Monday, June 25, 2012

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3) by Darynda Jones

"Equipment had toppled over and light fixtures hung from the ceiling by wires. And my father looked at me. And he knew."

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
(January 31, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1250001544
ISBN-13: 978-1250001542
Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the parthuman, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hellbent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

There will be spoilers from the previous books in this series, but not from the book I'm reviewing.


So, I've become a bit numb to the word "series" since it is so often used nowadays. For this reason alone, I was subconsciously waiting for that tipping point. You know the one...(most basic example, House of Night series). It's the point where even though you loved the books in the beginning, it just became to be too much to continue on with the series, even if you desperately want to know what happened to the characters because really, they weren't all that bad, right? However, with the very adult and funny as hell Charley Davidson series, I'm thinking that if it does evidently have a tipping point, it was not in this installment. Hah, if half of the YA authors could be as talented as Darynda Jones, I wouldn't have three shelves full of books that I'm still trying to get rid of. It just seems that publishing houses are maximizing on the word "series", and I don't know about you guys, but it is becoming such a huge turn off.

Anyway, we were all heartbroken when Reyes didn't want Charley to see him at the prison. I mean really, who wouldn't be? But of course, Charley being the cool cat she is, completely ignores this--or tries to--and throws herself into another case of a missing woman. Really, they're selling those like hot cakes. After meeting Dr. Nathan Yost, her would-be client and the missing woman's husband, dick Charley immediately knows that he's guilty. It's what he's guilty of that soon becomes confusing and a bit too tangled for her to just be rid of the case so soon. Alas, what more could possibly add to her troubles except being carjacked by an escaped convict who also claims to be the son of Satan and innocent of killing his cruel kidnapper of a father?

Charley is still the sassy, smart mouth that we all know and love, but Ms. Jones decided to bestow some just development on our girl that really made her shine. More of her beacon-light shown through as we got more of an insight into the supernatural world that overlooks her reality. I'm looking forward to the "powers" she supposedly possesses because the glimpse I got in Third Grave Dead Ahead was abso-freaking-lutely awesome. Reyes, of course, is always a bonus in these books. Even though they love each other but don't ever say it, I got the feeling that the romance took a back seat in this book and let the other sub-plots dominate. Not to say there weren't any Yummy, Sexy Times, but throughout the majority of the novel, I liked the fact that Charley was able to show more of her bad-assness and crime-fighting, mystery-solving skill.

Once again, I must applaud the rest of the cast of characters because really, they just add to Charley's charm. All the men that we know and love, like Garret Swopes and Reyes, and all the new men we are introduced to, like the bikers, are all so...delectable. Cookie, with her spunky mama-bearness; Uncle Bob for his resiliency when it comes to putting up with his adorably, misunderstood niece; Mr. Wong for his consistency of doing nothing. I love them all.

And that ending. Oh God, it wasn't till I got to the last chapter that I started bawling. I knew it was coming but why, oh why did it have to be him? For the sake of not revealing too much--and because it's wonderful to watch you squirm--I'm going to end it here. Parting with a mention that Ms. Jones can do no wrong.


Source: Bought


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Giveaway: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.
This giveaway is for a copy of The Immortal Rules by the famous Julie Kagawa. It is only open to U.S. residents and until July 1st midnight EST.

Thanks for entering!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eon (Eon, #1) by Alison Goodman

Eon (Eon, #1)
Alison Goodman

Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: Firebird; Reprint edition (August 31, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0142417114
ISBN-13: 978-0142417119
Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye-an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured. When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

When I first attempted to read Eon, I was all for it; as in, I loved the Chinese Zodiac animals and how they were incorporated into the book was genius. However, when I actually started to read the book, this is how my mind spoke to me: "Nice visuals I'm getting with all the descriptive detail...whoa, the dragons are so majestic...gah, more descriptive detail? Where's the action?....I can't take it anymore, must know how it ends..." In fact, I only ended up reading the first quarter of the book and then skimming the rest. That, I knew later, made for a very bad understanding of the series of events that occurred in the book. So that is why I decided to give Eon another chance.

Take Two:

Eona was in a serious dilemma when she was approached by her new master while she was working the salt farms. She had seen so many of her "colleagues" and friends die from a coughing sickness induced by just being there. If she wanted to survive and have a chance to come into riches herself, she would have to follow her new masters orders and become a boy forevermore. Eon was then known as one of the twelve candidates vying for the position of Rat Dragoneye Apprentice. Being cripple and one of the smallest boys in the bunch, the odds were not in his favor. (Actually, since the ceremony of the choosing would be somewhere the whole town could watch, they were placing bets and Eon's was 1:1000. Yikes.)

Characters: Eon was going through what manga readers know as a "gender-bender" situation, meaning he was so undercover that he couldn't be a girl if he tried. Pros of his character would be his ambition (ironically, enough), his...Well, there wasn't much else. Cons of his character is a different story; his constant fears and worries of what others would do to him if they knew the truth got annoying real fast. His cowardice to face the problems and deal with them made me want to punch him numerous and say, "Grow a pair." His indecisiveness was frustrating and the constant doubt made me want to skip pages again. Through all of this, I still didn't think badly of him because I knew the full extent of the circumstances he was in. All of the pressure that was on him to succeed was overwhelming to say the least. In one interaction that Eon had with another very important character made me question, "Has anyone ever told Eon that they love him?"

The other characters and people who are introduced became far more prudent to plot line than side characters would normally be. In fact, while I enjoyed every interaction that Eon had with all the other characters, Eon would barely speak twice in their whole conversation. Rilla and Chart were most dear to my heart because their loyalty to Eon's master's house was unquestionable, and Chart's "deformity" just pulled at my heartstrings. Speaking of Eon's master, Heuris Brannon was indeed a terrifying man but it was clear the underlying emotion he felt toward his trainee. Lady Dela and Ryko were two of my favorite characters because they made a great team and their opinion of him mattered very much to Eon. Now, I must mention the dragons because their role in this book meant everything to the other characters in the story. Like I said before, these beasts were definitely majestic, but they were also calculating, cunning and cooperative in times of worldly distress. Their faculty was to help when the land was in crisis, whether it be to a monsoon, an earthshake, or anything else that could affect the land and its harvest from prospering.

Plot: Eon was one of those books that follows the constant of taking the hero/heroine to their lowest point before even thinking of capitalizing on their strength and courage to help others. I was dreading the time when all his secrets would come light and the possible punishment it would mean for all who helped get to where he is. And this is where the twists and surprises in the plot came in, because I remember when I first skimmed the book, I spoiled one of the best secrets for myself, so when I went back to read it the second time, I knew the best thing that could happen and didn't have anything to look forward too. But boy was it a good secret...and it made Eon look like an absolute fool which I liked because I knew that he could only grow as a character from that point on. His desperate decisions and his deception were all seen to by the end of this book

Another consistency that I read through more thoroughly the second time around was the descriptive detail, and yes it drove me crazy to read through it all but I was able to fully appreciate the pain-staking process the author went through to provide such vivid imaginings and in my mind's eye it was beautiful.

Originality: Its obvious how much thought and love went into creating Eon because after reading all about all its characters and the world-building, there's no doubt in my mind that this book is one of a kind. Where else will you find a society that depends on the magical power of a multitude of twelve dragons and their handlers to keep you and your property safe from natural disaster? However, while the mythical aspect of this book is unique, the protagonist and his struggles were interesting but more of the same: rookie mistakes, slow learning curve, and final revealing revelation.

Overall: I have to recommend this to readers who have been in a reading slump but only to those who want to slowly get back in the game. Mostly due to the fact that while there are battle and fight scenes, the book isn't as fast-paced as an action-packed book would be.


Source: Bought


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (13)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...

Jay Kristoff

The Shima Imperium is verging on the brink of environmental collapse; decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, land choked with toxic pollution, wildlife ravaged by mass extinctions.
The hunters of the imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary beast, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows thunder tigers have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a hidden gift that would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.
But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)
Rae Carson

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
Michelle Hodkin

Two days after Mara walks into a police station in Miami at the close of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she is committed for psychiatric treatment for what her parents believe is a mental breakdown. But what seems like a hallucination to everyone else is a chilling reality for Mara. Someone from her past has discovered her strange, disturbing secret and that someone wants her to pay. But she's about to discover that the price is more than she can bear.

Dark and thrilling, suspenseful and passionate, The Evolution of Mara Dyer will have readers breathlessly turning pages to find out what will become of Mara Dyer next.

These all look like amazing reads and I can't wait till they're released!


Teen Book Scene: Tracy Deeb's This or That List

Introducing the author of the Tempest trilogy, Tracy Deebs...

Onto Tracy's This or That List...

Veggies or Fruits?
Fruits and Veggies ☺

Magazine or Newspaper?

Going to premieres or Waiting for DVD's release?

Better experience: High school or College?

Dolphins or Sea-turtles? 

Land-boyfriend or Mer-boyfriend?
Oh, so not going to touch this one...

Historic events or Current events?
Current Events

Outdoor activities or Busy indoors?
Busy indoors

Mac or PC?

Tangibles books or ebooks?
Tangible books

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Thanks to Tracy and Teen Book Scene!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Winner of Dark Parties Book-related Bracelet Giveaway!

The winner has been notified and confirmed. Thank you to all the entries, and await the next giveaway to come soon!