The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 by Chantal

The Rithmatist by Brandon SandersonThe Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Tor Teen on May 14th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Friendship
Pages: 378
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The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson’s New York Times bestselling epic teen adventure is now available in paperback.

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2013

I think I should start every Sanderson review with: Brandon Sanderson does it again!

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks
Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 by Angela

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya BanksDarkest Before Dawn (KGI, #10) by Maya Banks
Published by Berkley on October 27th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome" (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications:
High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission:
Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t...
The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they've known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock's true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he's been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She's the only woman who's ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he's spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Darkest Before Dawn has a strong premise, and since I’m a fan of military dramas I wish I could say it was enough to make this a winner for me. Sadly, however, the book falters under the weight of overwhelming excesses.

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One StarOne Star

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
Posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2015 by Chantal

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah BiancottiZeroes Published by Simon Pulse on September 29th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Friendship
Pages: 560
Format: ARC, digital ARC
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Ethan, aka “Scam,” has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn’t just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn’t consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts – like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him – his former group of friends, the self-named “zeros” who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam’s latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action.

It’s always a great experience when you go into a book with no expectations and it turns out you really enjoy it. That’s what happened to me with Zeroes . I hadn’t read a single review beforehand, hadn’t read anything by Scott Westerfeld (though I think I will remedy that now) and have never even heard of the other two authors.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 by Chantal

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 7th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty, Action & Adventure
Pages: 470
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Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

It should be noted that I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Kiss of Deception but I found the ending so promising that I really wanted to give this series another chance.

If you loved The Kiss of Deception, don’t let this review make you anxious, I’m pretty sure you will like this one more than the first. If you are like me however, and thought TKoD was very meh then this review is for you. To summarize: I was hoping THoB would remedy many things I disliked in TKoD but that didn’t happen unfortunately.

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the first installment in the Remnant Chronicles series, The Kiss of Deception.

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One StarOne StarHalf a Star

Crossed by Eliza Crewe
Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 by Brandi

Crossed by Eliza CreweCrossed by Eliza Crewe
Series: Soul Eaters
Published by Self-Published on August 17, 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Young Adult
Pages: 235
Format: digital ARC
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War is here.

Full-scale war has erupted between the Crusaders and demons and even Chi has to admit isn’t going well. Like any sensible rat, Meda’s eager to abandon the sinking ship but, unfortunately, her friends aren't nearly as pragmatic. Instead, Meda’s forced to try to keep them all alive until the dust settles.

As the Crusaders take more and more drastic measures, the tables turn and Meda suddenly finds herself in the role of voice of sanity. No one is more horrified than she is. When old enemies reappear as new allies and old friends become new enemies Meda has to decide—again—whose side she’s really on.

And then the Crusaders decide that Meda should go to Hell. Literally.

Can’t a monster ever catch a break?

There is something about an unapologetic character that gets me every time. Meda is consistently and completely amazing in all three books, and this conclusion was perfect for her story.

Meda and Jo are the ultimate in friendship goals. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2015 by Brandi

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon SmithLockdown (Escape From Furnace, #1) by Alexander Gordon Smith
Published by Macmillan on March 5th 2009
Genres: Action & Adventure, Friendship, Horror, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.

I think I’m going to bump this to 4.5 stars because I can’t stop thinking about it! In fact, when I went to sleep I was picturing the wheezers and literally had to remind myself that it was just a story… it’s not real, Brandi… it’s ok… you’re a big girl…. fine, just cuddle up to the mister, he’s asleep so he won’t know how big of a baby you’re being…

That was me at 1 in the morning. True story, haha. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2015 by Emily May

Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Published by Harper Collins on October 14th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Love & Romance, Family, Orphans & Foster Homes, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 432
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A striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self—perfect for fans of Game of Thrones, An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians' only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter's future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter's magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

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One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2015 by Emily May

A Whole New World by Liz BraswellA Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Published by Disney Press on September 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 384
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What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney's Aladdin. When Jafar steals the Genie's lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

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One Star

Move the Sun by Susan Fanetti
Posted on Friday, July 17th, 2015 by Angela

Move the Sun by Susan FanettiMove the Sun (Signal Bend, #1) by Susan Fanetti
Series: Signal Bend #1
on January 15th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 248
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Lilli Accardo moves to the dying town of Signal Bend, Missouri, where the citizens have made a devil’s bargain to stay afloat. Lilli quickly garners the attention of the whole town, particularly Isaac Lunden, President of the Night Horde Motorcycle Club and de facto protector of the town and its citizens. When it turns out that Lilli is there under murky circumstances, Isaac decides to get close and try to figure out what she’s hiding. Their chemistry is instantaneous and electric, but each is a potential danger to the other. Action, sex, and drama ensue as Isaac and Lilli try to navigate the rocky terrain between trust and threat. Note: explicit sex and violence.

I take it back; I like biker books after all. I’ve heard Susan Fanetti’s praises sung over and over so I was eager to read one of her books. A friend suggested I start with this one but I don’t consider myself to be a fan of Motorcycle Club books so I was braced for disappointment. Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I enjoyed the heck out of this novel.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Martian by Andy Weir
Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 by JennyJen

The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir
Published by Crown on February 11th 2014
Genres: Hard Science Fiction, Space Exploration, Action & Adventure
Pages: 384
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Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

 

The Martian by Andy Wier
 

Yeah, science! I hope you like it, because this book is all science, all the time. Oh, and math. Mathematical science and scientific math. Yeah! Lol. You would think that this combo would make for a boring book, but you’d be wrong.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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Hi! I'm Emily May but feel free to call me Emily. I'm a book lover, beta-reader, and Politics graduate from the North of England.

Hey there! I'm Brandi; I'm a Navy veteran, Army wife, mother, feminist and book lover! My go-to genre would have to be Urban Fantasy, but any fiction is game really.

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