Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

Review: King Tomb

KingTomb_FinalKing Tomb by Scarlett Dawn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

After all the tears that were wrung out of me by King Cave, I expected to be just as squeezed by King Tomb. All the feels I expected, I didn’t get, but I did get a whole lot of other feels. King Tomb is a must read for those with interest invested in Lily and Ezra. After the way King Cave ended, there was no way that you wouldn’t want to read King Tomb.

The beginning was somewhat heart rending what with the separation of the four Kings and Queens. With the raging war against the Coms and the mind wipes, they developed hard cold shells to protect themselves against further hurt. It was a little hard to read these characters you love who became different people though there were plenty good reasons for this development. Nevertheless, the story drew you in and kept pulling you on a magical ride.

The chemistry between Lily and Ezra are amazing. I love reading of them getting to know each other once more and negotiating on how their relationship will work. That’s what I really enjoy about romances, the teasing, not only between the love interests but between the author and readers too. This series is one of those that you definitely have to read in order because you’d only appreciate this book if you already love the characters and the world.

There were a few things that I wasn’t quite happy with; the accidental hurts, the lack of presence of the visoacs and Jack & Pearl, and most of all, the rushed ending. I think there were a few things the story could do without to make for a better flow towards the end. Overall, I still really like this book, if only that it gave me a few hours of being with Lily and Ezra.

Thank you, Escape Publishing, for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Sidekick

sidekickSidekick by Auralee Wallace

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

A super attractive cover which sort of reminds me of either Batman or Dark Girl; in the superhero sitting on top of high-rise building overlooking the city way. Whilst I myself am a fan of Wonder Woman and used to love watching superheroes movies, I find these days (being inundated with so very many of them) that I’m over it… I’ve not read many though so I thought this might be somewhat different, especially with the Bridget Jones’ aspect thrown over it.

The beginning was, to some extent, enjoyable. Bremy St James was basically like a goldfish taken out of the fish tank and thrown into the ocean. Unless she makes some drastic lifestyle changes, she’ll not survive the first wave. The humour of her fumbling and bumbling, however, quickly wore off and I couldn’t help eye-rolling through the next 70% of the story.

Humour, I find, is something very subjective; that it is very dependant of the person’s taste for humour and each person’s different from the next. Whilst there wasn’t one Laugh-Out-Loud moment for me in Sidekick, this may not be the case for you. There are others who appears to love it though there are also others like myself. This story did not tickle me as funny (much). The heroine annoyed me in a head-banging-on-table way. The villain was stereotypical. No other characters appeal to me personally or were underdevelop… (not sure if this was supposed to be a series?)

I was told that I’m pretty generous when it comes to star ratings hence I rarely ever give a 1-star rating but I also do not give 5-stars rating lightly. These will have to be extreme hatred or love of the book for me. Since I do not particularly hate this book, 2-stars is all I believe it deserves. Sidekick, unfortunately, is just not my cup of tea.

Thank you, Escape Publishing for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Scorched: A Leila Marx World Novella

scorchedScorched: A Leila Marx World Novella by Amber Garr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of author

Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into here. When the eARC was offered, my thought was that I could do with an Amber Garr’s short story. So, I’ve put my hand up for a copy.

When you read a prequel to a series, you would usually already have a vested interest in the character. However, as I haven’t read the Leila Marx novel, Touching Evil, I feel a lot of it is missing and my rating, therefore, is lacking the ‘squeee’ factor.

I enjoyed this sneak peek into the world of Leila Marx by reading about Conner’s background and how he came to be what he is now. It is a novella so there really wasn’t much of a plot especially since it had a lot of time jumps and the characters weren’t that well developed though I wonder if these characters are in the novel and so, again, am I just missing out on certain essential info?

Overall, it’s an interesting teaser and I have added Touching Evil onto my TBR. Conner, however, seems to be quite a different character in there though he sounds a lot yummier! -definitely better groomed than I imagined him to be in this novella. I am looking forward to get to know him better 😉

Thanks, Amber for preview of the eARC

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Review: Antigoddess

antigoddessAntigoddess by Kendare Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books full of promise: great cover, curious title, appealing blurb, and well-known author. I have to admit that I’ve yet to read Anna though I’ve always wanted to but horror is a genre I rarely touched. Tales of Greek mythologies made alive in today’s setting was something that I couldn’t refuse, especially since I’ve just seen Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monster the other week.

The book is told from two perspectives; Cassandra’s and Athena’s. A young girl who has yet realised her potential, her role in what’s to come and a dying goddess who refused to just give up living. Behind it all is an unknown quantity of force which had killed some gods / goddesses and drove some mad. What will they give to keep their immortality? What will they do?

The alternate chapters were really quite separate and I was really partial to Athena’s chapters that I was really impatient for the time when the stories would converge. This book was all about the tension, the taut suspense of the mystery, the chase, the face-off, the battle. I love how the author brought these mythic gods & heroes to live and treading that fine line between mortal lives and immortality, youth and agelessness, humanity and divinities.

I’m just not quite sure about the ending though. I don’t know whether I liked it at all and I have lots of questions so for now, I’m only rating this read to be around average as I mostly loved one of the alternative perspectives.

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Review (Sneak Peek): The Archived

The Archived
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Sneak Peek eARC courtesy of Disney-Hyperion (via NetGalley)

This was my first ‘sneak peek’ from NetGalley. When I opened the book on my Kobo, I was surprised there were only 100 pages so then I checked around and apparently, ‘sneak peek’ means you get to read about 1/3 or so of the book. D’Oh! I’m not sure if I like that idea at all. As it is, I avoid reading any preview chapters on books I am waiting for… I find that I’d read it over and over that by the time I’ve got the actual book in my hand, I skipped that part as I knew so well and didn’t feel like I enjoyed reading that book to the full.

I’m also not sure on how I’m supposed to review 1/3 of a book? Or if I’m supposed to provide a review at all? In any case, I’ll do a brief comment on what I’ve read so far.

I found the blurb pretty much described what I’ve read so far so that’s a pretty good description of the book although that may mean that it’s a pretty slow set up. It was a little slow, I have to admit, except that I kept getting confused with the flashbacks. I really like Mac as she seems to be a really well-balanced teen. She seems to be coping with grief a lot better than her mum! Maybe with who she really is, she is well equipped to deal with grief. Nonetheless, she is grieving and you can feel it coming in waves throughout the pages. As I’ve only read about 100 pages, I can’t tell whether it gets scarier or not but it’s not that scary so far although I can see if to be a lot more scarier and I’m half-wishing that it will be scarier.

Will I buy the book when it’s released? I don’t know… And that’s only because I’m just a peculiar sort of person who doesn’t like to read part of a book…

Thank you Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley for the preview

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Review: Sailor Twain

Sailor Twain
Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of First Second (via NetGalley) – get your own copy from The Book Depository

I think I can count on one hand the numbers of graphic novels I’ve read: Watchmen, The Lightning Thief, Twilight, The Arrival, and now… Sailor Twain. This does not, however, indicate that I don’t like them only that I don’t go out of my way to find ones I’d like to read. Usually, I’m required to read one for a challenge but this time, I’ve picked it up just because I want to…

As I am reading an eARC downloaded via NetGalley onto my Kobo Touch, it was an interesting experience. My first graphic novel on my precious Kobo – unfortunately, as it’s only a Touch, the graphics look quite different and as the screen is quite small, I managed to read nearly halfway before I decided to finish it up on the PC. And what a difference it made! The atmosphere drawn translated a lot better when you see the graphics in colour – even though, it is black & white charcoal, there is quite a difference looking at it on your e-ink device!

The story itself is quite hypnotic. Just like Sailor Twain found himself caught in fascination with the mysterious mythical creature of the sea, I was completely drawn into this story. He was unable to let go and so was I – until all was revealed (for me anyway). A dark and gripping story – a perfect one for reading in the comfort of your armchair with a blanket over your legs, a steaming hot mug of coffee in your hands, on a grey and drizzly day.

Note: due to the darkness of the story, some nudity, and some sexual implication, I do not recommend this for under 18 (I may be slightly conservative in my views).

Thanks to First Second & NetGalley for the opportunity to read & review

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Cover Reveal: Beyond the Veil by Quinn Loftis

I’m pleased to be participating in this cover reveal, Book 5 in the Grey Wolves Series, Beyond The Veil by Quinn Loftis.

Without further ado, here IT IS…

Beyond the Veil

Book Blurb

Though the Serbian pack has been brought to heel thanks to the downfall of their Alpha, the war is far from over. Desdemona, a witch of unfathomable power, has      escaped the wolves’ wrath, but she will not go quietly into the night. She takes refuge in a place where even the smallest sliver of light does not dare to enter. Though she had to flee, she has not given up on the treasure she wishes to acquire. Her depravity knows no bounds; she’s even willing to search for the one who can assist her in opening a Veil that has not been opened in millennia – with good reason: the danger is incalculable.

Meanwhile, there are major changes rippling through the Romanian Grey wolves. Decebel has become Alpha to the Serbian pack in an effort to begin to unite the Canis lupis species. Their numbers are dwindling in the wake of the shortage of true mates and lack of offspring. The wolves are beginning to lose faith and darkness seems to be crashing in on them from all sides. But the winds of change are blowing, changes that will alter the future of not only the Canis lupis, but of another ancient race as well. Amidst all of this, Sally is continuing to come to terms with her relationship with the playful, charming, flirty, unbelievably handsome bartender – who happens to be a member of      the Romanian pack. If all that weren’t enough, the Fates have decided to pay a little visit to Jen. It’s time to collect. She cheated the Fates of a life, her life. Now they want what they are due.  The problem? It’s more than Jen is willing to pay. Yes, the war is indeed far from over. Bargains will be struck, declarations will be made, sacrifices will be given, love will be tested, and trust will be questioned as evil makes its stand against them all.

About Author

Quinn is a 32 year old wife, mother, nurse, and writer, not    necessarily in that order.  She lives in beautiful North West Arkansas with her husband, son and Nora their Doberman pinscher. She    loves writing, reading, and crocheting. Her favorite holiday is Christmas, favorite book(s) is Pride and Prejudice, The Alpha and Omega Series by Patricia Briggs, and the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. She loves to be silly and have fun, loves music and thinks    there is no greater sound in the world than that of her little boy’s laughter.

You can find her at: her Blog, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook.

Review: Monster in My Closet

Monster in My Closet
Monster in My Closet by R.L. Naquin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Blurb

I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn’t imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I’d seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?

After all, I’ve always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don’t get me wrong, I like helping people—and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course…

My Blurb

I don’t remember ever being scared of monsters, whether in closet or not. However, my little one is currently having a similar problem though he is afraid of ‘cowboys’ (I don’t know how / why since he loves Toy Story!). This is why I was interested in this book, not because that I’m hoping it will give me some tips as to handle it, far from it, I was definitely hoping for some distraction, it hasn’t been easy.

And what a great distraction! Monster in My Closet was a light-hearted tale of otherworldly creatures. When Zoey was 5, she was scared of the monster in her closet. She’s in her late 20s now and has stopped believing in monsters until she found one (the one from her childhood) in her kitchen, drinking coffee, reading the paper and baking the most delish muffins. His name is Maurice; he’s been kicked out of home and needed a place to stay. Zoey has never been one to turn away those in need and thus begins the revelation of all otherworldly things for Zoey…

I love Zoey’s fun, bold & quirky sense of fashion! I wish I could carry it off myself but I think I’m going to have to stick with being ordinary. Zoey is kind generous and warm to all – but there is more to her than just the ‘ordinary’ human. At first, it seems that Zoey just can’t say ‘no’ but that’s because she has that extra sense which makes it hard for her to assert herself sometimes. As she discovers more of herself though, she is even more lovable than before.

The story is filled with a slew of otherworldly creatures (even including one Hot Reaper), many dead bodies, and one stinking demon. It’s a story to while away your day in the sun; it’s light, it’s fluffy, and it’s pretty much clean (ie. no steamy stuff). A good satisfying read for me.

Thank you Carina Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to view and review.

Note: There was one part where Zoey was setting up a date on a Saturday and then at the bottom of the page, she said that she has a date on Friday. As my copy was from Netgalley, this may be un-corrected proof at the time.

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Review: The Golden Lily

The Golden Lily
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Read the blurb from the back of the book here.

Is it heresy to say that I’m liking Bloodlines much better than Vampire Academy? That I’m liking Sydney a whole heap more than I ever did Rose?

I just found Rose to be a ‘try hard’. I didn’t like Rose’s rebellious, angry, & wary attitude. Not that it’s without cause but I just found it to be really annoying. On the other hand, Sydney seems to be the opposite. She’s trying to obey all the rules, to follow the principles grounded in her since childhood, to please one’s parent, and more than a little bit OCD (organising sweet packets by color & size? C’mon!). These were the main things that I can relate to. Yep, I’m a little bit OCD (just a teeny weeny bit) and the Asian in me is big about being obedient & pleasing one’s parent etc. Being able to identify with the main character is the key factor to enjoying a book I’m reading.

With The Golden Lily, I’m loving Sydney more and more. She’s just absolutely lovely. She’s loving, considerate, warm, and all round goodness. Her character is developed a lot more especially as we see her interact socially a lot more and opening herself up to her friends. She’s strong and brave, willing to face up to challenges set in front of her. She finds it utterly terrifying to face any challenges against the deep-seated beliefs ingrained in her innermost self and yet when the situation calls, she knows where her priorities lie.

I’m happy with the character development of Jill and Adrian too. They matured a lot more in this book and I supposed since they are linked, it’s not surprising that they kind of ‘grew up’ together. We are also introduced to Angeline, she is just… so… precious(!), and Brayden (Sydney’s love interest), well, I think I love one of the things Sydney liked about him: he smells like… COFFEE!! *hhhmmm, I could do with one right now*

Even then, things seem a bit slow in the romance department. Although, seeing that Sydney is blind as a bat when it comes to this part of life, it’s not surprising. She is learning though, at a snail’s pace. (I’m not complaining, I love the suspense & as it is, can’t wait for the next instalment. I am a little sad that I’ve finished reading it so quickly!)

It was definitely a quick read for me, it was just that absorbing and I got carried away with the story. There were so many hints/clues peppered through the book that when the ‘truth’ comes to light, you are just like ‘umph, predictable’ and yet, the big mysteries are still pending. We found out a lot more about Trey and a very little more on Ms Terwilliger but they are, by no means, concluded. I think we are in for a lot more surprises there.

“Yes, I decided. Yes, it was worth it.”

(Yeah, okay, I know, I’m such a tease.)

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Review: Forever

Forever
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I read book 2 so it was a bit of a struggle to remember some things. Although I have to say that I found book 1 to be most memorable and therefore, it’s not so surprising that I don’t remember much of book 2 except for the dramatic ending.

Grace has disappeared and Sam fell under suspicion of the town. Whilst Cole is obsessed with finding the cure, Sam barely acknowledges life. The threats against the wolves of Mercy Falls are becoming real and judgement day is fast approaching. Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel will have to come up with a workable plan to save these wolves.

I love Grace & Sam; more precisely, I love what they have, their relationship. It’s just beautiful. I do feel though that the book is a bit overlong. The last 50 pages was exciting and full suspense but…

the most judgemental / condemning thing I can say about this book was that it just didn’t drive me to pull all-nighter to finish reading to the end. It just wasn’t riveting enough that I was actually happy to put in my fancy bookmark and go to sleep at an earlier time that I would usually. If you truly know me, this is saying a lot about the book.

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