Sunday, July 22, 2018

Book Shelf: The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family's enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.


More info on Goodreads....

Review:

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson is a unique and mysterious novel full of Irish folklore, deception and unexpected betrayals.

Every Winter Wren Silke is chased through the woods as part of a distorted childhood game by the boys of her village. As an augur, these boys are her sworn enemies, judges, but lucky for Wren her heritage remains a secrets from them. With their powers diminishing, Wren's grove send her undercover to intern at Harkness Foundation, the headquarters for some of the most powerful judges out there. Hoping to discover their secrets, Wren soon finds herself caught in a twisted game of cat and mouse and as her time at Harkness House begins to change her, Wren must make the ultimate choice in order to decide where her loyalties lay.

Having recently finished The Wren Hunt, I'm not completely sure how to wrap my mind around the book. Mary Watson has no doubt created a vivid and unique story; there's definitely nothing out there like The Wren Hunt but at the same time I feel as though the novel fell flat in many regards. Considering the uniqueness that was it's story, it had plenty of potential but there were elements of the novel that ultimately failed it in my eyes.

Set in a very atmospheric country Ireland, The Wren Hunt introduces the concept of two ancient magic practitioner’s; augurs and judges. From what I could wrap my head around, both groups practice magic through the use of natural means and rely on nature to harness and use its essence to fuel their power and abilities. Honestly, for the most part I struggled to really comprehend much of what Wren and her people did as well as the age old feud they had with the judges. I feel like Watson could have potentially set things up better whilst still harnessing in the Irish folklore and heritage she wove into the story. The Wren Hunt was still easy to follow as long as I didn’t get too caught up in this.

It wasn’t easy connecting with the characters of The Wren Hunt either. Though Wren was nice enough, I didn’t really care for anyone else within the story and found them bland and lacklustre. I liked her love interest Tarc and thought him likable, but I also struggled with the fact that he himself seemed to be a pivotal part in the plot development. Romance aside, I wanted Wren to make her choices based on what she learnt about the judge world and its people, not just because she liked a boy. All of Wren’s driving forced changed when she fell for Tarc and even though I appreciated their love story, I feel like the story could have benefited if it wasn’t written this particular way.

Despite my misgivings, there was something alluring about The Wren Hunt that kept be reading. Featuring a dreamlike aura and being rich in imagery, The Wren Hunt is a unique read for those who dare to try something a little different.

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $14.99
Release Date: February 8th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Though it didn't blow me away, The Wren Hunt was a unique story that might appeal to readers wanting something a bit different.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Blog Tour: Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener- Guest Post & Giveaway


Welcome to Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener presented by Xpresso Book Tours! Yesterday I posted my 4 star review of Between Frost and Fury and today I have an excerpt to share. Personally I love this series and am excited to be sharing it with you today :)
________________________

Delaney has been kidnapped by aliens. Again. After only a month back on Earth with her hotnew alien boyfriend Ruckus, the deadly and devastatingly handsome prince Trystan has dragged her right back to his planet.

While some girls may dream of winning a prince’s heart, Delaney just wishes this one would leave her alone. Instead, she finds herself at the center of both a tense political battle between two alien kingdoms and Trystan’s romantic attentions, both of which are absolutely ruining the life she’s built on Earth. Not to mention the fact that she’s about to be crowned queen of a planet she’s barely even visited. Just another day in life of an ordinary human girl.
 


Add on Goodreads or check out my review!

Purchase:

By Chani Lynn Feener

Writing Between Frost and Fury, the second book in my Xenith trilogy, was a lot of fun! Getting to revisit the same world and characters again is always a blast, and it’s sort of like catching up with old friends. Of course, for me, the wait isn’t nearly as long as it is for the reader. I started work on Between Frost and Fury about a month after the copy edits of Amid Stars and Darkness were completed. For most of you, it might have been about a year since you last read about Delaney and her aliens! So, with that in mind, I thought this might be a great time to reintroduce you all—or introduce you, if you haven’t yet had the chance to read book one (please do)—to the characters of this world. Starting with…

Delaney Grace, the girl mistaken for alien royalty in book one. She’s an eighteen year old who lives in Maine with her best friend and, by the end of Amid Stars and Darkness, her boyfriend. The end of book one took place midsummer, so she’s only got a little time left before she’s supposed to start her first semester of college. She tries to always stay positive, but has a tendency to get frustrated and say things she probably shouldn’t.

Ruckus Wux, the Ander (commander) who initially mistook Delaney for the Vakar Lissa (princess). The youngest person to ever hold the ander title, Ruckus is very dedicated to his job. He has a lot of respect from his fellow soldiers, however there aren’t many people who feels he can be himself with, as he feels like he always has to be in charge as his position dictates. Because of this, there are only a handful of people throughout the books we see him interact on a more friendly basis with, and it’s clear he’s been a little lonely on Xenith for a while.

Trystan End, the Zane (prince) of Kint. Trystan is beloved by his people, but everyone who’s been around him knows he’s very intimidating. He likes to be in charge wherever he goes, and he doesn’t like letting people forget it. He’ll do whatever he thinks is best for his people, no matter what, which sometimes crosses a line. Even though he takes being the Zane very seriously, he hates his father, the Rex. Like Ruckus, Trystan doesn’t have many people in his life he can consider true friends, though there are many loyal to him.

These are three of the main characters of the trilogy, though there are a few others, like Pettus, Gibus and Fawna, who are all friends of Ruckus, and later Delaney. There’s also the Basilissa (queen) of Vakar, Olena, the Lissa of Vakar, and the Rex of Kint, all of whom are royal pains in Delaney’s you know what. The rest, like Sanzie and Dom, you’ll have to read the book and discover yourself!

Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is the author of Amid Stars and Darkness and the teen paranormal series the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.

Visit Chani:

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Book Shelf: Between Frost and Fury (The Xenith Trilogy #2) by Chani Lynn Feener

Delaney has been kidnapped by aliens. Again. After only a month back on Earth with her hotnew alien boyfriend Ruckus, the deadly and devastatingly handsome prince Trystan has dragged her right back to his planet.

While some girls may dream of winning a prince’s heart, Delaney just wishes this one would leave her alone. Instead, she finds herself at the center of both a tense political battle between two alien kingdoms and Trystan’s romantic attentions, both of which are absolutely ruining the life she’s built on Earth. Not to mention the fact that she’s about to be crowned queen of a planet she’s barely even visited. Just another day in life of an ordinary human girl.
 


More info on Goodreads.....


Review: Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Between Frost and Fury is the second novel in The Xenith Trilogy by Chani Lynn Feener and is an exhilarating and enjoyable sci-fi tale that takes readers back into an intriguing and appealing intergalactic world full of colourful characters.

Delaney Grace was only back on Earth with her new boyfriend Ruckus for one month before she was kidnapped by aliens; again. Now she is being held prisoner by the devastatingly handsome and determined alien prince Trystan who wants to use Delaney to enter into a peace treaty with his people’s enemies…..through holy matrimony. Trystan is sure the best way to unite the Kint and Vakar people is through a marriage and seeing as Delaney was technically the person he was bound to when she was impersonating the Vakar heir, Trystan is determined to make Delaney follow through with her promise. Stuck in the middle of a political battle between two kingdoms, Delaney must navigate Trystan’s romantic attentions as well as find a way to get back home to earth before she is named queen of a planet she desperately wants to escape. Yet as it becomes clear that Trystan’s plan isn't the biggest danger out there, will Delaney's loyalties change or will she continue to only be a pawn in someone else's game?

Heading into Between Frost and Fury I was somewhat perplexed. I immensely enjoyed the first novel, Amid Stars and Darkness, and given it’s shocking cliff-hanger ending was eager to see what Chani Lyn Feener did next, but I was also worried. Not over the quality of writing or the excitement I was sure was to come with the storyline. I was worried about a potential love triangle. I’ve probably said this before, but one of my biggest pet peeves is the dreaded love triangle and I was afraid that this would become an issue within this story. Something that eventually came to pass….but boy if I don’t like the way in which Chani Lyn Feener writes this particular love triangle. If there’s one thing I hate more than love triangles it’s love triangles where I genuinely love both love interests. And this is what Feener has done with Between Frost and Fury!

I very much enjoyed the relationship between Delaney and Ruckus in the first novel, but oh how my heart bleeds for Trystan in this instalment. It’s very rare that I switch teams after making my choice, but in this instance I may have to make an exception as there’s just something so captivating about Trystan. The depth and nuances Chani Lyn Feener explores and introduces within him in Between Frost and Fury truly make me adore the guy even if I can see why he continues to frustrate and enrage Delaney. I do feel like he deserves happiness so I'll be keen to see if he's the one to get the girl. 

Chani Lyn Feener has a likeable protagonist in Delaney who is sarcastic and fiery in all the right ways. She's sharp and quick on her feet and I've enjoyed following her throughout the trilogy so far although I do admit I very much appreciated the chapters and glimpses through Trystan's eyes in this instalment. This made it much easier to see where he was coming from and what he was feeling while still being able to stand with Delaney as she navigated the circumstances she found herself in. 

Between Frost and Fury builds to another climactic ending which sees Delaney come to some unwanted truths about her feelings and leaves the characters in a situation where they'll need to all come together to defeat a massive threat. Chani Lyn Feener leaves me dying for the third and final instalment, once again eager to see what will happen next with this thrilling trilogy.

Rating:  
Source: Sent for review by Xpresso Book Tours and the author (Thank you ladies!)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: July 24th 2018
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
Final Thoughts: Thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I can't wait until the next one comes out!



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #231

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.....
 
Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry 
Releases on: January 22nd 2019
 
Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

Jesse Jameson is in line to inherit the land that's been in his family for generations--there's just one catch: to prove his maturity, he has to win the approval of his former best friend, Scarlett Copeland, and her father. But when Jesse finds out that Scarlett's father is abusing her, he must decide what truly matters most: his family's land or helping the girl he's fallen in love with.
 

Thoughts:
When it comes down to it, I would read Katie McGarry's shopping list! Anything this woman is golden and I'm adding Only a Breath Apart to my MUST READ list of 2019 as this just sounds fabulous!

Are you at Katie McGarry fan?
What are you waiting on this week?


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Shelf: The Gala (Vampire Royals #2) by Leigh Walker

FOUR WEEKS. TWENTY CONTESTANTS. ONE PRINCE.
 
The Pageant is almost over, and Gwyneth West knows she can win—except the prince is a vampire, and some of the other contestants are turning out to be quite beastly.

What do you do when the person you love…might want to eat you alive?

Struggling to hold onto her position in the palace, Gwyn knows her vampire prince could slip through her fingers in an instant. And when human rebels threaten to storm the vampire royals once more, Gwyn finds herself caught between two worlds: her people, and the vampire she loves.

Leigh Walker writes action packed futuristic sci-fi, sweet romantic vampire novels, and stories that capture your heart and then make it race.

More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

The Gala is that second novel in Leigh Walker's Vampire Royals series and is another exciting and romantic vampiric adventure readers will once again fall in love with.

Gwyneth West never expected that participating in the Pageant would see her end up with very real feelings for the prince. He makes her feel like no one before....if only he wasn't a vampire and she didn't have to compete against twenty other young ladies for his affections. Falling in love was never the plan but as Gwyn and Dallas spend more time together it becomes clear that what they have is special. Gwyn's time at the palace has seen her eyes opened to a world she never expected but as the rebels remain a very real threat against the royal family will Gwyn find herself torn between her people and her heart?

Picking up where the first novel left off, The Gala is another exciting and romantic instalment. This series is simply such fun to read and if you're a hopeless romantic at all like me you'll be easily swept away and hooked by Gwyn's romance with the swoon worthy vampire Dallas and their relationship.

I haven't read The Selection so I don't have the ability to compare the two but I imagine the novels are somewhat alike even if only due to the fact there's a competition to find the princes bride. Personally I find I enjoy The Bachelor like feeling to the series and that Leigh Walker doesn't shy away from the feelings of jealousy expressed by not only main character Gwyn but all the contestants in the pageant. I imagine it's only natural to feel this way in that kind of situation and appreciate that Walker explores this.

What can I say other than that I love Gwyn and Dallas! They have such an adorable relationship and I'm honestly falling in love with them as they are falling in love with each other. They're both such wonderful characters and the chemistry between them is perfect. Leigh Walker writes them electric together while also been soft and under spoken at times too. The slow burn is magnificent.

As book two comes to a close I can't wait to begin the next one. I simply HAVE to have more of Gwyn and Dallas and an excited to see what Leigh Walker has planned next. I know it going to be as brilliant as the first two have been!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by the author (Thank you Leigh!)
Publisher: Independently published
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: May 4th 2018
Purchase: Amazon
Final Thoughts: I'm just addicted to the tension and connection between Gwyn and Dallas and I can't wait to read the next one!


Monday, July 16, 2018

Owl Post #210


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.
 
Hello lovelies and welcome to another Owl Post. I've got a couple of great books to share this week!
 
For Review:
From Allen & Unwin (Hot Key Books):
- Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell 
I'm soooooo excited to read the third Spellslinger book. I really adore this series and am eager to jump straight in!
....Thank you guys! 
__________________________________
From Scholastic Australia:
 -  The Happiness Quest by Richard Yaxley
I'm not really sure if this novel is for me but it sounds sound like it could be very thought provoking. We'll see if I read this.
.....Thank you team!  

I Bought:
- The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter
I've been loyaly reading this series for 9 years now and as a Gilliam fan I'm a bit disheartened by this novel. I'm still dying to read it but I'm very sad that Gena Showalter didn't give what most fans like myself wanted.....
 
And that's me this week! 
What did the owls bring YOU?
 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Book Shelf: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
 


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

To Kill A Kingdom is Alexandra Christo’s debut novel and is a dark and exhilarating The Little Mermaid retelling full of adventure, danger and slow developing and understated romance.

Siren Princess Lira is revered across both land and sea as the Princes Bane, a vicious killer whose preference for the hearts of princes is well known. As the daughter of the Sea Queen, Lira knows her destiny is to one day take over the throne, until an act of rebellion against her mother sees her turned into the very thing she hates the most; a human. The only way for Lira to return home and to her true form is to bring her mother the heart of the sirens biggest enemy. Prince Elian is known as the golden prince but it’s his title of Siren Killer he treasures the most. More comfortable at sea on board his ship the Saad than he is at court, Elian and his crew are at home on the ocean, hunting sirens and ridding the world of the ruthless monsters. When Elian rescues a drowning woman from the middle of the ocean, he knows she’s more than she appears but he could never expect her true nature. Elian is Lira’s ticket home but as her time on two legs begins to change her, will she dare wish for more than the war that simmers between their two races? And will Elian learn to trust the very thing he hunts? Or will a shared enemy be the destruction of them both?

I have to admit I had some misgivings heading into To Kill A Kingdom. Seeing as the novel was set to unfold through the eyes of a self-proclaimed monster and murderer, I worried I would struggle with connecting and enjoying the novel…..but boy was I wrong! Alexandra Christo has created a very luscious and entertaining retelling with To Kill A Kingdom and manages to hit every nail on the head; action, adventure, character development, entertaining dialogue, romance. I felt the whole novel was very well rounded and well written on Christo’s part.

Unfolding through both Lira and Elian’s POV’s, To Kill A Kingdom is a very entertaining story. Based on the traditional Little Mermaid tale, Alexandra Christo gives it darker twist featuring sirens and pirates while also enjoying the elements that make so much fun to begin with. Allowing readers to witness the story unfold through both Lira and Elian’s eyes makes for a well-rounded tale—you are in on the secret of who Lira truly is while Elian is oblivious. You can’t help but desperately read waiting for everything to be revealed.

Female protagonist Lira is a stubborn and fiery soul who undertakes so much growth within the story to overcome her upbringing and nature. I genuinely liked Lira even when she was still a murderous siren; she was sharp tongued and quick witted, something she finds she shared with male counterpart and second protagonist Elian who is both prince and pirate. I loved the dialogue Christo shared from Elian who is very much the charming pirate and who is both hero and scoundrel. He was a fun male lead who often made me laugh or brought a smile to my face.

As you would expect, romance plays a role in the building storyline of To Kill A Kingdom, but it’s not as prominent as you would think. Ultimately Lira’s feelings for Elian play a big part in some choices she makes but the relationship between them is only a small part of the story, blending effortlessly with the adventure and excitement throughout the novel. It’s highlights include the sharp and smart quips and teasing comments shared between them and the understated connection that develops overtime. I actually felt their romance was perfectly written within the story and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Building to course changing altercation between our main characters and the Sea Queen, To Kill A Kingdom is a fast paced and solid standalone tale with a great cast of supporting characters. Alexandra Christo offers to YA audiences a well-rounded debut that doesn’t disappoint and guarantee’s she’ll be an author I’ll have my eye on moving forward!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: March 6th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Thoroughly adventurous and highly enjoyable, I very much enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom and am keen to see what Alexandra Christo releases next!