there's no guarantee you're fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children's League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam's brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government "rehabilitation camps" all over the country. Freeing them--revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process--is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.
But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

I would also like to invite you to check out Sparks Rise, a novella taking place between book 2 and book 3!

>Sam didn't think things could get worse at Thurmand rehabilitation camp. Then the Reds arrive. Everyone assumed the kids with firepower had been killed years ago. Instead they were taken away, brainwashed, and returned as terrifyingly effective guards. To her horror, Sam recognizes one of them: Lucas, the one spark of light in Sam's dark childhood.

Lucas has a deadly secret--he beat the brutal training that turned his fellow Reds into mindless drones. When Sam defends herself against an attack by a vile PSF guard and faces a harrowing punishment, Lucas must risk his everything to save her.




Read on into the afterlight! Enter for your chance to win a book light for bedtime reading plus The Darkest Minds series & tote bag.

Prizing & samples courtesy of Disney-Hyperion

Giveaway open to US addresses only

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Ends October 9th, 2014


Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She recently relocated to New York City, where she worked in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books.


Visit Alexandra online at www.alexandrabracken.com
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Visit Hyperion Teens at the Official Site & on Twitter

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Unmarked by Kami Garcia

I was a bit hesitant to read Unmarked because I wasn't a huge of the 1st book in the Legion Series, Unbreakable. I'm extremely relieved to say that Unmarked is worlds better than it's predecessor and it delivered an incredible story and romance. Kami Garcia really upped the stakes in this one and everything is just bigger and better in Unbreakable.

Kennedy Waters is recovering from her adventures with the Legion in a boarding school before the team comes back to rescue her. Marbas is still on the loose and the only ones who can defeat him is the Legion, but it will take a lot more than a few salt rounds and spells. Kennedy Waters's family history is shrouded in mystery and it could unlock the key to defeating Marbas.

I eagerly devoured Unmarked from the start and Garcia really knows how to hook readers in with suspense and romance. I was intrigued by the skeletons that laid hidden in the Waters's family and I really wanted to find out why her father had left her family. This novel is more focused than Unbreakable was and there is a lot less running around trying to defeat paranormal spirits.

I definitely think the fact that this novel is rooted around the Waters's secrets allowed readers to see a much more complex, developed Kennedy. For better or worse, Kennedy's adventures with Legion have changed her and she's no longer the scared, helpless girl she once was. Kennedy has grown into a powerful, brave character who will look evil straight in the eye if it means saving the ones she loves and I admired Kennedy for really stepping it up.

The romance in this novel is so freaking addicting and I couldn't get enough of Kennedy and Lukas's relationship. Unmarked really pushes this couple's relationships to the limit and makes them go through countless hoops to be together. I was obsessed with this couple and I loved scenes in which Kennedy and Lukas explored their relationship. I always loved the romance in the Caster Chronicles and it's no surprise to me that I was such a huge fan of Unbreakable's signature couple.

Between possessions, exorcisms, a murder of crows and graveyards, Unmarked taps into so much creepiness and really makes good use of its horror elements. Kami Garcia really explores demonology in more depth in this one and I definitely think that this aspect of the novel was well-researched. It was really interesting to me how Garcia tied in the Revolutionary War to Kennedy's family to classical demon history and Unmarked is extremely well-plotted. This is the perfect horror novel to read around Halloween, but I'd probably suggest reading it with the lights on and during the day.

Unmarked is a lot of fun to read and is definitely a must-read for fans of the CW and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I'm so glad that I gave this series another chance because I really loved Unmarked. I definitely will be continuing this series and the 3rd book in this series is at the top of my anticipated books list. Unmarked is an excellent paranormal thriller and Kami Garcia truly blew me away with this sequel.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Broken Soul tour: Guest post by Faith Hunter + giveaway


Today we have a guest post from Faith Hunter, author of two amazing series: the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series and near-future apocalyptic Rogue Mage series. Faith is here today to promote her latest Jane Yellowrock book, BROKEN SOUL, and she's written us a great guest post about her life as a kayaker.



Faith and waterlilies 2- 2014

Kayakers are laid back adrenaline junkies. Yes, as a writer, I do recognize the apparent disconnect between being laid back and being an adrenaline junky, but kayakers (we often call each other paddlers, but only face-to-face, not in print, because when you do an Internet search for paddlers something very different from rivers comes up. Just a word of warning…) manage to be both.

There is nothing more soothing than being in a kayak on a slow-moving river, lost in nature among the flora and fauna, seeing seasonal flowers, deer, raccoons, great gray herons, snowy egrets, osprey, kingfishers, bald eagles, turkey, the rare wild boar leaping across river rocks, water fowl in dozens of varieties, muskrats playing in the water, and the occasional sighting of a beaver. Laid back floats with sporadic wave-train or class II runs are so much fun and so relaxing.


Then there are the class III and IV rapid runs, where the action is a bit wilder and the adrenaline starts to flow, often on the same river, sometimes only a few hundred yards apart. Where the river narrows and the terrain changes, dropping elevation, forcing the water to move faster, and to dodge around, over, and under rocks. Where the spray gets higher, whiter, colder, and the air starts to smell of ozone and freshness and all things wild and dangerous. Then the kayaker changes from this laid back, relaxed, feet-in-the-water paddler, into a strapped in, sharp, focused, heart-pounding, adrenaline junky. And yeah—that’s me. I’m a bit of both when I’m not writing. When I’m on a river.

I’ve used rivers and kayaking in thrillers under the name pen Gwen Hunter. I also wrote kayaking and rafting into the Jane Yellowrock book RAVEN CURSED. So I guess you can say that paddling is a big part of my life, and it’s a sport that I can participate in for many years, without the worry that aging will force me away. I’ve met paddlers in their 80s who are still taking rivers, having fun, and getting back the laid back, adrenaline-filled joy of nature.

Faith and waterlilies2014


For more Faith, check out the following links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tour Schedule

Here's the scoop on BROKEN SOUL:

Broken Soul by Faith HunterJane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see….

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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We're giving away one (1) copy of BROKEN SOUL to a lucky reader.

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Faith HunterNew York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter writes dark urban fantasy and paranormal thrillers, including the Skinwalker series, featuring rogue-vampire hunter Jane Yellowrock, and the Rogue Mage series, a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality series, featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. She has a new series under wraps.


Broken Soul by Faith Hunter

Jane Yellowrock is back and Faith Hunter has hit another home run with BROKEN SOUL! I'm such a huge fan of this author and so I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of her blog tour, especially since it meant an early peek at BROKEN SOUL.

The Jane Yellowrock books are very much a series so you'll need to start with  SKINWALKER. [You can check out my Daring You To Read... post here.] Assuming you're caught up with the series, though, keep reading to find out what I thought of Jane's latest adventure.

BROKEN SOUL keeps us in New Orleans. Leo hires Jane to improve security for the inevitable visit from the European vampires, who want Leo's territory and secrets. Jane is transitioning out of her role as Leo's Enforcer (a role that Derek is stepping into) but she's still for hire and tied to New Orleans so she gets to work. Unfortunately for Jane, European vampires aren't the only ones looking to get their proverbial and literal claws into my favourite skinwalker since she's being stalked by a mysterious creature that no one else can see. The creature becomes less mysterious as the novel goes on and this reveal gives us a lot of new information about how the universe works in the Jane Yellowrock series. It's suddenly a lot bigger in Jane's world -- and a lot more interesting!

What I really love about this series is the way that Jane's relationships have developed. She was quite the loner with a duffel bag in SKINWALKER and now she has a mini family with her partners (Eli and Alex), Aggie, and even some of the people who work for Leo. And, of course, there's Bruiser. Their attraction has been heady since they first met but there are fewer obstacles between them now that Bruiser is Onorio and Rick is a part of Jane's romantic past. This plot thread gets a nice amount of attention in BROKEN SOUL, which should satisfy all of the shippers out there who have been waiting to see what might happen when there isn't as much baggage for Jane and Bruiser. Jane and Beast's relationship is also changing, as they move towards a harmonious partnership. As always, I love reading the chapters told from Beast's perspective because she's such a cat and her outlook at life is just so perfectly written.

The best scene in the book? Well, I won't say but it involves a closet. You'll see why I loved it so much when you get there. :)

Run, don't walk, to the store and get yourself a copy of BROKEN SOUL! It's the latest step in Jane Yellowrock's journey and one you cannot miss. Jenn

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Some Enchanted Éclair by Bailey Cates

Truthfully, I was a little disappointed when I read Charms and Chocolate Chips, book 3 of this series. However, this fourth book has redeemed the series and I find myself looking forward to the release of the next book. My main concern with the previous book was that Katie Lightfoot was newly aware of being a lightwitch, but had no clue what it meant. She speculated about it, wondered about it, but didn't try to find out what it meant. Now, in this book, at least she's trying to find out what it means and has learnt to accept that she's different from other witches. Her investigation into lightwitches doesn't go very far unfortunately because the one that revealed her ability, Detective Taite, seems to have disappeared. We might not know more about what it means to be a lightwitch, but at least Katie is trying to find out more.

The murder mystery of the story was ordinary but still fun to follow.  It was definitely a mystery since I never suspected who the murderer was until the very end. The motive was kind of hard to understand but all in all, I think it came to a nice close. I especially liked the fact that the victim was part of the crew that was filming a movie in downtown Savannah, Georgia. Obviously Katie gets involved in yet another murder investigation since her bakery was hired to cater the movie set. She seems to be attracted to murder mysteries, and always finds a way into the investigation.

What I found interesting in this book is the fact that we don't actually see lots of magic being performed. The author decided to introduce us to a new character instead and Ursula Banford just so happens to be a psychic, someone able to communicate with the dead. The coven decides to hold a séance to find out more about who the murderer was, and while the séance doesn't reveal much about the killer, it does reveal something unexpected about one of the participants of the séance.

This next paragraph contains a slight spoiler so you might want to avoid it (however it won't spoil too much). One thing I was not expecting was Declan having some magical powers. From the start of the series, he hasn't been very understanding about his girlfriend Katie's magic and her dedication to learn more about it, but in time, he has learnt to accept it. It came to a total shock when we were made aware that one of his ancestors had some magical power and was rumored to have been a leprechaun. This magic or spiritual power has more or less manifested in Declan in this book. He is not happy with his new (latent) ability, that's for sure. However, it does bring a new and interesting twist to the series.

I'm glad the ending wasn't rushed. In the previous books, I found that once the mystery was solved, the booked ended a few pages later. This time around, we were able to see how everything fell into place. It also answered a lot of questions. SOME ENCHANTED ÉCLAIR might just be my favorite of the series. I really hope we see more of Bailey Cates's Magical Bakery series because to me, while not being exiting or riveting, her books are a nice change of pace and always get me out of a reading rut.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [125]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Here's what I added to my shelves in the past couple of weeks. It's been a long time since I had so many books to show!

For Review:

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams ChimaLight my Fire by G.A. Aiken
Chained by Night by Larissa Ione


Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
The King by J.R. Ward


I also want to show you something I didn't add to my shelves, but that is equally awesome... my first car!

voitureI used to go to work riding the bus, but my daughter is going to my workplace's daycare and there was no way I would do an hour bus ride with 2 babies (because the second one will go there too in a year) twice a day. So I got myself a car after 10 years of not driving o.0 It's quite a challenge for me because I was scared shitless of driving but I'm learning to tame my fears :)

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Another epic fantasy story you MUST add to your wishlists. Snow Like Ashes is set in an highly unique world, with a fascinating lore and a fierce and likable main character. The eight kingdoms, their rules and their customs might seem a bit overwhelming at the beginning but hang in there, Rassch really managed to smooth out the ride.

In short, the world of Snow Like Ashes is split in eight kingdoms, 4 that are rotating between all four seasons and 4 that are stuck in a single season. That, right there, is something I've never seen before. Each kingdom possess a conduit giving them access to incredible magic and only a ruler of a specific gender can control it, depending on the kingdom. Please add another check mark in the original column for me please? And, the story of how Magic came to be is also a fascinating tale!

The story is told by Meira, an orphan girl part of a group made of the last 8 Winter Citizen to remain free after Spring attacked their kingdom and enslaved everyone. We follow her epically engrossing journey to free her Kingdom and her patriots. She really is an underdog, a failure at close combat, but a fierce and determined girl with impressive long range battle skills (this one bit is getting more popular in YA, but she's not using a bow).

Tired of love triangles? Fear not, I wouldn't put this novel in this category even though there are two boys involved. She has a crush on a first boy and finally moves on to another one (with very good reasons if I may say!). So yeah, no triangles here, more of a progressing journey on her personal love path (does this makes any sense?).

I love my high fantasy and I just loved this novel. The plot in engaging, the main character is loveable, the action is addictive and the end simply rocked my world. I have no choice but to urge you to pick up this novel and having read this novel in June, I now have to wait forever for the second book and it's killing me! What are you still doing here? Go get a copy!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Firebug by Lish McBride

Firebug is the first book in a paranormal duology by Lish McBride and follows Ava who can starts fires with her mind. This novel had a bit of a rough start for me and the first half of this novel was a bit difficult to read, but the 2nd half was a vast improvement and I became hooked at this point. I think one of the most daunting aspects of this book was the fact that it seemed as though the romance would evolve into a love triangle, a horrifying possibility. Though the romance skirts near love-triangle antics, I was pretty satisfied with the endgame of the romance in this novel.

Ava is a Firebug, an extremely rare and powerful creature that is highly desirable to the Coterie, a paranormal mafia. The Coterie practically owns Ava and so, she has no choice but to act as the organization's hit-man. When the organization targets one of Ava's closest family friends, she decides that she's had enough of the Coterie and refuses to do it. Refusing to obey the Coterie is a death wish for Ava and her friends.

It took me a while to warm up to Firebug and the beginning sections of this novel nearly made me want to DNF. Though this novel has an exciting start, some of the subsequent chapters poorly framed this novel and the plot, making it difficult for me to continue reading. In addition, the humor in this one takes a bit of getting used to to and it's a very particular sense of humor that didn't exactly settle with me initially. I warmed up to the humor after a few chapters and began to appreciate Firebug for its snarkiness.

Another thing that bothered me about Firebug was Ava's romance with Ryan, a character that I really hated. It's clear that readers aren't supposed to like Ryan, but his character felt too one-dimensional and bland. There was not much to his character arc and it made it difficult for me to follow Ava around with Ryan on her heels like a puppy.

The Coterie is the magical, paranormal mafia that Ava is bound to and I absolutely loved reading about the head of this organization, Venus. She was such a frightening, intimidating figure and truly commanded my action every time she made an appearance on stage. It's impossible not to hate her, but at the same time I wanted her center stage at any given opportunity. I also really liked the two other members of Ava's little Coterie gang, Ezra and Loch who managed to add another layer of light-heartedness and humor to Firebug.

Though it took me a while to read the 1st half, I speedily read the second half of this novel in a sitting or two. The second halve of this novel was filled with action and was incredibly fast-paced. Any qualms I had with the opening of this novel had dissipated in the later sections of the novel and by the end, I was thoroughly entertained. I desperately need to read the sequel now and I can't wait to see what happens next to Ava and her friends.

Firebug is a pretty entertaining paranormal romance and I really look forward to reading the sequel. It took a bit of time for me to get into this novel, but in the end Firebug impressed me with its fun, humorous dialogue and storyline. I'm so glad that I stuck with Firebug and I'll definitely be sticking around to read more of McBride's novels.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Night Unbound blog tour: Guest post by Dianne Duvall + giveaway

Night Unbound Tour Button

Instead of our  usual "When I'm not writing" post, we have a different guest post for you today, from the very talented Dianne Duvall. Without further ado, here are some confessions of a panster!


Confessions of a Pantser

Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #1)One of the most common questions I’m asked as a writer is whether I’m a plotter or a pantser.  My answer:  I’m a devoted pantser.  When starting a new book, I don’t first sketch out a detailed plot outline.  I simply sit down, open a new file, and fly by the seat of my pants.  Yes, I know how much I want the overall series arc to progress.  But the rest I allow to unfold as I write.  And it’s a good thing I do, too, because giving my imagination free reign has allowed quite a few characters to surprise me, taking the story in directions I didn’t originally intend and affecting the Immortal Guardians series arc or plot in ways I never anticipated.

Night Reigns by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #2)Ami, or Amiriska, was the first character to surprise me.  I had no idea, when I began writing DARKNESS DAWNS (Book 1), that Ami would rise above her torturous past and become Marcus’s heroine in NIGHT REIGNS (Book 2).  Nor did I realize what a prominent role she would play in ensuing books.  Though her own book was the second in the series, her story with Marcus continues to unfold in NIGHT UNBOUND and will spark intriguing changes in the series arc.

Phantom Shadows by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #3)Bastien is the second character who surprised me.  When Sebastien Newcombe first burst upon the scene in DARKNESS DAWNS, he was the villain.  His heart full of vengeance, Bastien raised an army of psychotic vampires he pitted against the Immortal Guardians, intent on destroying them.  But there was just something about him that I (and many readers, I was pleased to discover) believed was redeemable.  As did Dr. Melanie Lipton, who helped Bastien transform from villain to hero in PHANTOM SHADOWS (Book 3).  Had Bastien not made that transition, the Immortal Guardians would never have considered taking an important new approach to the vampire menace, one that will feature prominently in NIGHT UNBOUND.

Darkness Rises by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #4)Zach, the hero of NIGHT UNBOUND, is the latest character to surprise me.  Zach entered the series as a pretty enigmatic figure.  Dark.  Threatening.  Seeming more foe than friend to the Immortal Guardians.  And I intended for him to remain such:  a rather mysterious, winged figure who occasionally slipped from the shadows to perform this deed or that and issue dire warnings and thinly veiled threats.  Then he accepted a lollipop from Ami in PHANTOM SHADOWS and, aware of her tortured past, showed her kindness.  When he did, he revealed a whole new side of his character.  And his role in the series took a dramatic turn, one that would become more evident in DARKNESS RISES (Book 4) and culminate in NIGHT UNBOUND.

Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #5)I’m so excited by the direction in which Zach has taken the series.  And I love the deeper, richer character he has become.  (He’s actually one of my favorites now.)  Perfect for Lisette, the heroine.  Lisette is a courageous, kick-butt, telepathic Immortal Guardian who has labored for centuries beneath the guilt of transforming her twin brothers.  I always knew she wouldn’t seek happiness for herself unless her brothers found it first.  But I had no idea whom she would eventually love until she captured, chained up, and interrogated Zach in DARKNESS RISES.  Their intense fascination with each other fired my imagination, compelling me to write their story next . . . and I enjoyed it so much.

Zach was a very welcome surprise.  And I doubt he will be the last.  That’s the joy of being a pantser.  I can’t wait to see what will happen next, and hope you’ll join me on the journey.  :-)


For more Dianne, check out the following links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Here's the scoop on NIGHT UNBOUND:

Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #5)

For centuries, Lisette d'Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can't bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians' command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for—and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.

Zach is an exile, a loner. He won't defend himself against false accusation or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he'll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of supervamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?

Jenn's thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Dianne Duvall earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, where she studied fiction writing, playwriting, and poetry writing. Darkness Dawns, the first book in her Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series, was nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and for Best Paranormal Romance - Vampire by The Romance Reviews. It was also deemed a Top Pick by The Romance Reviews and a Best Book by Long and Short Reviews. Night Reigns, the second book in the series, was nominated for Best Best Book of 2011 - Paranormal Romance by The Romance Reviews and declared an “utterly addictive” Top Pick by RT Book Reviews. Phantom Shadows, the third book in the series, has been declared a Top Pick by both The Romance Reviews and Night Owl Reviews.

Her Immortal Guardians novella In Still Darkness was released in the Predatory anthology on May 7, 2013, and has received many fabulous reviews. Darkness Rises, the fourth book in the series, hit the USA Today Bestseller list, has been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and was deemed a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick.

Dianne has also completed two not-yet-published paranormal romance novels that are prequels to Darkness Dawns. A Sorceress of His Own is a medieval romance with paranormal elements that won awards in the Lone Star, Where the Magic Begins, Southern Heat, Picture This, Book of Your Heart and Suzannah national writing competitions. Rendezvous With Yesterday is a time travel romance and won second place in the Picture This writing contest.

In addition to writing romance, Dianne has completed a one-act play (comedy) and teamed up with an award-wining screenwriter to write a spec script for a new situation comedy. Several of her poems have also been published in anthologies.

When she isn’t writing, Dianne is very active in the independent film industry and once even appeared on screen as a machete-weilding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.


Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall

Dianne Duvall's done it again. NIGHT UNBOUND, the fifth book in her Immortal Guardians series, will keep you hooked from the first word. I've been hoping for a Zach story since he showed up in the series and Duvall has put together an amazing romance between Zach and Lisette, one of my favourite Immortal Guardians. And Duvall also throws in a lot more information about Zach, Seth, and the Others, which was very satisfying since I find them rather mysterious.

But first, let's talk romance. Lisette and Zach are a fascinating couple because they face different obstacles than the other characters we've seen in the series so far. First, there's the fact that Seth doesn't trust Zach, which means that no one trusts Zach. And while, as readers, we know it's unfounded, it does take Zach time to earn everyone's faith. And he gets some truly awesome scenes as part of his path to joining the team! There are a few laugh-out-loud moments in NIGHT UNBOUND and I enjoyed the unexpectedly lighthearted comedy. On the other side, Lisette knows that helping Zach is traitorous behaviour, given Seth's feelings, and it creates some uncomfortable moments for her. But Lisette and Zach's connection is undeniable and they get a beautiful love story in NIGHT UNBOUND.

Now for the question of the Others, which I was most curious about when I heard that NIGHT UNBOUND would be Zach and Lisette's story. Most of the pairings in the series so far have been Immortal Guardian with human(-eventually-turned-Immortal Guardian), except for Ami and Marcus, who fall under the alien with Immortal Guardian combo category. By the end of their stories, these characters didn't have secrets from one another, if they had any to start, but Zach can't tell Lisette much about his life as an Other because the consequences would be so dire. It's simply too dangerous for her to know everything at this point. For centuries, Seth has kept these secrets from everyone except David, who's been with him forever, and so I was curious about how Duvall would resolve the tension this huge secret creates between Zach and Lisette. Thankfully, her solution is great. It fits the worldbuilding and the characters really well. I won't say precisely what happens since it might ruin things for you a bit but I will say that it's a realistic outcome. Zach and Lisette are together by the end of NIGHT UNBOUND (obvs, this is paranormal romance) but they do address this issue.

NIGHT UNBOUND is a great paranormal romance that also progresses the series story arc about the Immortal Guardians' battles with their unknown enemies. Please don't judge this book by the cover! It really doesn't do Zach -- or the story -- justice because NIGHT UNBOUND will have you on the edge of your seat from cover to cover.

Read an excerpt


Monday, September 15, 2014

Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson

I was really looking forward to RED BLOODED because every chapter in Jessica's story has been so amazing. Sadly, this instalment, while good, was not quite as stunning as I'd hoped it would be. This isn't to say that it's a bad story -- far from it -- but Carlson has set the bar quite high in her previous books and RED BLOODED fell just a teensy bit short for me.

RED BLOODED takes us to a different part of the Jessica McClain universe: the Underworld. I've been curious about this since the end of the previous novel and, as usual, Carlson throws us almost immediately into the action, with Jessica getting accidentally sent to Hell before she's ready. ('Cause where would the fun be if she was all prepared, right?) Much of the novel is Jessica on her own in Hell because time moves more slowly in the Underworld. As a result, Jessica spends much of the novel trying to find her brother Tyler and avoiding the thousands of demons who live in the Underworld and who would love to get their hands on her. Carlson does a good job of creating an Underworld that's not exactly the same as what we've seen in other series, and she even has time to introduce her take on the chupacabra, which I quite enjoyed.

One of the best things about RED BLOODED is that we see a lot of the series mythology get unpacked. We learn more about the various prophecies that have come into play and what they mean for Jessica and her friends and family. I found this aspect of the novel to be extremely satisfying and I'm sure that you will, too, since it's part of the payout that we've been waiting for. I'm thrilled that Carlson doesn't make us wait longer, though this is typical for her. (One of the major reasons I'm such a fan.)

Despite all of this goodness, and the page time with some fascinating new characters, there was just something about RED BLOODED that didn't live up to its predecessors. I think it's just a matter of this book being a teensy weensy little bit less fabulous than Carlson's other stories; it remains a wonderful piece of urban fantasy. It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly why I didn't super love RED BLOODED because the are no bad parts to the book but I will say that the usual Carlson spark was just a little dimmer than usual. Despite this, I remain a staunch Jessica McClain and Amanda Carlson fan and I strongly urge you to give this series a try if you haven't already!

Read an excerpt


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Infinite by Jodi Meadows

I think it was time to finish reading this trilogy. For some reason, when I don't want a series to end, I hold off on reading the last book. INFINITE is the bitter-sweet ending to Jodi Meadow's debut trilogy and while I enjoyed how it all came together, I don't think I'm fully satisfied with this ending. I think I came in with too many expectations and the novel kind of fell short. I absolutely loved the first book, INCARNATE, but I have to say this third book is my least favorite of the series.

The mythology Jodi Meadows created captivated me from the very beginning of book 1 because it felt mysterious. It probably felt that way because we didn't know much about it. Truthfully, now that all is revealed in this last installment, everything seems far-fetched and labored. It's almost as if the author didn't plan this far ahead and needed an ending, and simply wrote what first came to mind. In most of the novel we see the main characters travelling to the far reaches of their homeland. The constant walking and wandering in hopes of finding a way to stop Janan, the antagonist, is treacherous to read. I simply had a hard time getting through this part of the novel.

Also, while travelling, it felt like Ana, the main character, just wanted to see how many species she could communicate with. Everyone is afraid of being burnt by the sylph? No problem, let's just try to talk to them when they approach and hopefully not burn to death. You're found with a couple of centaur kids and their herd thinks you've kidnapped them? That's okay too because you can put a smile on and listen to music as their parents come to get them. The dragons are big and scary but you absolutely think they can understand you, even if your boyfriend has been eaten or killed by them 35 times in the last thousand years. Ana's quest to befriend every creature seems immature, and the way she takes chances doesn't resonate with me. You don't confront dragons for the first time by calling them names and throwing rocks at them, especially if they can kill you with one bite or one stomp. That is definitely not the definition to making friends. And sorry Ana. You can't blame that on you're weird, unique and tormented childhood.

Another issue I had a hard getting over is the seemingly everlasting batteries in the SEDs, which are either a large smart phone or a small tablet. The characters are gone for weeks on end, with no electricity but these devices seem to last forever. Personally, I have to charge my phone every night, especially if I use it to listen to music all day and all night long. It's just a quirk I had a hard time dealing with because unless I missed the explanation that said it was solar powered or something,  it's just not realistic. (If someone can prove me wrong and point out to me why these devices never "die", please let me know!)

One thing Meadows did right however, is create bad guys that are easy to hate. Those who worship Janan have almost created a religion surrounding this attention seeking god-like character. It feels very real how this "religion" becomes fanatical when some leaders preach constant hate for Newsouls, humans that are born without being reincarnated. The hate and the aggression is very scary and resonates with current affairs where some Islamic extremists go to the extent of killing those who are different and those who can't be converted. (Please note I'm making this comparison but I don't want anyone to take offense. I'm aware the two situations are completely different.) Another positive aspect is that Ms. Meadows knows how to write a good kissing scene. While there might have been a bit too many in this novel and they got repetitive, I have to admit the relationship between Ana and Sam is, as always, exceptional.

Overall, I think I'm in the minority when I say this book wasn't all that great. The epilogue was "okay", even though I did have one samll issue with it, which I'm not going to mention because that would mean a major spoiler. I kind of expected it to end this way, but I just wanted to be wowed! Regrettably,  I wasn't. I'm still glad I've read this series because it was a wonderful ride, for the most part. For a debut trilogy, it was a huge undertaking. I think Jodi Meadows has a wonderful writing future ahead of her and I think we can only expect her work to get better in time. I look forward to her next series, which comes out in early 2015.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [124]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


I went pretty crazy with the book buying/borrowing in the last couple weeks. Well, crazy for me anyways. Here's what's stacking my shelves this week! (Also, because I thought the pillow was book related enough to included here, I decided to share that with you too.)



the mesmerized zombie attack rites of passage

For Review

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater (Thanks to Permuted Press)
Zombie Attack by Devan Sagliani (Thanks to Permuted Press)


Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Deception by C.J. Redwine
Deliverance by C.J. Redwine
Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley


Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey
How To Run With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

That's it for me this week. Actually I might have missed a few. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Kate set out on a mission with her friend Jim. It should've been easy, locate pyromaniac, bag him, cash in and go home. Unfortunately, a mysterious shooter kills their target right in front of them, and Kate finds herself in loads of trouble.

Another amazing installment in this urban fantasy that's slowly climbing its way on my favorite series list. Kate is such a great heroine. She's got spunk, she's though and she's got a big heart. She's a no non-sense girl that somehow always finds herself in the worst positions possible, and manages to finish on top. I really like her attitude and her lines are at time funny, sometimes sarcastic and less often, but no less important, very touching. I really liked every moment of this second book and I hope she won't be as lonely in the future. I liked witnessing her mom instincts kicking in with Julie and I hope we will see more of the girl in the future!

Curran, oh Curran, my only complaint is that there wasn't enough of him. I really love this lion and his attitude. His simple yet magnificent way of showing Kate his interest and two scenes particularly rocked my world. When they fought at about 70% of the book I wanted to get my poms-poms out and do a little cheer dance and the very end when he brew coffee for her, *AAAAAAAwwwwwwwwwwwwww* too cute for words. This is promising, and god I can't wait for more!

The actions was once again quite satisfying but i have to confess I had a hard time keeping track of all the mythology involved. There were just so many myths blending together that my sleepless brain just couldn't handle it lol It didn't hinder my enjoyment of the novel though, so all is well. On the plus side, the characterization was a smooth ride this time around. Having just read the first book the characters were familiar and the few knew ones where easier to integrate.

The Kate Daniels series is a great urban fantasy ride and if like me you are late to the show, I urge you to give it a shot. Fans of Jeaniene Frost and Patricia Briggs are sure to find something to like!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

A Sudden Light is not just a ghost story, it's a multi-layered epic about the power of redemption and how the past influences our lives in more ways than we can imagine. This is a novel that I carefully read, devouring each and every word and description; A Sudden Light is a slow-paced, but brilliantly told novel with a story that spans generations and is so expansive in scope. This is such a rare coming-of-age novel with an ingenious mystery that's full of surprises,  Garth Stein has written  a splendid follow-up to The Art Of Racing In The Rain.

Trevor's life is on the rocks with his parents splitting up and he sees moving back with his dad to the family mansion as an opportunity to fix up his parent's marriage. Little does Trevor know that Riddell House is occupied by a ghost and is filled to the brim with hushed up family secrets. The ghost has very different wishes for the House than his Aunt Serena who is looking to make a pretty buck off of it.

A Sudden Light is at heart a coming-of-age tale about a boy coming to terms with his sexuality, manhood and the ugly past. Trevor undergoes a major transition from the beginning of this novel to the bitter end and his character makes a huge leap in maturity. Suddenly Trevor is forced to grow up and though he doesn't always handle this well, he makes the best of his crappy situation and becomes the best person he can be.  Trevor doesn't have to take on the trouble of the past, yet he takes on the burden of his ancestors and tries to fix their heaps of errors.

This is a character-oriented novel and so, Trevor's family is put under a microscope for much of this novel. Between the characters who are alive and those that live on in the past, each family member is a hot mess and provide so much entertainment and drama for the reader. If you think you're family is a disaster, wait until you meet the Riddells who just might be the most messed up literary family ever.

A Sudden Light is a stunning literary work that will haunt readers long after finish and leave them with chills. Stein has written a beautifully written novel and this one has the potential to be one of the biggest books of the year.  Those looking for a perfect book club pick or just something truly spectacular should definitely pick up A Sudden Light.


Monday, September 08, 2014

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

A book in the vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger and blurbed by Kevin Hearne? Sold! Those endorsements alone were enough to get me hooked, even before I read the cover copy. And after I read THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER, all I could think of was how long it will be until the sequel gets released! I absolutely loved this novel and I don't want to wait even a day to read the next part of Octavia's journey.

THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER is the first book in a duology set in the most amazing world. Beth Cato is an amazing writer who has clearly thought of everything in terms of world building because I was instantly immersed in Octavia's life and homeland.  There are so many beautiful details in the setting and historical descriptions that the world just came alive for me. And Cato manages to squeeze all these great little moments into the book. One of my favourite moment comes early on, and has to do with a dog. It's not my favourite because of what happens but because it shows you that you're in for a story that will defy your expectations. Plus, there are flying, adorable gremlins so how could I not stay up incredibly late reading this?

Octavia Leander is, as promised, an unusual heroine. She is an incredibly gifted healer. She'd call herself blessed by the Lady; whether the powers come from Octavia or the Lady is in many ways irrelevant since Olivia is capable of so much more than the other medicians in her order, including her school's founder. (Awkward!) Despite these gifts, which have been widely acknowledged, Octavia is very humble and actually very worried about how she will make her way in life. She doesn't doubt herself, which is always a great trait, but she does worry about her ability to make a living as a medician when her natural inclination is to help everyone. It's a very practical worry and one I think we can all relate to on at least some level. Despite this worry, Olivia is a standout character because she is resolute, brave, and honourable, and knows herself very well, which is something we could always use more of in fiction. She's strong without being flashy.

Octavia isn't the only great character in THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER. She meets some very interesting people along her journey and learns some dangerous facts that put her life in serious peril. It seems like everyone on the airship has secrets and Olivia's life depends on her figuring out who she can trust. There are many surprising and harrowing moments in Olivia's trip and it makes THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER a very exciting read!

One of the really noticeable aspects of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER is that Alonzo Garret, the dashingly handsome steward mentioned in the cover copy, has with a physical flaw -- he lost his lower leg and now wears a mechanical prosthetic -- but no one makes a big deal about it, except when it becomes a plot device. No one is revolted by his prosthetic or his need for one; it's treated as commonplace and is not his defining characteristic. I think it's really easy for a writer to take a character with a physical limitation and make that character's identity revolve around the handicap but, in Cato's hands, his prosthetic limb is just a part of his body that's a bit different from the rest. It makes no difference to Olivia, which makes sense since she's a healer who's performed hundreds of amputations, but no one else is really phased by it either. It helps that Alonzo is a damn interesting guy, all issues of legs aside. From the moment Olivia meets him, I wanted to know more about him and so I was over the moon to see him figure heavily into the plot.

If you're looking for a great steampunk story, or just a great story more generally, I wholeheartedly recommend THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER. Beth Cato doesn't disappoint!

Read an excerpt


Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

It's no secret that I love reading steampunk. However, I personally think if you're invested in writing a steampunk novel, you have to dedicate a lot of time in world building. I was intrigued by the synopsis (and the cover art) of the THE GIRL AND THE CLOCKWORK CAT, and obviously the title of the book screamed steampunk. In reality this story could have been set in any world or any time. Except for the occasional mention of airships and the clockwork cat, there really wasn't much point in setting this story in a steampunk world. In my opinion, the world building was almost non-existent.

Maeko, a half-Japanese girl has been roaming the Victorian London streets for almost a decade and now, because of a newly formed attachment to a cat, has stumbled upon a missing person's investigation turned murder investigation. The initial mystery is intriguing but I find everything goes downhill from there. She gets captured by the Lit (a type of police force), placed into jail, escapes, and the following night gets placed in jail again. Yep, you guessed it, she escapes a second time, however this time with a new friend, Ash. Together, Maeko and Ash try to find and help Ash's family that has unfortunately gotten involved in the murder investigation. A good amount of the novel is spent searching for the cat and for family members. It felt like everything was on repeat, probably because it was. Fast-paced action is usually a good thing, however in this novel, the action was so fast that it was hard to keep track of everything, and didn't let the reader appreciate the story.

I'm relieved the characterization was a little bit better than the world building. Maeko, the main character, is intriguing because of her Japanese heritage and because of her troubled past. The author could have expanded a little more on Maeko's past in order to really understand what drives this teen to take such risks with her life. She calls herself a street rat but whenever someone points it out, her first instinct is to say, "I'm not a street rat!" She's a little bit immature but her association with Ash actually helps her see the world from a different point of view. All of a sudden, life is more than pick-pocketing and living off scraps. She see the possibility in having a better life, of living off the streets, and she has a hard time deciding what is best for her.

Ash, the good looking boy she's trying to help, might be the first boy that sees her as a girl. All the other boys on the streets know that she's a girl and belittle her for it, but Ash is the first one that makes her blush and makes her think about the possibility of romance. Chaff, her pick-pocketing mentor, also becomes interested in Maeko, probably because he gets jealous and doesn't like the idea of losing her to someone like Ash. Regrettably, the almost-there love triangle is a tease because is it doesn't result in much.

Overall, THE GIRL AND THE CLOCKWORK CAT wasn't for me. It left me wanting and confused about the direction of the plot. It's not clear if this novel will have a sequel or not, and if it doesn't, the ending is unsatisfying and incomplete. The novel seems to have mixed reviews on Goodreads since some people seemed to have liked it. Personally it doesn't rank very high on my list of YA steampunk.


Saturday, September 06, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [123]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!



From The Library:

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Proxy by Alex London

Railsea by China Mieville

For Review:

Princess Of Thorns by Stacey Jay

**Guys I'm giving away a signed ARC of Stone Cold Touch here*

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