Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Shelf: Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1) by Amanda Hocking

Will she give up her dream to follow her heart?

Bryn Aven is determined to gain status amongst the Kanin, the most powerful of the hidden tribes. But as a half-blood, winning respect is a huge challenge. Bryn's almost-human community distrusts people, and those from other tribes are almost as suspect.


She has just one goal to get ahead: to join the elite guard protecting the Kanin royal family. And Bryn's vowed that nothing will stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss, Ridley Dresden.

But her plans are put on hold when fallen hero Konstantin starts acting dangerously. Bryn loved him once, but now he's kidnapping Kanin children - stealing them from hidden placements within human families. She's sent to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Frostfire is the first novel in Amanda Hocking’s Kanin Chronicles and catapults readers back into her intricate and beautiful world of the Trylle. Exploring a brand new branch of this dynamic world, Frostfire introduces readers to a kick-ass new heroine and a brand new tale to sink their teeth into!

After enjoying the Trylle series, I was very excited to head back into Amanda Hocking’s world, and not only did I enjoy myself, but I actually found myself loving Frostfire more! Throughout Trylle we followed Wendy who was a changeling, whereas in Frostfire our main character is actually a tracker; tasked with finding and returning changelings to the Kanin. We’ve reversed roles and now get to see the other side of the fence, which when added to the new tribe we’re getting to know, makes for some awesome reading.

Frostfire follows Bryn Aven, a blonde haired, blue eyed tracker from the Kanin tribe. As a half-breed, Bryn has spent her years fighting for a place in Kanin’s elite Hogdragen guard and has had to prove herself time and time again thanks to her mixed blood. Despite this, Bryn is one of the best trackers the Kanin have, and when a traitor by the name of Konstantin Black resurfaces and starts attempting to kidnap changelings Bryn finds herself setting out to discover what Konstantin is up to. Sporting a history with Konstantin, Bryn has a vested interest in bringing Konstantin down, but quickly begins to questions whether everything is as it seems……

Though I really loved the Switched books, there’s something about Frostfire that captivated me in a stronger manner than Switched did. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of Richelle Mead’s wildly popular Vampire Academy series in some aspects (a series I highly adore, I might add!) but the aura, setting and feel of Frostfire just caught my absolute attention from the opening page and refused to let go.

Frostfire is fast paced and exciting and blends everything I loved about the Trylle world with the new world of the Kanin. Set around six years after the first series, Frostfire incorporates old characters with new; Ember and Flynn make appearances within the story as do Tove and Bain towards the end, with Ember the best friend of our now heroine Bryn. I loved being introduced to new and vivid characters, and found myself really liking the Kanin world. Though it’s not too different from the Trylle world we saw with Wendy, following Bryn allows you as the reader to see a whole new side of their society. And I’m even more excited to discover more of it.

Bryn isn’t a changeling and she isn’t wealthy; she’s just hard working and a real fighter. As a tracker, it’s Bryn’s job to find changelings and bring them home; something she’s very good at. Bryn comes across as a strong individual and is actually quite kick-ass. She has a strength in her personality Wendy didn’t have at the start in the last series, and as someone who adores fierce heroine’s, Bryn really appealed to me. I really appreciated that Amanda Hocking gave her a soft and feminine side too, but still ensured she stayed that fighter she first appears to be. I honestly can only envision where Hocking plans to take her as a character and a woman as the series progresses….

The romance within this story is very different than that within Switched and I have to say I’m liking what I see so far. Bryn finds herself in a position where she begins to find herself attracted to her boss Ridley and it soon becomes clear to her that her feelings for him are very real. Bryn and Ridley have been friends for a long time, and from this comradeship seems to be a lot of sexual tension. Ridley clearly feels about Bryn the way she does for him, and it’s a slow simmer that burns between every shared moment between them; something they are neither ready to face or act on in the beginning of the story. I’m really looking forward to seeing them develop and hopefully become a couple; fingers crossed Hocking doesn’t turn them into a love triangle though because I'm very over them. 

My only issue with this novel was the ending. I didn’t feel like we’d had a resolution to the conflict going on within the story. Perhaps that is because everything that is currently happening is part of a bigger picture, but I still would have liked some sort or closure on this part of Bryn’s story from Hocking. Still, mystery, unknown and plenty of occurrences keep me eager to find out what will happen next!

Rich, exciting and really addictive, Frostfire is a promising start to the Kanin Chronicles that leaves me eager to pick up the next book pronto!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Pan Macmillan Australia (Thank you Alana!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Paranormal and fantasy fans will love this.
Cover: This cover is so incredibly beautiful. The background is stunning and the cover model is exactly how I picture Bryn!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #103

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.....
 
The Stars Turned Away by Lisa Maxwell
Releases on: February 2nd 2016
 
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?


Thoughts:
First off the idea of Neverland catches my attention as I've always had a special love of Peter Pan, but then the idea's of monsters, Fey, fairy-tale heroes and rogue pirates get thrown into the mix and suddenly this promised twist on a classic sounds sooooo good! Definitely hoping to read this when it comes out!
 
What do you think of The Stars Turned Away?
And what are YOU waiting on this week?

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Shelf: Wild Hearts (If Only . . . #4) by Jessica Burkhart

Enjoy Wild Hearts and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury's contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can't have!Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world, but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?

This new title in the If Only line is the perfect summer read and proves that love flourishes in the wildest places!


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Wild Hearts is the fourth instalment in the If Only series and is this time written by author Jessica Burkhart. Launching readers into another contemporary romance adventure for young adults, Wild Hearts is an enjoyable read set against a mountain backdrop in a small country town.

Even after four books, the If Only series is still going strong and I’m oh so glad. With each novel written by a different author to date, each story is a complete standalone but features the continuing themes of first love, teen angst and stellar romance. Nicely written, Wild Hearts may not be my favourite book so far, but it is still a great addition to the series.

Wild Hearts follows seventeen year old Brie Carter, the daughter of a land developer who has spent her life entire travelling from place to place with her parents as part of her father’s work. When his latest project brings the family to the small country town of Lost Springs, Wyoming Brie is startled to discover the outrage that has accompanied their arrival. The residents of Lost Springs are rallying against her father’s company whose latest job will see the local mustang herd forced the leave the plains and fields they call home. With Brie attracted to a local cowboy named Logan whose passion for the horses is like nothing she’s ever seen, Brie slowly begins to discover the beauty and power of the horses herself and soon she finds she’s willing to stop at nothing to protect them also; even if it means going against her father………

In all honesty, I think Wild Hearts is going to appeal to the little girl in all of us who secretly dreamed of having a pony growing up. As someone who is still a horse lover myself, Wild Hearts was a sweet contemporary romance that managed weave horsemanship and the animals themselves into the story. Personally I think Wild Hearts read a tiny bit younger than the previous three novels in the series, but not too much to make it overly noticeable.

Though she is a new author to me, I am aware that Jessica Burkhart is known for her other books featuring strong, horse-loving young women and I think her passion for the animals comes across in the story. Brie’s voice was sweet and likable, although at times I almost found things too sickly sweet, but that’s just me……

Brie experiences a lot during this tale and I liked the elements Burkhart throws in. Along with Brie’s attempts to rescue the wild mustangs, her relationship with Logan McCoy, the sexy cowboy she meets whilst in Lost Springs is a central point in the story. And really, Brie and Logan were sweet. It was a tale of star-crossed young love with their dad’s apparent enemies, but as you’d expect, Brie and Logan defy it all to be together. Personally I thought they were cute and complimented the fun story nicely. Not too over the top, but just enough to give the storyline that romantic hit us romance junkies are looking for.

Fun, romantic and adventurous, Wild Hearts takes readers on a passionate ride that is very enjoyable and definitely worth a read!


Rating:

Source: Sent for review by Bloomsbury Australia (Thank you Sonia!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Don't miss this book in this great contemporary series!
Cover: Another fun and flirty cover.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes. Can't wait for more!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Free Ebooks

Well it's Monday, and unlike most Monday's there's no Owl Post. I don't have any books to share that I bought.....so I figured, but not share you books you can buy. Or, well. Not. Seeing as they're free! Enjoy!



Hope you managed to snag something new!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Book Shelf: Ascend (Trylle #3) by Amanda Hocking



Wendy Everly can barely remember what it was like to feel like a normal girl. She'd wished for her life to be different but everything is so much more complicated than she'd expected.

And she certainly hadn't dreamt she'd be getting married at 18 to man she didn't love - all for the sake of duty.


More info on Goodreads......


Review: (Warning: Contains spoilers--read on with caution!)


Ascend is the stunning conclusion to Amanda Hocking’s Trylle trilogy and see’s Wendy make her ultimate choice between men, worlds and whether or not she is ready to become Queen. Emotional from beginning to end, Ascend is an ending you won’t want to miss!

In a nutshell, I’m sad to see this series end. After reading all three books one after another I’ve become quite comfortable in Wendy’s world and joining her as she navigates her world of Trylle in her journey to become Queen. It’s been a difficult one; filled with tears, angst and pain, but there’s no denying that Hocking ends it well……tying up loose ends and leaving you, pretty much, satisfied with how the story ends.

Ascend picks up a little while after Torn left off, with Wendy in training to become the future ruler of the Trylle and planning her upcoming wedding to Tove. Ascend is a fast paced and well written novel that sees Wendy marry Tove, begin to make decisions regarding her Kingdom and give her heart away for the final time. With her mother Elora’s health deteriorating and her father Oren ready to lead his Vittra to war against the Trylle in an effort for power, Wendy must find the strength in herself to become the leader she was always meant to be, or risk seeing those she loves lost forever…..

Having followed Wendy through two novels already, the change within her in Ascend is really outstanding. After starting out as someone spoiled and extremely reluctant to be a Princess let along a future Queen, Wendy has come to really accept who she is, and who she must be in this novel. With all that is happening, she embraces her role within her kingdom now more than ever. Wendy makes tough choices, and puts her wants and desires on the back burner in favour of her people; evidently becoming the leader they truly needed in Ascend.

Her marriage to Tove proves to be a powerful alliance, even if there is no romantic link between them with Tove the ever supportive friend, confidant and supporter of Wendy. Though they were never romantic with each other, their marriage was sweet in the sense that Tove gave Wendy the unbending support she needed at times, and the push she required to lead. Considering Finn and Loki are her main love interests, Wendy’s ability to marry Tove and remain platonic with him is sweet, although Tove’s sexual preference may have something to do with this.

I’m going to be a bit of a spoiler and talk about Wendy’s romantic choice, so if you haven’t read Ascend, read on with care and caution. It’s obvious throughout Ascend who Wendy was going to end up with and I’m really happy she ended up with Loki. He loved her and adored her, and was willing to fight to be with her. Together they have great chemistry and they make a great couple, however I think it was an absolute cop out how Amanda Hocking wrote the relationship between Wendy and Finn only to have it end the way it did.


Wendy and Finn could have defied the odds and fought to be together, but instead Hocking wrote Finn as someone unwilling to fight to be with Wendy. They burned in the first two novels and could have been that really epic romance you get behind, but instead I feel like Amanda Hocking threw in another love interest (Loki) and just decided to slowly have Finn exit the story. It was ridiculous really and while I am happy Loki was the one Wendy ended up with, I think Amanda Hocking should have gone down a different path with Wendy and Finn or simply not had a romance between them at all.

After following Wendy through three books and seeing her interact with those around her, I’ve really come to adore some of the other characters too. Obviously Loki is someone who has consistently brought a smile to my face. His fierce determination, and attitude has been a pleasure to read about. Willa and Matt’s relationship seemed unexpected but have been sooooo cute to witness bloom. I hope they have all the happiness they deserve.

Duncan has been a pleasant surprise, and seemed to take up Rhys spot within the series after we began to see less and less of him. Duncan seems awkward and endearing and I’ve loved seeing him become Wendy’s personal tracker. Tove has been by Wendy’s side through so much as her friend and then husband and I’m going to miss him too. A Tove spin-off one day would certainly make me happy.

Racing towards a fierce battle against the Vittra King Oren, Wendy sees her journey end with stunning moments and edge of your seat situations. Romance, adventure and wonderful characterisation have made this series wonderful to read and I find myself quite satisfied with how the series concludes. With the spin-off series, the Kanin Chronicles out in the world, I’m ready to dive into those books and follow Amanda Hocking in her Trylle world once more…..


Rating:

Source: I purchased from The Book Depository
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: A great fantasy series with a twist on the typical fae, but still a great read.
Cover: Another pretty one that fits lovely with the others in the series.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: This is the last book in the Trylle trilogy but I'm looking forward to reading the spin-off series.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Forsworn by Emily Wibberley- Dream Cast & Giveaway


I'm ecstatic to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Forsworn, the second book in Emily Wibberley's The Last Oracle series! I absolutely adored the first book in the series, Sacrificed and having had the chance to read Forsworn too, can easily say it's as good as, it not better, than it's predecessor! Yesterday my 5 star review went live and today I'm excited to be featuring Emily's Dream Cast!
______________________________________

Clio can see the future, but what she doesn’t know about her past could destroy her.

It’s been a year since Clio made her sacrifice to the Deities and embraced her destiny as the Oracle to save her people.

The only family she has left is a brother who wants her dead.

The prince, her oldest friend, is a king with his own agenda.

And the man who once loved her, now hates her.

All she can do is try to forget about Riece, the enemy commander whose heart she broke to save his life, as she serves the Deities. Her days are filled with Visions and bloodshed in a never-ending war against the Untouched. To add to her problems, she must pose as King Derik’s mistress to conceal her forbidden powers from the Emperor’s spies.

When Riece unexpectedly returns to Sheehan with a new and beautiful ally, Clio knows she must put him out of her mind once and for all, but first, they are thrust together into battle against a mysterious Untouched warrior with otherworldly power. To reclaim her city, she must team up with the man she hurt, the man she still loves but can never be with, and finally confront the questions about her origin—questions with answers that Clio may not be prepared to face.


Add on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review

Purchase:
 
 
Today Emily Wibberley is sharing her dream cast for Forsworn and I have to admit....they're pretty spot on for me and how I envision the characters!

Clio: Courtney Eaton

Riece: Bob Morley

Derik: Nicholas Hoult
 

 Mannix: Oscar Isaac

Maia: Nathalie Emmanuel
 
Be sure to go back to where it all began!
Knowing the future can save her city – but not her heart.

Born to serve the merciless Oracle, Clio wants nothing more than to break free. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king's adviser, Clio inherits the Oracle’s power, a power she never wanted and doesn't understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio is forced to flee her home in Sheehan and seek refuge in a foreign city where oracles are forbidden. If she's found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the undeniable attraction between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won't hesitate to execute her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, but the Visions she keeps having of Mannix and his barbarian army slaughtering her people torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.
 
Add on Goodreads or check out my review!
 
 
Emily grew up in the South Bay where she spent her formative years battling zombies on her Xbox, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and voraciously reading everything from The Hunger Games to Jane Austen, where her love for feisty young heroines was born.
 
After graduating from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude in 2014, she began writing. Her debut novel, Sacrificed, was named a finalist in the Young Adult category of the 2015 International Book Awards, the Young Adult category of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, and in the Young Author category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Since its release, Sacrificed has spent more than four months as a Kindle Top Ten Teen and Young Adult Bestseller.
 
When she isn’t reading the latest YA book, Emily enjoys watching kick-butt action movies with her two rescue German Shepherds, Hudson and Bishop, named after characters from James Cameron’s Aliens.
 
Sign up for her mailing list to hear about exclusive giveaways and news about the upcoming release of The Last Oracle III as well as other young adult books she’s writing.

Visit Emily:
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
After falling in love with this series I honestly can't recommend it highly enough and hope you all check it out!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Shelf: Forsworn (The Last Oracle #2) by Emily Wibberley

Clio can see the future, but what she doesn’t know about her past could destroy her.

It’s been a year since Clio made her sacrifice to the Deities and embraced her destiny as the Oracle to save her people.

The only family she has left is a brother who wants her dead.

The prince, her oldest friend, is a king with his own agenda.

And the man who once loved her, now hates her.

All she can do is try to forget about Riece, the enemy commander whose heart she broke to save his life, as she serves the Deities. Her days are filled with Visions and bloodshed in a never-ending war against the Untouched. To add to her problems, she must pose as King Derik’s mistress to conceal her forbidden powers from the Emperor’s spies.

When Riece unexpectedly returns to Sheehan with a new and beautiful ally, Clio knows she must put him out of her mind once and for all, but first, they are thrust together into battle against a mysterious Untouched warrior with otherworldly power. To reclaim her city, she must team up with the man she hurt, the man she still loves but can never be with, and finally confront the questions about her origin—questions with answers that Clio may not be prepared to face.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Forsworn is the stunning sequel to Emily Wibberley’s captivating debut novel Sacrificed and is a sensational addition to The Last Oracle series; sweeping readers back into a powerful world of magic, deception and romance!

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading Sacrificed and instantly found myself falling in love with Clio and her story. Emily Wibberley won me over with her tangible heroine, lush but devious world and thrilling storyline; something she does again with Forsworn! I absolutely adored Forsworn, easily as much as, if not more than the first book! 

Taking place a year after the events of the first novel, Forsworn once more unfolds through the eyes of Clio, a brave and powerful young woman who has become her people’s Oracle and who is tasked with witnessing visions of future events. After seeing her family murdered in Sacrificed, Clio has made hard choice after hard choice and has fought to build walls around herself; understanding that to become the fierce Oracle and warrior her people need, she must make sacrifices. Sacrifices that come back to haunt Clio when she man she loves, but had to lie to in order to protect, Riece, reappears in her life at the same time a new enemy appears with plans for Clio. Only by working together can Clio and Riece have any hope of stopping the evil forces that threaten both their cities and to do so it may mean going to war, in a fight they’re not guaranteed to win…..

My goodness, do I ever love this series! Sacrificed left me highly impressed and I found Forsworn to be another fast paced, powerful and highly entertaining story by Emily Wibberley. Wonderfully written, paced and detailed, Forsworn is filled with danger, deception and mystery. There’s powerful sexual tension between Clio and her love interest, thrilling and exceptionally written fight sequences and excellent dialogue throughout the story. I often didn’t know what would happen next and found myself eagerly turning the pages to see what was around the corner!

Set in a fictional land that is best compared to the empires of Ancient Egypt or Ancient Rome, Forsworn really manages to drag you into Clio’s story once more. Almost unrecognisable as the young girl we met in the first novel, Clio really has become a hardened warrior over the course of one year, something that surprised me greatly when I first began Forsworn. Don’t get me wrong—I love what Wibberley has done with her characterisation and where she is taking Clio, but it’s quite clear that Clio has been heavily affected by all that is expected of her. That being said, I loved seeing the true Clio reawaken over the course of Forsworn. Wibberley forces Clio to make some tough decisions, not all of them right, but definitely not all wrong, slowly molding our heroine even more. Personally I can’t wait to see how much stronger Clio becomes in the next book!

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the highlight for me in this series is Clio and Riece and the relationship they share. Call me a hopeless romantic, but there’s nothing better than a vibrant, powerful love story and that’s what we see between Clio and Riece. The wit, banter and attitude that swells between them is so entertaining and I live for the moments they’re together because the tension is just off the charts. So much of what Clio’s done has been to spare Riece, and even though she’s trying to move on there’s no denying her heart is still his. And his hers.

Though they fight, and deny their feelings for one another, seeing Emily Wibberley force Clio and Riece together through extinguishing circumstances makes the novel in my eyes. Oh, I love so many aspects of it—the dark magic, the danger, the power, the ancient feel--- but I can’t deny the thrill that comes from seeing them together, whether they’re at each other’s throats verbally and physically or lost to the passion that simmers between them—Riece and Clio are absolutely perfect together as far as I’m concerned!

The Last Oracle series is wonderfully depicted as far as I’m concerned. The storyline is driven and seems complex. Different elements seem to come together to create a plot arc that keeps me guessing in the most delightful of ways!

Fast paced, exciting and extremely satisfying, Forsworn will keep you captivated from beginning to end and is sure to leave you begging for more. With this chapter of Clio’s journey at a close, I can only hope author Emily Wibberley takes pity on us poor souls and writes super-fast so we can have the next book asap! 

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by the author (Thank you Emily!)
Format: Kindle ARC
Buy it: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Recommendation: Fantasy fans will LOVE this series.
Cover: This cover is really fierce and I like it!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES! Give to me now!