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Showing posts from March, 2014

Burn

Burn is the third and final novel in the YA post-apocalyptic Pure trilogy by Julianna Baggott.

Being that this is an ambitious, complex, rewarding trilogy – if you haven’t read Pure and Fuse already, you definitely need to! This review will hold inadvertent spoilers of those first two books, so you’ll want to avoid this review and click on the above titles to learn more about the prior novels first.

Got it?!

But if you have already read Pure and Fuse, then you can obviously continue!

Partridge has inherited leadership over the Dome – an enclosed refuge among the ruins of what once was our world – after the death of his father.

The inhabitants, soaking in their denial that has become ingrained over the years, wish to mourn him.

But Partridge wants to expose his secrets, instead. He wants to unite the Dome and its “Pure” inhabitants with the disfigured, fused “Wretches” on the outside.

The ones that had been left to die all those years ago.

His new position of power, however, is not as …

The Lost Kingdom

The Lost Kingdom is a middle grade historical adventure by Matthew J. Kirby.

In colonial times, Billy Bartram has received the invitation he has waited for years to hear – an invitation to join his father on one of his expeditions into the immense American wilderness, utilizing his excellent sketching skills to find and log their botany discoveries.

However, Billy quickly learns this is not just a botany excursion, but that his father is a member of the American Philosophical Society backed by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Billy will be joining his father on a voyage to locate the lost kingdom of the Welsh prince Madoc alongside a secret organization of academics and scientists.

As their purpose is to seek aid in the coming war with the French, their journey is fraught with danger as they set off via flying aeroship.

And there may be a traitor in their midst…

I very much enjoyed Matthew J. Kirby’s previous works The Clockwork Three and Icefall, so I was looking forward to this.

Goddess

Today's post is in remembrance of Rusty - our nearly 16 year old cat that died in my arms yesterday at 4:38pm. His loss is felt deeply with a hollowness in our heart. As a little guy, he used to love me reading him Harry Potter out loud and for years he was fascinated watching me rearrange my books. His sweetness was of cheerfulness and love and he is missed terribly. We love you, Rusty.

Goddess is a YA modern-day Greek mythology supernatural novel and the final book in Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed trilogy.

As a major fan of both the first two books, Starcrossed and Dreamless, I was very excited to read Goddess. Bet you can guess what I’m going to say…

Do NOT read this review until you have read both of the above mentioned books!!! Click on their titles to read those reviews, but avoid this one to avoid spoilers! Got it? Promise?!? Okay.

Fans/readers of the first two books may now proceed –

After a bloody, torturous, horrifying confrontation with a minor god, Helen is now faci…

The Princess in the Opal Mask

The Princess in the Opal Mask is a YA historical fantasy by Jenny Lundquist.

Just as with Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy, this novel has a sense of a fairy-tale, of a fantasy, but does not actually feature any magic or enchantments. Somehow we all put it in the fantasy genre anyway; I suppose because it just has that vibe and time period sense.

Anywho, I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Let me tell you a little about it, hmm?

Princess Wilhamina, since she was introduced to the kingdom of Galandria as an infant, has always worn a mask. Over the years this has caused rumors to rampage from speculating that she must be horrendously ugly, that a look upon her face blesses others, or the one that speaks to Wilha’s deepest personal fears – that those who look upon Wilha’s face die.

Wilha herself does not know why she must always wear a mask, but she has learned to stop asking…

Elara, orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, has spent her life becoming numb. Living with the cruel Ogd…

A Heart's Rebellion

A Heart’s Rebellion is a Regency-era Christina romance by Ruth Axtell.

Jessamine Barry has spent years of her life loving a man that was almost hers – only to have her hopes dashed when he fell in love with another woman.

Well, she’s done with that.

The patient, dutiful personality that caused her to waste time on a man that clearly didn’t have enough love for her to stop him from falling passionately for another is no longer wanted in her opinion.

Instead, Jessamine would like to be the kind of woman that is the recipient of that ardent desire, that allure that some women seem to have.

That’s why when Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, appears to take an interest in her during the London season, she doesn’t consider him a suitor. He’s too much of a respectable cross between her former beloved and her father.

She wants zeal and intrigue, and to be the sort of woman to inspire it…

But will that sort of life truly give Jessamine what she wants?

Anymore I tend to be leery w…

The Dresden Files: Fool Moon

Fool Moon is the second book in the urban fantasy series The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

Yes, you should read the books in order. There IS a good amount of recap and reintroduction to things in Fool Moon, but I still advise you to not spoil plot twists by reading them out of order.

You’ve been warned!

Since back in spring when Harry had to find a dark wizard gone crazy, business has been dead. His fractured friendship with Murphy, one of his main sources of income when she calls him in on one of her cases, hasn’t helped any.

So, weight loss potions it is for now.

But the only professional wizard in the phone book, Harry Dresden, is called on when a series of extremely brutal, violent, gory crime scenes begin popping up on or around full moons. Odd, not-quite-right paw prints decorate the scenes.

Yep. Can you guess what Harry’s thinking?

But there seems to be a pattern to some of the deaths and Harry thinks this might not be a simple (ha!) case of werewolves.

Looks like Harry might …

Henry's Stories: Volume 2

Henry’s Stories: Volume 2 is a YA anthology of sci-fi short stories by Henry Melton.

Here we have 13 stories from the imagination of Henry Melton.

One story speculates what a casual teenage couple might do if suddenly faced with realization of nuclear catastrophe. Another with the age old idea of three wishes, and how we all feel we’d do a better job. Still yet another that focuses on an alien planet, or an alternate reality.

In other words, all kinds of sci-fi.

Henry Melton’s intelligent, mature offerings make for insight into various different ideas and forays into imagination.

Some of them I found quite compelling, others not so much. That’s what often happens with anthologies. Also I can have a hard time because I don’t find as much interest in the deeply technical stories, which he sometimes provides.

But for those of you who do like those, Henry’s Stories: Volume 2 should be a treat!

At times the hormonal and romantic aspects of Melton’s stories comes off as odd or awkward to m…

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale is an adult contemporary novel with a classic gothic mystery feel by Diane Setterfield.

Oh. My. Gosh. This book is fantastic!!!

Margaret Lea leads a quiet, book-loving life that all of us bibliophiles would adore – working in a book store and whiling away the hours reading.

Her passion for literature extends to a fascination with non-fiction. She loves letters, journals – anything that ties her to people who are now deceased. Margaret has even written a few minor biographies on lesser known figures.

When she receives a letter from one of the most famous contemporary authors of the day, Vida Winter, she’s floored to discover that Ms. Winter wants her to write her biography.

For years, Vida has given numerous, glittering stories when asked about her life.

Not one of them true.

Apparently now, old and ailing, she wants to finally tell her story.

Unable to deny her curiosity, Margaret joins Vida at her reclusive estate and starts a routine of hearing Vida’s life stor…

Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess

Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess is a middle grade historical fiction novel by Carolyn Meyer, and of the Royal Diaries series.

I remember this series from when I was younger. I have quite a few of these – from Cleopatra to Marie Antoinette and more – and they fueled what would be a growing interest in historical fiction centering on these oftentimes heartbreak-stricken royals of the past.

Now they are being reissued in paperback. I’m going to be honest – I liked the prior releases better. The covers were striking, more realistic than this doll-like cover here. Also they were hardcovers with gold painted edges to the pages. They felt special. Now… not so much.

But… back to the book!

At the beginning of Anastasia’s diary here she is thirteen – the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. She is used to her luxurious lifestyle, though she doesn’t appreciate all the lessons and schooling she has to endure.

To enhance her outfits, matching her three sisters and picked out by her …

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a YA supernatural contemporary novel, and the first in the Caster Chronicles series.

Yes, I know. You probably read this book years ago and have already finished the four book series.

I get it. I’m late to the game. But you have to admit there are a LOT of books out there – and even bibliophiles can’t always keep up.

Ethan Wate is counting the days until he can leave his tiny Southern town of Gatlin.

Full of closed-minded, eccentric people that all know each other too well and a multitude of girls that can’t hold his interest for even a few minutes once they start speaking have left him increasingly dissatisfied.

So when Lena Duchannes moves into town it’s like a breath of fresh air. She’s different. She’s been places. And, of course, she’s beautiful.

But she’s the niece of town recluse Macon Ravenwood – so she is automatically despised by a large population of the town.

Lena’s clothing choices and the odd occurrences, such as spontaneously shattering windows…