Review: Brazen by Kelley Armstrong

Brazen by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Brazen (Women of the Otherworld, 13.1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Subterranean Press (15th December 2013)
Blurb:

NICK SORRENTINO KNOWS everyone in the supernatural world considers him the Pack’s playboy, the pretty but not very useful werewolf whose only reputation involves his amorous exploits.

Usually, Nick couldn’t care less what anyone outside the Pack thinks of him. But when it affects his hunt for Malcolm Danvers, a psychotic bogeyman from the Pack’s past, it matters.

Necessity forces Nick to team up with mercenary half-demon Vanessa Callas to run Malcolm to ground in Detroit. Together, they discover Malcolm is more deadly than ever. And he wants to play.

It’s time for Nick to prove he’s not just a lover. He’s a fighter.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

BRAZEN is a novella set in Kelley Armstrong’s fantastic WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series; the story is set after the events of the final book 13 (review), with the North American Pack determined to hunt down Malcolm Danvers and deliver justice. The Alpha of the pack Elena has left Nick Sorrentino in charge of hunting down clues to Malcolm’s whereabouts, and it looks like finally the Pack might be close to getting justice.

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Review: Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Forbidden (Women of the Otherworld, 10.2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Subterranean Press (31st December 2012)
Blurb:

THE TEAM-SPIRIT SIGN by the side of the highway seems a good omen to loner Morgan Walsh, as he drives to what could be the most important visit of his life – a chance to join the North American Pack. Then he wakes naked in the woods, surrounded by wolf tracks and a ring of suspicious cops. The situation only gets worse when he’s bailed out by Alpha-elect Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers, her terrifying enforcer and mate.

Disappointed that such a promising young werewolf risked exposing them, Elena isn’t expecting anything from the pesky retrieval job except some much-needed alone time with Clay. Instead, she finds a different kind of evil stalking the streets and forests of Westwood, New York. Trapped in town by a snowstorm and sabotage, Elena, Clay and Morgan must find the mysterious threat before it sets its sights on them.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

FORBIDDEN is a novella that takes place in Kelley Armstrong’s brilliant WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series. FORBIDDEN is set between FROSTBITTEN (review), where we first meet Morgan Walsh, and WAKING THE WITCH (review). The novella tells the story of Morgan Walsh who decides to accept Elena’s invitation in FROSTBITTEN and see if he has the ability to join the North American Pack. Things, of course, don’t go quite to plan and Elena and Clayton find themselves in Westwood, New York having to bail Morgan out.

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Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

UK Cover of Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends 1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Atom (8th April 2014)
Blurb:

THEY HEAR THE SPIRITS.
THEY MUST OBEY.

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, they will not be quieted.

Ambushed by an ancient evil, Moria and Ashyn must race to warn the empire of a terrifying threat. Accompanied by a dashing thief and a warrior with a dark history, the sisters battle their way across a wasteland filled with reawakened monsters of legend. But there are more sinister enemies waiting for them at court – and a secret that will alter the balance of their world for ever.

The first volume of the Age of Legends trilogy, Sea of Shadows is a thrilling dark fantasy where evil hides in every shadow and the deadliest monsters of all come in human form . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

SEA OF SHADOWS is the first book in Kelley Armstrong’s new trilogy AGE OF LEGENDS. SEA OF SHADOWS introduces twin sisters Moria and Ashyn who live outside of the Forest of the Dead. They are the Keeper and the Seeker for this area, and are charged with quieting the enraged souls of the criminals who are exiled to the forest as punishment. This is their first year on their own, and something goes terribly wrong – the souls will not be quieted.

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Review: Rags & Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Rags & Bones ed. by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Title: Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Editors: Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
Genre: Re-telling, Short Story, Young Adult
Publisher: Headline (13th March 2014)
Blurb:

A unique short-story collection from the most unique imaginations.

There are some stories as timeless as they are involving.

There are some authors who can tell any story.

In RAGS & BONES, award-winning and bestselling authors retell classic fairytales and twisted tales in the way that only they can. With magic and passion they bring these stories – whether much loved or forgotten – back to life.

Read ‘Sleeping Beauty‘ as only Neil Gaiman can tell it. See ‘Rumpelstiltskin‘ through the eyes of Kami Garcia. And hear of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would Be King‘ from the inimitable Garth Nix.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

RAGS & BONES is a collection of short stories that are retellings of works which mean something to the author. The collection contains re-imaginings of fairy tales as well as stories inspired by works of literature like Kipling’s THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING or Spenser’s THE FAERIE QUEENE. Each contributor adds an interesting twist to the work that inspired them. Contributors include the editors Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, as well as Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, and Kami Garcia.

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ICYMI Sunday 8 – The One Where The Book Ban Imploded

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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

This week has been both a fun and sucky week. The first couple of days of the week I didn’t feel partiuclarly well, so I didn’t get a lot of reading or blogging done. On the Wednesday I travelled down to London for The London Book Fair, and had a fantastic time – I got to say hi to Faye of A Daydreamer’s Thoughts, and I had a little wander of London itself and I may have stopped off at a few bookshops. After the London trip I have been exhausted, and I also have myself a nice little rash which I have to have a blood test for *sigh*. So yeah, this week has been both sucky and fun 🙂

On the blog this week:

What else is going on?

  • Rosamund Hodge author of CRUEL BEAUTY announced a new book deal – a two book retelling of ROMEO AND JULIET. You can find more info here.
  • On YA Interrobang Nicole Brinkley talks about the importance of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel SPEAK almost fifteen years after its publication.
  • Penguin Books UK has been nominated in the Social: Arts & Culture category of the Webby Awards. You can find out more (and vote) here.
  • Gollancz has secured the World Rights to publish illustrated diaries celebrating Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD. You can find out more and see the gorgeous cover here.
  • The Guardian has teamed up with Legend Times to offer an all-new monthly literary prize for self-published novels. For more information and how to enter follow the linkie.
  • TED and Simon & Shuster have agreed to co-publish a 12-book collection of TED books with one book published every one-to-two months from September 2014. For more info click here.
  • The Guardian in their Children’s books section has an interview with Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury author and illustrator of WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT which has been in publication for 25 years.
  • Anthony Horowitz is again writing in the world, of the world’s great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes in his new book MORIARTY set to be published on October 23rd. You can find more info here.
  • Nominations are now open for the Queen of Teen Award, you can find out more info and how to nominate here. Nominations must be in by April 29th.
  • BBC Radio 4 programme Woman’s Hour will feature J. K. Rowling as a guest editor – the first in 60 years – during “takeover week”. You can find out more info here.
  • Scholastic have launched The Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing which is open to unpublished authors of books for children aged between 7 and 12. For more info and how to enter follow the linkie.
  • The Independent reports that forty leading writers have sent the UK’s Secretary of State for Justice protest postcards with the names of the book that they would most like to send to a prisoner. You can find out more and the suggested titles here.
  • Sue Townsend the author of THE DIARIES OF ADRIAN MOLE has died you can find The Guardian’s obituary for her here.

There are a couple of new awards that were announced this week which I think sound potentially interesting for those who write. I loved the WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT interview, I have fond memories of my Mum reading me that book as a child. J. K. Rowling being a guest editor on Woman’s Hour also sounds like it could be interesting, so I will have to keep an ear out for that. I was sad to hear about the death of Sue Townsend, although I have to confess I’ve never read any of her books.

As the title of this post suggests, my book buying ban has kind of imploded…

London and its gorgeous wonderful bookstores got to me. I visited Waterstones Piccadilly, Foyles, and Forbidden Planet. I promised myself I would only buy five books max… I came home with fourteen. Oops!

  • NIGHT BROKEN (A MERCY THOMPSON NOVEL, 8) by Patricia Briggs
  • RISING DARKNESS (A GAME OF SHADOWS NOVEL, 1) by Thea Harrison
  • KINKED (AN ELDER RACES NOVEL, 6) by Thea Harrison
  • FANTASY LOVER (DARK HUNDER 0.5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • DARK LOVER (A BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD NOVEL, 1) by J. R. Ward

  • MURDER OF CROWS (A NOVEL OF THE OTHERS, 2) by Anne Bishop
  • DARK VISION by Debbie Johnson
  • RAGS & BONES edited by Melissa Marr & Tim Pratt
  • STOLEN SONGBIRD (THE MALEDICTION TRILOGY, 1) by Danielle L. Jensen {review}

  • BATTLE MAGIC (THE CIRCLE REFORGED, 3) by Tamora Pierce
  • INTO THE STILL BLUE (UNDER THE NEVER SKY, 3) by Veronica Rossi
  • THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE (THE THRONE OF GLASS, 0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
  • SEA OF SHADOWS (AGE OF LEGENDS, 1) by Kelley Armstrong
  • FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

What can I say?! They all looked so pretty, and most of them were continuations of series that I’m reading. The few that aren’t I got because I had heard a LOT of good things about them on a lot of blogs, and I wanted to see for myself if they lived up to the hype.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Omens by Kelley Armstrong, UK edition cover.

Title: Omens (A Cainsville Novel, #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Sphere (20th August 2013)
Blurb:

A life shattered in one moment

Olivia Jones has lived a life of privilege and good fortune. But on the eve of her wedding she discovers two shocking facts. One – she was adopted. Two – her biological parents are notorious serial killers. And now the secret’s out, she’s in immediate danger.

A young woman forced on the run

Running for her life, Liv must face reality in the most brutal and terrifying way. But then she is confronted by a tantalising hope – is it possible that her parents weren’t guilty of the murders after all? And if so, who did commit them?

And the mysterious town that gave her sanctuary. At a price.

Arriving at the remote town of Cainsville, Liv believes she has found the perfect place to hide while she uncovers the truth. But Cainsville is no ordinary town – and Liv’s arrival no accident.

Kelley Armstrong’s brilliant new novel is a gripping and atmospheric thriller about a town where secrets are soaked into every stone – and omens should never be ignored . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

OMENS is the first book in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new adult series CAINSVILLE. In it we follow the story of Olivia Jones the only child in a wealthy family who discovers that she is adopted just as the story of her origins breaks. Needing time and space to get her head together, Liv finds her way to the remote town of Cainsville through a series of coincidences (which might not be quite so coincidental after all).

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Top Ten Tuesday (33)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

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This weeks Top Ten topic is …

Top Ten Books On My Fall Autumn 2013 TBR List

I’m going to split this list I think between books I want to read this autumn and books that are released this autumn (September 1st – November 30th). All blurbs are taken from Goodreads.com and all release dates are taken from Amazon.co.uk. Please be aware that THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS as quite a few of ths books are sequels/part of a series so the blurbs may spoil earlier books.

First, books that are released this autumn I want to get hold of…

1. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (released September 3rd)

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

2. The Dream Thieves (The Ravenboys #2) by Maggie Stiefvater (released September 18th)

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

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3. Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth (released October 22nd)

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

4. The Iron Traitor (Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa (released November 1st)

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as “normal” as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he’s forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, “normal” simply isn’t to be. For Ethan’s nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan’s and Keirran’s fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan’s next choice may decide the fate of them all.

5. Deadly Thorns (Hemlock #2) by Kathleen Peacock (released November 7th)

The second in the gripping crime trilogy with a hint of supernatural from Kathleen Peacock has the same great mix of page-turning action scenes and heady romance.

Kyle is still on the run, despite Mac’s best efforts to track him down and bring him home. But when they finally find themselves back together, it’s not in the best of circumstances. Trapped in a werewolf prison camp where inmates keep disappearing and not returning, Mac knows that something sinister is happening, but can they find out the truth? And with Jason still sure of his own feelings for Mac, will she start to doubt her own for Kyle?

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6. The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead (released November 19th)

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Second, books I want to read this autumn that are already on my shelf…

1. Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

2. The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

In Allison Sekemoto’s world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There’s a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

3. Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

Aria has struggled to build a life for herself outside Reverie. It hasn’t been easy adjusting to life in the wilderness but that struggle has been worth it with Perry by her side.

But Perry has other challenges. His people are looking to him for answers. Answers about what happened to his nephew and what’s happening to their world. And they don’t trust the privileged Aria, one of the enemy, in their midst.

Soon he’ll be forced to choose between the tribe that looks to him for leadership and the girl that looks to him for love.

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4. Tiger’s Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) by Colleen Houck

Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest–this time with Ren’s dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger’s Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER’S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

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I’m really looking forward to reading all ten books on this list, fingers crossed I will manage to read all of them before the end of autumn – although I’m not holding my breath 😉 Only two of my choices are the first books in a series, so I guess that makes autumn my sequel season.

Those were my Top Ten Books On My Autmun 2013 TBR List. What books would are you looking forward to this autumn? Let me know in the comments below, or link back to your Top Ten post so I can see what makes your list.

Top Ten Tuesday (24)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

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This weeks Top Ten topic is …

Top Ten Nine Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

My list includes books that are coming out between June and August, as well as books that I want to read during the summer. The list is made up of a mixture of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult books. As always blurbs are taken from Goodreads.com and the release dates are according to Amazon.co.uk.

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun [Goodreads]

A MAGIC MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD

A DESTINY THAT CAN’T BE DENIED

Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum’s death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they’re near each other, Tomohiro’s drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.

I’m actually currently reading this book as I managed to get a copy via NetGalley 🙂 I think the cover is gorgeous, and the concept of the book is really interesting. It’s released in the UK on 5th July 2013.

Doll Bones by Holly Black [Goodreads]

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

This book is already released, and there is in fact a copy of it sitting in my TBR pile. I really liked some of Holly Black’s books so I thought I would give this one a try as it sounds quite spooky.

Affliction (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton [Goodreads]

Micah is called back home by his estranged family, because his father, a county sheriff, has been attacked and is terribly injured. Anita and Nathaniel are going with him for moral support and to meet his family under very trying circumstances.

Micah has been estranged from his family for a decade, deliberately turning his back on them to protect them from the sadistic killer who once led his leopard pack. But now Micah’s father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita—who understands zombies better than anyone—knows there’s more to it than that. While zombies have unlovable traits, being one doesn’t cause human beings to rot in agony. She needs to solve that mystery—but now a more immediate issue is pressing: Micah’s father may have only five days to live.

I have to say I’m really looking forward to reading this Anita book. I think it will be interesting to finally know a little more about Micah’s family and actually get to see them. It’s released in the UK on 2nd July 2013.

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr [Goodreads]

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters–wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history–because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids–led by Matt–will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

I already own a copy of this, but I am looking forward to diving into this. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, and I really enjoyed Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series so I thought it might be fun to try this book written by both of them.

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong [Goodreads]

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan and as she has recently finished her brilliant Women of the Otherworld series I thought I would try her new one. Oh, and I really love the cover It is released in the UK on 20th August 2013.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smitih [Goodreads]

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything; Graham doesn’t know the major secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham’s new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie’s mom want her to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.

I have a copy of this already sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read. I’ve heard some really good things about both the author and the book itself, so I’m interested to see if it lives up to the hype.

US cover

Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill [Goodreads]

Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.

I’m really loving this series. Merit is a brilliant character, and I love the way vampires and politics are handled in this series. It comes out in the UK on 8th August 2013.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein [Goodreads]

Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels most alive while flying, she discovers that not all battles are fought in the air. An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp, Rose’s story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Code Name Verity is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

This is already out and sitting on my shelf. I loved Code Name Verity when it came out, so I’m hoping that this book will live up to my expectations!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas [Goodreads]

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass when it came out last year, and thought Celaena was a kick-ass character. I cannot wait to see what Mass has done with this book. I also think the cover looks gorgeous. It comes out in the UK on 15th August 2013.

I cannot believe that I have come up with a list of just nine again – sorry!

What are the top ten books on your summer TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below, or link back to your Top Ten post so I can see what makes your list.

Review: The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE DARKNESS RISING SERIES AS THE RISING IS THE FINAL BOOK IN THE SERIES.

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong (UK cover)

Title: The Rising (Darkness Rising Book 3)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Atom (2nd April 2013)
Blurb:

Maya Delaney is a skin-walker – a supernatural who can “Shift” into the shape of a cougar. But her gift comes with a terrible cost. With every transformation, she risks losing touch with her human nature – for ever.

Maya and her friends are on the run from the people who experimented on them and transformed them into supernaturals in the first place. They know they must confront their enemies if they are to have any hope of a future. In order to succeed, Maya will need to use her dangerous, unpredictable powers – but they price for freedom could be too high a price to pay . . .

Rating: **** (4 star)
Review:

The Rising brings to an end The Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong. In the previous book The Calling Maya and her friends were involved in a helicopter crash and ended up on the run as they try to reunite with their families. In The Rising Armstrong brings The Darkness Rising series to a conclusion as we witness Maya and her friends struggle to remain free and plot what to do next, as they contemplate their futures – can they go back to a normal life, or if they will be on the run forever?

Continue reading

Women of the Otherworld Challenge: 13 + International Giveaway!!

Each month beginning March 1st, 2012, challenge members will read or re-read the title for that month. In addition, challenge members will either post a review, their reading experience, character castings or anything else related to that title. You have freedom to have fun with your monthly post so be creative! Seeing as this series is 13 novels long, this challenge will last 13 months.

So this is it. The final book, and my final post for this challenge.

13 by Kelley Armstrong (UK cover)

13 (Women of the Otherworld #13)
by Kelley Armstrong
Published: 24th July 2012

13. The breath-taking, explosive finale to the Women of the Otherworld series.

War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons.

Savannah Levine – fiery and unpredictable – stands at the heart of the maelstrom. There is a new, dark magic inside her, granting her the power to summon spells of terrifying strength. But whether this magic is a gift or a curse, no one knows.

On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival – Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jamie; Hope, Eve and more . . . They are fighting for their lives. They are fighting for their loved ones.

They are fighting for the Otherworld.

You can find my 4 out of 5 star review for 13 here.

I had really mixed views about 13 when I first heard about it. I wasn’t totally convinced that I wanted to read it – after all, 13 represented the end of an era for me as well as the end of one of my favourite urban fantasy series.

The Women of the Otherworld series had been such a large part of my reading life since my mid/late-teens that I was somewhat disappointed to discover that there were going to be just 13 books in the series, and that the final three books were going to be Savannah’s arc. As I’m sure you know by now, if you’ve been following these posts, Elena is my favourite character. She started the series, and I was hoping that she would end the series – full circle so to speak, but that kind of already happened in Frostbitten so I’m not too disappointed.

In the end I think 13 provided a good ending to the series, and that Savannah was a good choice to lead the final arc of the series. I’m still a little sad to see the series end, but as I own a copy of all 13 books I have plenty of opportunities to re-read them – opportunities which this challenge offered me, so thank you Moonlight’s Gleam for organising and running this challenge!

>>Giveaway!

As this is my last post for the Women of the Otherworld Reading Challenge I have decided to offer ONE lucky person the chance to win ONE copy of their choice from one of the books listed below (to find out more about the book click on the link and it will take you to its Goodread page). To enter click the link to the Rafflecopter form, but don’t forget to read the rules before entering!

You could win a copy of . . .

RULES

  • To enter this giveaway you must be 18 years or older (this is due to the fact that some of the giveaway prizes are aimed at an adult audience).
  • This competition is open internationally (except where prohibited by law).
  • ONE winner of this giveaway will recieve ONE copy of a book of their choice from the list above.
  • The giveaway opens on 14th March 00:00GMT and closes on 11th April 00:00BST. Any entries recieved outside these dates will not be eligable for entry.
  • Only one entry per person is allowed.
  • The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway.
  • The winner will need to respond to the email within 72 hours of recieving the email or a new winner will be chosen.
  • The Flutterby Room is not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
  • The Flutterby Room is not responsible for any loss or damage of the prize in transit.
  • The Flutterby Room reserves the right to cancel this competition at any time without any prior warning.
  • The Flutterby Room reserves the right to disqualify any entry at any time.

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY IDENTIFYING DETAILS (SUCH AS FULL NAME, OR EMAIL ADDRESS)  IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW. ALL SUCH COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED AS SOON AS THEY ARE NOTICED.

Link to Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!