Showing posts with label E-ARC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label E-ARC. Show all posts

Saturday, July 30, 2016

ARC Review: Riverkeep by Martin Stewart

RiverkeepTitle: Riverkeep
Author: Martin Stewart
Source/Format: First to Read; eARC
More Details: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Viking; July 26, 2016

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

The DanĂ©k is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations—clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over. Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under—and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too. When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected—but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed...
As I was reading Riverkeep by Martin Stewart, I had one thought in mind: eh, this is okay. That feeling remained until the end. It had its high and low points, but by farmthe book wasn’t a bad story. And as far as fantasy novels go, Riverkeep was pretty good, a little slow at times, but still alright.

My initial reaction to the beginning was a little mixed. It wasn’t a bad opening, but I struggled to stick with the story and I almost gave up. However, I stuck with it out of sheer curiosity, and the desire to get answers for the questions I had.

Riverkeep was more of a coming-of-age story set against a fantasy backdrop full of perilous places and even more dangerous creatures. And despite the introduction of numerous characters, and the multitude of POVs throughout Riverkeep, the focus was really on Wull—following him as he struggles against change, and discovering where he belongs while dealing with a slowly unfolding personal tragedy.

There was a lot of traveling in Riverkeep since the characters had places to be for important reasons, which made the story drag in some places. However, the dialogue and slowly developing friendships between the characters is part of what got me through those parts. I was also curious to see how the story ended since the beginning set up a relatively strong conflict.

As promised by the synopsis, Wull met a lot of different people from different backgrounds, and under different circumstances. I won’t go into too much about them since it would be kind of spoiler for parts of the story. The things I liked best about Riverkeep were some of the secondary characters. The Mormorach was a key part of Riverkeep. It was a “great sea-dwelling beast” going about its business—albeit oversized and with a destructive tendency that bordered on absurd. It served as one of the antagonists, a source of conflict amongst the many outside factors that eventually concerned Wull.

Another thing I liked was the setting. It was done really well. It was dark, cold because of the time of year, and harsh—especially the river. It gave the story an eerie atmosphere, which was pretty fitting. The overall plot wasn’t bad. I actually liked it, and the ending was pretty good too since it neatly tied up the story.

So, while my initial reaction to Riverkeep was mixed, I am glad that I stuck with it.
This copy of the book was provided by First to Read (publisher) for this review, thank you!

Friday, June 26, 2015

ARC Review: A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves, #1)Title:A Book of Spirits and Thieves
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Source/Format: Penguin First to Read, E-ARC
More Details: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Razorbill, June 23, 2015

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Worlds collide in this suspenseful, page-turning Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, which explores a whole new side of Mytica—and an even darker version of its magic.

Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her father’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspeare Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself.

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart...
 
A Book of Spirits and Thieves is basically my introduction to Morgan Rhodes' novels. I have heard of her other series—Falling Kingdoms—though I don’t ever really remember being too interested in it despite the numerous things I’ve heard about it, all good. But for me this book was ok, and I in no way felt like I needed to immediately rush out and buy all of Rhodes' other novels. The beginning was just alright, and I honestly kept setting this book aside until I finally sat down and decided to just get through it. There were elements within the first few chapters that offered enough intrigue to make me curious enough to see how the book would end.

The story was in no way slow. In fact, the trouble almost immediately begins, and the plot quickly moves along from there. One aspect that I really enjoyed was the very different settings—Present-day Toronto and Mytica. I found the parts that took place in Mytica especially interesting, and when the story finally reached those parts I felt more enthused about getting to the ending of the novel. The premise about a book actually doing some harm was interesting enough. Wait, sorry, no, not “some harm,” but a lot of it actually. And the mystery of what this book was is what kept me reading. It was one thing I definitely wanted to know more about. The writing was also something else I enjoyed. Yes, it was third person, but it was descriptive and it was nice to see the story from different perspectives. And not once did I ever feel like the characters were getting muddle together. It was easy to distinguish one from the other.

Crystal (Crys) Hatcher was an ok character. My primary issue with her in the beginning was how the book dealt with the relationship between the two sisters, with Crys being the eldest. I don’t know if this is a trend, but I don’t like it when the older sister is constantly comparing her shortcomings to the younger sister that is always considered the breadwinner of the family. Sometimes it could be for the pettiest of reasons like looks, grades, jobs, or whatever. And once I got past the beginning, Crys continued to be an ok character but my opinion of her improved as the story progressed. As for the other prominent characters in the book, I liked Maddox and Becca, and I did enjoy seeing them interact with one another—it was very entertaining. And then there was Farrell Grayson. I didn't like him at all mainly because of the things he did. But there was an assortment of characters ranging in personalities and motivations regarding their actions and it ultimately tied into the plot.

So, all in all, A Book of Spirits and Thieves was an average sort of book for me. There were things I liked and some that I did not. But the second half of the book is what saved it for me. I might consider picking up other books by Morgan Rhodes—maybe even the sequel to this one, it just depends.
This copy of the book was provided by Penguin First to Read for this review, thank you!

Friday, February 6, 2015

ARC Review: Lucidity by Stephanie Thomas


Lucidity (The Raven Chronicles, #2)Title: Lucidity
Author: Stephanie Thomas
Source/Format: Author, E-ARC
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: February 7, 2015

Goodreads     Amazon

Summary from Goodreads...

Beatrice never thought she’d find herself in the middle of Aura, the city of her sworn enemy, the Dreamcatchers. Nor did she never think she’d abandon everything she’d ever known and everyone she’d ever loved to blindly follow Echo, the Dreamcatcher Prince. Gabe would never forgive her, if he lives, and nor will any of the Seers. Upon arriving, Beatrice is quickly thrown into the Dreamcatcher Queen’s self-serving plot to save Aura from a disastrous plague, and Bea’s anticipated return to the City is becoming less likely every day she is held captive and subjected to the epidemic. Full Summary Here

My history with dystopian books has been spotty to say the least—I liked some and I disliked even more—but thankfully, Lucidity by Stephanie Thomas is one that I actually liked! You have no idea how excited I am about that.

It’s been some time since I read Luminosity, the first book in the series, and it was kind of an average read for me. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the sequel. The writing had a good flow to it, and it was easy to get into the story. There were plenty of descriptions and I could easily visualize the setting and what was happening. I really enjoyed the concept of Seers and Dreamcatchers, and the conflict that surrounded them.

Things literally started where the last book ended, and I was glad to see what happened to the characters after the events of Luminosity. Beatrice was a little indecisive—sometimes she was sure about what she wanted, and at other times she seemed more conflicted. But actually, it kind of worked. Beatrice was raised to have certain beliefs and I could understand why she had a hard time straying from them.

The conflict in Lucidity was enough to keep me invested in the story—the ending wrapped things up nicely and I liked it. Overall, the plot was good and the pacing was nice. The world building was handled well and it was easy to understand the society that the characters had to live in. Who knows, maybe my enthusiasm for dystopian books has finally returned, but regardless I enjoyed this book.

This copy of the book was provided by the author for review, thank you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ARC Review: Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers, #1)Title:  Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers #1)
Author:  Peggy Eddleman
Publisher/Publication Date: Random House Children's, September 24, 2014
Format/Source:  E-ARC, Publisher/NetGalley
Age Range:  8-12
Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Summary  From Goodreads

What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most?
12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost. Read More
My Thoughts
Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman is a post-apocalyptic debut novel that’s full of awesomeness, action, and adventure and is sure to captivate readers. 
Since I was unfamiliar with this author’s work, I was unsure of what to expect from Sky Jumpers. The synopsis piqued my interest. The first thing that caught my attention was the 12 year old female protagonist, trying to find her place in a post-apocalyptic society in which inventing is the most important skill; yet, it’s the very thing that Hope is bad at.
Sky Jumpers is a new family favorite. After I read the first few pages, I was so excited about the storyline that I had to share it with my middle grade (MG) reader. My MG reader enjoyed the book and indicated that, “The book had perfect pacing and kept me interested.” From my point of view, Sky Jumpers is a must read. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as Hope and her friends race against time and set out on a dangerous journey in an effort to save the townspeople. We are definitely looking forward to the second book in the series.

I received an E-ARC of Sky Jumpers from the Publisher/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, Thank you.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ARC Review: Relic by Renee Collins

RelicTitle: Relic
Author: Renee Collins
Publisher/Publication Date:  Entangled Teen, August 27, 2013
Format/Source: E-ARC, Publisher
Age Range: YA

AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     GOODREADS





Summary from Goodreads

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries. Read More

My Thoughts

After reading the summary of Relic by Renee Collins, I was really excited to read the book. I was intrigued by the Old West setting, so I eagerly took the plunge but was disappointed to find that the story wasn’t as I’d imagined. The history pertaining to the power of  relics was interesting, but when considering that this book was categorized as a young adult novel, I just couldn’t get over some of the content. In the beginning it seemed like Maggie was evolving into a strong heroine. After she was faced with the tragedy of losing her parents, it seemed that Maggie had started to overcome adversity as she found a job as a hostess at a saloon and cared for her sister. Okay, so here’s the problem, Maggie was only 16, and she worked in a saloon that employed dancers who also worked as prostitutes. The behavior of her boss, Connelly, can be described as nothing less than repugnant. He had a crass attitude and treated the young female employees like property and a paycheck. I personally found Connelly’s behavior so distasteful that I did not finish this book.
 
I received an e-arc of Relic by Renee Collins from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

ARC Review: Darker Days by Jus Accardo


 
Title: Darker Days (The Darker Agency, #1)
Author: Jus Accardo
Publisher/Publication Date:  Entangled Publishing, August 26, 2013
Format/Source:  E-ARC, Publisher 
 
Summary
     Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...
     When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

     Seven deadly ones, in fact.
     They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...
     There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything. 
 

My Thoughts 

     Darker Days by Jus Accardo started out as a lighthearted paranormal book. At first I thought that the storyline was amazing. I liked the bits of humor spread throughout the story as the Darkers investigated unusual paranormal events. The writing style and pacing were good. Jessie’s investigative skills were a little messy yet entertaining. And some of the characters were just priceless, especially Mr. Winkie who showed up at the most inopportune times. At times there was crude language, but that wasn’t the bad part. My major issue with Darker Days was one of the key players, Vida better known as Lust. The events surrounding this character were cringe worthy and I had a difficult time discerning the target audience. There was an instance in the book in which one of the characters didn’t want to tell when she found herself in a bad situation. So, I started to question whether this sends the wrong message to teens/young adults. Yes, I understand that the seven sins had a hold on some of the townspeople, but there are just certain behaviors/situations that deserve consequences/corrective actions, even in fiction. And I totally get that young adult books of today try to capture the harsh reality of life, but there are just some things that shouldn’t be broached in books for teens.

     I read until I reached the beginning of page 173 before I decided to call it quits. Overall, Darker Days has a promising premise that can be transformed into an amazing story with some changes.
 
I received an ARC of Darker Days from the publisher for an honest review, thank you.

Friday, August 9, 2013

ARC Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris


A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #2)
 
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher/Publication Date: Entangled Teen, August 6, 2013
Format/Source: E-ARC, Publisher
Amazon     B&N     Goodreads  
 
 Book Summary from Goodreads
 
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
 
 

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris. Harris presented an interesting take on time travel.  Even though I didn’t read book one, the book contained sufficient background information so I could fully understand the characters and the overall storyline.   I liked how Harris presented the differences between societal norms and teens of today versus those of the past. The descriptions were vivid and it was easy to become engrossed in the book.
The only problem I had with A Tale of Two Centuries was the underage alcohol use in a setting that that wasn't appropriate for teens. And it didn’t really seem realistic for a California Bar. I understand the fact that Alessandra traveled from a time period in which there were a lot of restrictions and she went a little wild with her new found freedom. However, there were references to using alcohol to relax, and the characters were only 16. In my opinion that just sends the wrong message to young adults. Yes, underage drinking is an issue in society, but I would love to see more YA books moving away from the inclusion of this behavior.
I received an e-arc of A Tale of Two Centuries from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review, Thank You.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

ARC Review: Blurred by Tara Fuller

Blurred (Kissed by Death, #2)Title: Blurred (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Publisher, E-ARC
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Entangled Teen, July 2, 2013




My Thoughts:

    Oh Cash, oh Anaya…why?  Why, Tara Fuller, why?  This book pulled at my emotions like it was a piece of string being chased by a cat.  For me, Blurred was an emotional rollercoaster that had me wanting to get to the end as fast as possible.  It was the kind of book that made me root for the character’s happiness at the end, no matter what it was.  It shouldn’t be hard to guess that I absolutely loved this book! 

    I did not read the book prior to this one and I went into the story not knowing who the characters were, what their story was, or how things got to be the way they were.  What I did get from the start, Cash was struggling with the aftermath of the fire.  He was angry; he was hurt both emotionally and physically.  Throughout the book, the lies that were surrounding him began to unravel.  I just felt so bad for Cash as the story progressed that I wished something good would happen to him.  Anaya was also tortured; she longed to get back to those she loved.  Her loyalties were tested as she struggled to do what was right versus what would benefit her.  Though their troubles differed, Cash and Anaya still struggled throughout the book with their emotions, and everything else.  Emma, well, she was hurting and I could tell she cared about Cash and wanted to help him.  Finn was supportive in the whole situation, and I liked the way that he was there for Emma.

    The plot, oh my god, why?  Why did Cash have to suffer so much?  Why?  You know the saying, right?  How life’s not fair, well, this just tops the cake with a pretty cherry on top.  The plot was so unfair to the characters that I seriously questioned if there was going to be a good ending.  And then the end snuck up on me way too quickly, and then it was over.  Despite everything, I felt like the ending was just right for this book and wrapped everything up nicely.  I just have one more question.  So, um, yeah, is there another book and when’s it coming out?

 
This E-ARC was provided by the publisher, Entangled Teen, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog Tour: This is War by Lisa and Laura Roecker



Welcome to our tour stop on the the This is W.A.R. blog tour!  Below is a little about the book, and if you reach the bottom of the post you'll find links to a cool promotion.


Title: This is W.A.R. by Lisa and Laura Roecker
Source/Format: Edelweiss, E-ARC
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Soho Teen, July 2, 2013

 
The Synopsis
This is not a story of forgiveness...
The mystery of their best friend's murder drives four girls to destroy the Gregory family. Everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club saw Willa Ames-Rowan climb into a boat with James Gregory, the Club’s heir apparent. And everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club watched him return. Alone. They all know he killed her. But none of them will say a word. The Gregory family is very, very good at making problems go away. Enter the W.A.R.—the war to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan. Four girls. Four very different motives for justice and revenge, and only one rule: destroy the Gregory family at any cost. 
 
My Thoughts:
 
     This is W.A.R. is yet another fast-paced novel by Lisa and Laura Roecker shrouded in mystery and suspense.  There were things I did and didn’t like about This is W.A.R..  On one hand, they presented us with another addictive mystery full of lies, dirty money, and a truth just begging to get to the surface.  On another hand, there were some bits and pieces of the story that I felt could have just been left out.  

     Following Rose, Lina, Madge, and Sloane along through This is W.A.R. was like a rollercoaster with no clear end in sight.  Fueled by hatred, the girls went after who they thought was responsible for their friends death.  I liked watching their stories unfold from each of their POV’s, as they struggled with their feelings about Willa’s death, while taking into account the wishes of others.  But there was always one clear goal in mind: Revenge.  It led to them making a few choice decisions that had me cringing.  Then there were the Gregorys, the guys with all the money in the world that one person could possibly want and who knew how to use it to their advantage.  The Gregory family was as dirty as they come, and I liked the way Lisa and Laura Roecker portrayed them.  To say the least, they were well-written antagonists.

     The plot, the secrets, all of it was shocking, especially some of the characters involved in certain revelations.  As things were revealed I slowly put the pieces of that fateful night together.  My only complaint is that some of the smaller details bothered me.  Some of the suggestive situations sprinkled throughout the book were just too much for me, and in the end those elements hampered my overall enjoyment of This is W.A.R..

An e-arc was provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
 
 
Now for the information on the promotion.  If you pre-order the book you could earn yourself one of the keys featured in the book, but it's limited in quantity.  Click HERE for more information.
 
 

Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing partners with a passion for good books, pop culture, and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. A prepubescent obsession with Lois Duncan and their mother's insistence that they read Men Are Just Desserts inspired This is WAR. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio, in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. Cyberstalking is always encouraged at lisa-laura.blogspot.com and @landlroecker on Twitter.

 
Links

Monday, April 1, 2013

ARC Review: All the Broken Pieces Cindi Madsen

All the Broken PiecesPreviously posted on my Goodreads page
Title: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Source/Format:Elana Johnson, (Entangled Publishing), E-galley
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Entangled Publishing, December 11, 2012

My thoughts:


    What just happened? No really, what just happened? Never have I ever been more shocked by a book in my life. I just don’t know what I should say about All the Broken Pieces. Well I do know one thing for sure: this book was phenomenal and original. I haven’t read a book like it. All the Broken Pieces was like a fresh breath of air to me. Cindi Madsen is definitely an author I’ll be watching for future works.

     Liv is literally broken, and she doesn’t know why. She did go through such a terrible ordeal; it’s justified to feel so…messed up. Her reaction to it all will suck you into the story, and hold you there, anxiously on the edge of your seat just to see what’s really going on. The parents seemed to really care about liv, but I couldn’t help but think that there was something really off about them. Liv goes through a roller-coaster of emotions as she tries to navigate her life. Along the way she makes a few friends, but she struggles to fit in. Spencer is just a sweet guy, and as the story progresses we get to see why he was so aloof when they first met.

     One word: original. The story wasn’t predictable, and I loved that fact. Madsen threw so many curveballs into All the Broken Pieces that I was stunned when the conclusion came. I literally had to reread it to make sure that I’d read it right. The Conclusion can be described in one word, shocking, which sums up this book. I mean shocking in a good way too. Madsen did a fantastic job; she wove a story that’s bound to be a hit. Five stars!
I absolutely loved it.  I would recommend it to everyone.


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