Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Shelf: Divined (The Last Oracle #3) by Emily Wibberley

The epic conclusion to the Last Oracle Series…

Clio has forsaken the Deities and turned her back on her powers. Unable to trust her Visions, she is left alone and weak on the outskirts of Sheehan.

When the Emperor hears that an Oracle has survived in the Empire, he places a price on her head, forcing Clio to flee to the ancient city of Cearo. But the Deities have other plans for Clio, and it’s not long before she is faced with new foes, including a priestess with uncanny powers.

With rumors of unrest in the Empire growing and alliances within the nobles shifting, Riece seeks out Clio with a desperate plea. To protect the Empire, Clio will have to return to where her journey began—the sacrificial pyramid of Morek—to fight a new evil in an unimaginable form and confront the greatest enemy she's ever known: her father.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Divined is the third and final instalment in Emily Wibberley’s sensational Last Oracle series and is a fast paced, thrilling and fantastic way to end a series that has been captivating, engaging and edge-of-your-seat addictive from the very beginning.

Having turned her back on the Deities and forsaken her powers as the Oracle, Clio finds herself leaving Sheehan, weak and disheartened; hoping to protect those she loves for as long as possible. Yet when Riece tracks her down and asks for assistance regarding the growing unrest in the Empire, Clio soon learns that Morek and Sheehan are set to go to war against each other, and even worse…..a new and powerful enemy is determined to take over in Morek. Returning to the place Clio began her journey, she, Riece and their friends must take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever known if they hope to stop immense bloodshed and stop a powerful Deity from destroying everything they hold dear….

Phew! What a story! After finishing this novel, I can honestly say there’s nothing I can really fault about it. Divined was everything I was hoping it would be; action packed, forward moving, romantic, charismatic and chemistry filled--Wibberley hit the nail on the head as she raced her characters towards a dangerous confrontation against a foe who you wouldn’t have necessarily expected them to face.

Well written and delightfully paced, Divined sees Clio make her final stand with alliances shifting, new friends made and powerful beings determined to take control of Morek and the neighbouring land of Sheehan. Emily Wibberley has taken Clio on one dangerous journey after another and she has grown a lot, becoming a stronger woman, a warrior and a fighter, but even Clio doubts and struggles in this novel; having to make big choices where success isn’t always guaranteed. Yet this stubborn heroine has never given up and I commend Wibberley for writing a heroine so likable, personable and enjoyable to follow.

In the desert land setting of Morek and Sheehan, we’ve seen Clio come a long way and alongside Riece, she’s wormed her way into my heart. Wibberley won me over the moment she introduced Riece to the series; a confidant and charming young Commander who has had a terrific chemistry alongside Clio since the moment they met. Forced apart time and time again due to reasons that weren’t always within their control, Clio and Riece sizzle whenever they’re together and Divined is no exception to this rule with plenty of fabulous scenes that are full of the Riece and Clio fire and passion I’ve come to love! Theirs is the best kind of forbidden I love and I can’t adore them more.

Divined is a very entertaining novel. Clio and Riece are supported by a vast array of characters who make up a brilliant ensemble of characters. Ixie, Ashira and Derik have always been wonderful and the inclusion of Ealis was a great addition to the story that sees another of our characters find unexpected happiness—after a lot of delicious tension and back and forth banter that is!

Heart felt and powerful, Divined isn’t without its loss, as no epic and final confrontation would be. Emily Wibberley doesn’t spare her characters from pain, but in the midst of a fast paced novel with plenty of twists and developments, gives us an ending she should be darn proud of…..that allows us to rest knowing Clio, Riece and those they love will live happily ever after.

If you haven’t read this series, now is the perfect moment to start The Last Oracle trilogy and fall in love with this luscious, dangerous and completely addictive world Emily Wibberley has penned. Highly recommend!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by the author (Thank you Emily!)
Format: Kindle ebook
Buy it:  The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Recommendation: This series is a must read for fantasy fans.
Cover: The covers in this series rock and this one is no exception.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Unfortuntely this is the last book in the series but I'll read anything Emily Wibberley releases next without hesitation!!  



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #134

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Releases on: January 17th 2017
Add on Goodreads!
 
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.


Thoughts:
Two words; Veronica. Roth. As in Veronica Roth? Veronia Roth! *Squee* Veronica Roth has a new book coming out *does happy dance* Sure it won't be released until January next year but still.....get a look at that cover, and the description....*swoon* Cannot wait!

What do you think? Are you a Veronica Roth fan?
Will you be looking to read this?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Shelf: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin - a formidable king - arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice - leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king ...if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it. And perhaps she is...


More info on
Goodreads......


Review:

A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston is based on the classic tale, The Arabian Nights and tells of one girl’s fight for survival against the harsh, unforgiven desert and the man who holds her in his grasp.

King Lo-Melkhiin has had three hundred wives, and each one has died on their wedding night. Going from village to village taking girls to be his bride, none have lasted more than one night. That is until our heroine convinces the powerful ruler to take her instead of her beautiful sister, only to learn that dark forces haunt the palace she soon begins to call home. Haunted by visons of her sister and family back home and frustrated by the dark compulsion she feels towards Lo-Melkhiin and the magic that seeps beneath his skin, she soon sets out to discover Lo-Melkiins secrets and discovers that powerful beings exist within the world.

In all honestly, this novel is a hard one for me to review. Set amongst a desert backdrop, the writing style featured by Johnston really is perfect for the setting of this book and its clear the author has a very good grasp of what she wanted to produce, but for me A Thousand Nights just fell very flat. Was it a bad book? No. Would it appeal to certain people? For sure! Do those people include me? No.

As someone unfamiliar with the original The Arabian Nights, I went into this book with open eyes and an open mind. I can’t fault the author for the vivid setting she creates and the writing style she implores, but overall I didn’t find myself overly captured by A Thousand Nights. For the most part I just plodded along with this book, getting through each page and then the next without too much concern for what was going on and the characters themselves.

Personally I thought the concept was brilliant, but didn’t reach its full potential. I was disappointed by the lack of romance by what was advertised as a great love story and felt the novel lacked connection and dynamic between the characters.

The story was interesting at times, especially towards the end, however I felt we spent too much time getting to this part of the tale. Most of the story seemed unnecessary and redundant and the lack of chemistry or any connection between our main character and the supporting cast failed the story in my eyes.

A Thousand Nights had potential but ultimately fell flat. It wasn’t for me, but if you enjoy powerfully harsh settings and magic, you may want to give this fantasy tale a go.


Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback ARC
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: If you like desert tales and magic, maybe give this a go.
Cover: I don't mind the purple colour, but it's really bland
Will I read sequel/continue with series: No. This is a standalone, but if it wasn't I wouldn't continue.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Owl Post #90


Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.
 
Hey guys! It's been ages since I've shared an Owl Post. Moving house has really thrown me, but I'm getting there :) Got some great books to share with you that I received these past few weeks!
 
For Review:
From Harper Collins:
- Demon Road by Derek Landy
- Desolation by Derek Landy
I know Derek Landy is well respected for his series, so although I haven't read any books of his, I'm excited to give this series a go. It sounds really promising.
 
- The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Really dig the sound of this book and am looking forward to reading it.
 
....Thank you Holly!
__________________________
 
From Bloomsbury/Allen & Unwin:
- The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski  
Squee! I LOVE this series and I'm soooo excited about this book. Can't wait to read it and see how it all ends!!
 
- Ruined by Amy Tintera
I really adored Amy Tintera's Reboot series, so I have high hopes for this novel. I'm looking forward to reading it--it sounds just like the kind of thing I'd love.
 
- A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
My goodness I'm so scared and excited to read this book. The first one was beyond brilliant, but I REALLY don't want to see a love triangle so I'm hesitate to jump into this. Need to psych myself up first for what I KNOW will be an emotional and epic read ;)
 
....Thank you guys!
__________________________
 
From Pan Macmillan:
- Dirty by Kylie Scott
I've been waiting for this book ever since I first heard Kylie Scott was writing it. LOVED Stage Dive and so excited for the spin-off.
 
- The Peppercorn Project by Nicki Edwards
This book isn't my exact kind of thing, but I'm always up for something new :)
 
....Thank you Lara!
 
I Bought:
 
 - Dragon's Lair by Chantal Fernando
- Arrow's Hell by Chantal Fernando
I already have a copy of this book as I plan to read the series is the lead up to the Sydney Author Event where Chantal will be in attendance, but with the first book 3 for $10 at Basement Books I had to snag a hew for giveaway :)
 
- Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
I've liked the books I've read by Aprilynne Pike in the past and have been wanting to get a copy for a while. Hope I can read it soon.
 
- The Master by Kresley Cole
I LOVED the first book in this series The Professional and I'm so happy to have finally bought a copy of the second book. Can't wait to read it!
 
 
- The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
I also have a copy of The Bone Season to read as well. The series sounds really good and I want to read it when I have a chance :)
 
- Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker
This book sounded quite promising and I really like the sound of it. Couldn't pass up a cheap book.
 
- Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
I recently read Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series and I'm planning to read her Guild Hunter series too. I already own books 1 and 3. Just needed number 2 to be ready to kick the series off.
 
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
-  Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
I've heard so many good things about this series and I've been wanting to read it for so long. Finally decided to bite the bullet and get myself copies of the trilogy. Want to make sure I read it before I see the movie that's coming out. Oh and they look so beautiful together in hardback!
 
And that's me!
What have the owls been bringing you lately?
 
 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Shelf: Learning to Swim (Hearts Out of Water #1) by Annie Cosby

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Learning to Swim by Annie Cosby is a delightful contemporary read with a paranormal undertone that will sweep you up on a summer adventure set in a pleasing coastal town.

Cora Manchester is just trying to figure out what she wants to do with her future when her mother whisks the family away to spend the summer in the small town of Oyster Beach, hoping to re-connect. Staying in a horrendously pink house and spending time with other vacationing families much like her own, Cora seeks an escape with the town’s locals. Quickly striking up a friendship with Mrs O’Leary, a kind but lonely old woman who tells tales of mythological creatures and who struggles to see the line between fantasy and reality, Cora spends her days near the ocean, learning of magical creatures within the sea. Until she meets Ronan, a local boy who makes her heart race like never before and whose connection to Mrs O’Leary is one Cora never could have expected……

Learning to Swim was one of those books that really was just a delight to read. The novel was well written and flows nicely. It’s not the fastest paced novel I’ve ever read but rather flows at a steady pace. Learning to Swim was easy to read and it seemed effortless to follow the likable characters and steadily learn about their lives and their stories. Annie Cosby weaves some Celtic and Gaelic history into the tale and throws us the perfect hint of paranormal to compliment the story. Tales of mythology and paranormal creatures litter the book thanks to fantastical Mrs O’Leary, but as the reader you’re never sure whether the stories are just that; stories….or maybe hints at something more?

Filled with different characters with plenty of personality, Learning to Swim follows a decent main character in Cora. Cora is your typical teenage girl on the brink of adulthood, and as such Cosby writes her that way. Spoilt and given everything by her parents—bar her freedom—Cora will at times frustrate and baffle you, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Cora is a character who grows a lot and ultimately learns in this novel.

Annie Cosby gives Cora a love interest in the form of Ronan, who really isn’t who he seems. I quite liked the attraction that simmered between her and Rory that saw them bicker in the beginning and then slowly bond with their friendship with Mrs. O’Leary. Cora and Rory were a sweet couple and I appreciated the way Cosby wrote them.

Learning to Swim sees Cora learn some interesting truths about the world around her, but it’s not until the very final chapter that the biggest revelation and development comes to light. Personally there were certain things I put together early on, but that only made me more excited when Cora finally finds out herself.

Ending with a cliffhanger at a big moment, Learning to Swim will leave you without a doubt raring to dive into the next book to discover what happens to Cora and Rory next!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by the author (Thank you Annie!)
Format: Kindle ebook
Buy it:  The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
My Recommendation: For fans of Amanda Hocking's Watersong Quartet and fantasy
Cover: This cover is beautiful. I really like it.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes. Looking forward to reading more.

 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blog Tour: The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross- Excerpt & Giveaway


Today I've got the Blog Tour for The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross on the blog. And I'm super excited to be featuring it because I've read this book....and. it. is. AWESOME! A brilliant fantasy tale that I absolutely loved!
____________________________________

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…


Add on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review!

Purchase:

 
My eyes flew open at the crack of dawn. I groaned and rubbed my forehead. My scalp tingled, an icy, unpleasant sensation. I knew right away where Darius was and what he was doing. It was another side effect of the bond, I'd discovered. I could feel his heart beating. I knew that one of his boots was too tight. I could shut my eyes and tell you exactly where he was, even if he was hundreds of leagues away.

Why had no one told me what it would be like? I supposed Tijah did, but this was much worse than I'd expected. Much, much worse.

I threw on my new scarlet tunic and marched down to the river. Tendrils of mist swirled through the dead reeds at the edge. It was late autumn and the air had a dank chill that promised snow.

My da─ôva stood there, stripped to the waist, pouring water over his head with his right hand. He wore a gold faravahar on a chain around his neck, its eagle wings spread wide. His left arm lay at his side, grey and dead. I stared at his shoulder, at the juncture where smooth skin met rough. His Druj curse.

It slowed me for a moment, seeing that pathetic arm, but I wasn't yet ready to forgive him for waking me. That was my excuse, anyway. Of course, what really angered me was the terrible realization that I was burdened with a sorrow not my own, but that bled me nonetheless. What really angered me was him—everything about him.

He was calmer this morning, but I wasn't. I stopped about twenty feet away. He didn’t turn around although he knew I was there.

"It's nice that you're so pious," I said. "But don't you think it's a little early to be down here performing the morning rites?"

He paused, then dumped the last of the water from the bowl. I felt the cold trickle down my spine and my lips tightened.

"I was taught by the magi to come at first light," Darius said. "Did you expect to sleep in? I'm afraid that's not the way it works for Water Dogs." He smiled, and we both knew it was fake. "I'm sorry if I've offended you in some way."

I stared at him, at the dark hair plastered across his forehead, his stubborn mouth. He looked so human. And yet there was something in the way Darius held himself, perfectly at ease in his own skin. Still but coiled, like the wolves I'd seen in the mountains.

"You haven't offended me in the least," I said. "I suppose you need the blessing more than I do."

I spun on my heel and walked away, knowing I had wounded him. A small stab to my own heart. And I felt slightly ashamed. But that wasn't the end of it. Then I felt his satisfaction at my shame. And my own anger that he knew and was glad. 

And then his amusement at my anger!

I stalked off, determined to think nothing, to feel nothing, ever again.
 
If only it were that easy.
 

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

Visit Kat:

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Shelf: The Midnight Sea (The Fourth Element #1) by Kat Ross

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross is an incredibly told, incredibly addictive and straight out fantastic fantasy that is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas or Graceling by Kristin Cashore!

Set in an alluring fictional land that takes cues from real history, The Midnight Sea introduces readers to Nazafareen, a young woman who is sought by her King’s elite to train as a Water Dog; a select group of fighters who protect the empire from the Undead. Grief stricken after the loss of her sisters at the hands of an evil Druj, Nazafareen is willing to do anything to destroy the monsters that took her sisters life; even be bonded to one. In order to fight Druj on an almost even playing field, Water Dogs are linked to creatures known as daeva, a special breed of Druj that have been bred and have fought for the empire for centuries. Bonded to a daeva named Darius through a unique gold cuff, Nazafareen is unprepared for the difficulties being bonded brings….and the feelings Darius stirs in her. Though she has sworn to uphold her people’s honour, over time Nazafareen begins to question just what she’s fighting for and just who are the true monsters……

Can I just say how impressed with The Midnight Sea I was? I mean seriously. This novel was fantastic! From the opening chapters I was absolutely swept up into Nazafareen’s story and unwilling to put the novel down. It was so easy to become absorbed in the story and this lush but dangerous world Kat Ross has created. Definitely a favourite of mine so far this year.

Set against a mountainous backdrop, The Midnight Sea takes readers into the heart of various small villages and towns and explores simple mountain people, elite fighters and dangerous creatures in fabulous circumstances. Personally, I loved the blend of danger, magic and character chemistry that litters this novel. There’s a simple feel that encompasses this novel, as you would expect with a fantasy novel that explores the most promising fantasy elements and manages to weave different aspects of love, loyalty and trust in with plenty of action scenes, danger and exhilaration.

The creatures Ross introduces and features were really interesting. Druj are basically demons or evil spirits if you will, but Ross gives them a little bit of a twist and features an intriguing race of people named the daeva. Daeva are humanoid and can easily be mistaken for human. They hurt, they feel, they care……and I really enjoyed getting to know the ones we meet within the story—especially Darius if I’m begin honest.

I truly felt that Nazafareen was a wonderful heroine to follow. Strong, personable and quick thinking, Nazafareen was down to earth, comes from a simple upbringing and manages to make something of herself as a Water Dog. Yet when the time comes for her to make a stand and pick a side, she isn’t led by idle promises and pretty words—she does what she thinks is right and knows to be fair. Truly I liked her, and the tangible relationship she develops with Darius.

Obviously there’s a romantic element to the relationship between Nazafareen and Darius, but I liked that it was a delicious undercurrent to the story and that they were partners first and foremost. Connected in a way few are, Nazafareen and Darius overcame their own misguided thoughts and beliefs about the other to bond as only a bonded and their daeva can. It was thrilling seeing them grow and develop and of course I’m thrilled with the aspect of forbidden their pairing brings to the story. So much promise, so much intensity—I love it!

Filled with plenty of luscious side characters and plenty of storyline developments, Kat Ross explores her riveting new world wonderfully in this first novel; setting the story for the rest of the series and leaving this reader at least dying for the next book to once more join Nazafareen and Darius on their daring adventure!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Xpresso Book Tours and Kat Ross (Thanks ladies!)
Format: Kindle ebook
Buy it: The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Recommendation: For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore
Cover: Pretty and fitting--I like it.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I cannot wait!