Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Early Unraveling of After The End by Amy Plum

After The End by Amy Plum
Title: After The End
Series: After The End Book One
Author: Amy Plum
Genre: YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Magic
Publication Date: May 6, 2014

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.
  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg


My Thoughts

A copy was provided through Edelweiss and HaperTeen in exchange for an honest review

I haven't read anything my Amy Plum before tackling this book, but I had heard good things about her Revenants series so I was mildly assured this wouldn't completely suck and with such a premise it was too interesting to pass up. I'm very glad I didn't.

Juneau is the head of her tribe, or soon to be, she is still technically in training but everyone more less just assumes she is leader already anyway. All her life these people have been living in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness fully believing that they are more or less alone in the world. That World War III happened and the rest of the world was decimated. I'm usually skeptic about these things cause these absolute truths just seem too hard to swallow and I would have thought that at someone point someone would have figured it out, but in this case their argument is fairly convincing so I was able to go along with no problems.

When Juneau goes off hunting and comes back to find her whole tribe gone she does what any good leader would do. Go find them. She is a 17 year old girl going off on her own to a world she thinks has been ravaged by war, only to find she has been living in a lie this whole time. That's a lot to take in for a girl her age.

Now what sold me hook, line and sinker was Juneau. She was so damn smart and down to earth. Finally someone who connected the dots and used their bloody common sense to blend in and find information! She didn't break down and cry and freak out. Juneau was precise, methodical and practical. Sometimes she came across as a tad unfeeling or too cold, but I just understood her. She isn't just a normal 17 year old girl. She is the leader of a tribe of 30 and she is damn well going to act like one.

The other aspect that sold me was Miles. He added that comic relief and brought Juneau to life.I liked him from the start even knowing what he was going to do eventually , it was just hard not being charmed by him. What I also very much appreciated was that there was no instalove nor random love triangle. It would have been out of character for someone like Juneau to end up in instalove and I'm more than happy with how the romance developed :)

The only downfall was the predictability of the plot. The premise behind the plot is fascinating and I can totally see someone attempting something like this, unfortunately is was just all mostly there. I never once felt any kind of suspense or real excitement. But it didn't have any major plot holes either, which I'm more than glad for.

You can sum up After The End with a decent plot + steady pacing + good premise + great characters. I'll definitely be looking out for the next book in the series.


Would I Recommend it?


Other books in the After The End series:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Unraveling: When All The World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

When All The World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
Title: When All The World Sleeps
Series: N/A
Author: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock 
Genre: Adult M/M, Romance, Dark
Publication Date: March 24, 2014

Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.

Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.
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My Thoughts

Bel didn't even know what the hell he meant by trying to help Whitlock, what he planned to do, or whether it would work. He just knew he had to try. He wasn't gonna watch Daniel Burn.

When All the World Sleeps was creepy, heart wrenching, rage inducing, and just plain awesome. I loved Bel. LOVED. He was such an amazing character. His evolution from condeming Daniel like the rest of the town, to being with there for him through the craziness that was his life. Learning how to deal with his sleepwalking and the stigma of dating a murderer in a small town. He was Daniel's rock through it all. Gentle, caring, and a hard ass when he had to be.

I felt horrible for Daniel. All the shit he has to go through because no one understand his condition. His parents don't believe and get pissed at him at first, then they just give up on him. Wash their hands off him. It was messed up. Having to deal with his sleepwalking by himself, being terrified of what he would do while he slept, the potential to really hurt someone again. It was heart wrenching to read.

This was his life, and he wasn't going to stand for this.

But Daniel grows so much. He stops cowering and taking everyone insults when they don't understand what he has to go through every night. He starts believing in himself more, and realizes that he deserves to live and have a full life just like the rest of them.

He was done being scared. They had no right, no fucking right, to keep hounding him this way. It's all right to be scared. Maybe so, but he was goddamn sick of it.

What Kenny, Clayton and his crew did to Daniel was so fucked up in so many ways. Kenny beats him to within an inch of his life. Clayton messes with his head. I thought that was actually the worst. Daniel already thinks he is half crazy and Clayton playing on this, making Daniel think he hallucinating things is just so creepy and fucked up. But Daniel perseveres and he wins. He gets to live his life.

Daniel pressed his forehead to Bel's.
"There's no magic fix for me. Not therapy, not drugs, not even you."
"I know that. I ain't in this to fix you. Just to be with you and help you any way you need."


Would I Recommend it?

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    Upcoming New Releases - Week of April 28th

    Here are the releases for the up coming week of April 28 - May 4, 2014

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    Books I'm looking forward to:

    • Into The Shadows by Kiersten White
    • Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
    • The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold
    • Scan by Sarah Fine
    • Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries

    I've already read The Taking and Sweet Reckoning. The Taking was just a big NO and Sweet Reckoning was...Well I was expecting a lot more than what I got. I'm excited for Scan by Sarah Fine, after having read Sanctum I'm all for whatever she writes.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    New Feature: Thirst for Knowledge - Oracles

    This a new feature that I'm trying out that was inspired by Myth or Monsters Mondays from a blog that I stumbled upon and can no longer find (If you guys know which blog it's from let me know please so I can link back). I'll be discussing any topic from a book that I've recently read that has caught my attention. Whether it's a myth, a baddie, a concept, a disease that was mentioned, a procedure. Anything. As of now I don't plan on doing this in a weekly basis, just when the mood strikes, but if you guys have any suggestions or topics you want me to feature be sure to let me know! 



    The word oracle comes from the Latin verb ōrāre "to speak" and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction. It may also refer to the site of the oracle, and to the oracular utterances themselves, called khrēsmoi (χρησμοί) in Greek.

    Oracles ≠ Seers

    Oracles were thought of as portals through which the gods spoke directly to the people, while Seers interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, bones, tarots, etc

    Oracles around the world

    Let's look at a few oracles from different cultures!

    • Sybils (Greek) - It literally means prophetess. They would give answers whose value depended on good questions. So you better know how to phrase your question!
    These were mentioned in Ask Me. Aria, the main character is a descendant from one of the 10 Sybils, specifically Erythraean Sybil, who was said to recite their prophecies in acrostic.
      • Persian 
      • Lybian 
      • Delphic (Not to be confused with the Pythia)
      • Cimmerian 
      • Erythraean
      • Samian
      • Cumaean
      • Hellespontine
      • Phrygian (doublet of the Hellespontine Sibyl)
      • Tiburtine
    • The Chinese used oracle bones, as well as the I Ching, or "Book of Changes", a collection of linear signs used as oracles that are from the Shang Dynasty.
    • In Celtic mythology the Druids or Vates were the ones who performed divination.
    • In ancient India the oracles were knows as:
      • Akashwani or Ashareera vani: a person without body or unseen
      • Asariri (Tamil): Literally meaning "voice from the sky"
    • In Tibet oracles still play an important role in religion and government. The Dalai Lama still consults the oracles known as:
      • Nechung Oracle, which is considered the official state oracle of the government of Tibet.
      • Tenma oracle
      • The Karmashar and Darpoling oracles are no longer active.
    • The early Aztecs used mummy-bundles, an effigy, as an oracles
    • The Yucatec Mayas had their own oracles priests or chilanes, literally meaning 'mouthpieces' of the deity.
    • In Norse Mythology Odin carries around the head of Mímir, renowned for his knowledge and wisdom, who recites secret knowledge and counsel to him.

    The Pythia

    I'm sure most you of have come across this word when reading a book dealing with greek mythology and oracles. So what exactly is The Pythia?

    It was an actual mythical python!

    This awesome python was hidden in a cave that communed with the Great Goddess Gaia. This snake, like many of her serpentine sisters in the ancient world, prophesied the future and dispensed divine knowledge.

    According to myth and legend, the original Pythia inhabited a cave, into which magical vapours rose from a fissure in the earth. Inhaling the vapours, Pythia entered a trance. In this suspended state, she received the direct counsel of Gaia. Gaia entered her body, transmuting it into the form of a Python, and spoke through the mouth of Pythia.

    Fun fact! 

    It turns out these magical vapours were actually ethane and ethylene gasses that seeped from the geological fault that the oracle chamber near Mount Parnassus was built over. In other words the oracle was high all the time. Awesome.

    This python was the original Oracle, which we now call the Oracle of Delphi, as renamed by the Greek Indo-European civilisation which came to dominate the culture of Ancient Greece. This is why in most books Pythia and Oracle of Delphi is used interchangeably.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Early Unraveling of Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

    Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins
    Title: Sweet Reckoning
    Series: The Sweet Trilogy Book Three
    Author: Wendy Higgins
    Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
    Publication Date: April 29, 2014

    It’s time.

    Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

    The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

    In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

      photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg 


    My Thoughts

    A copy was provided through Edelweiss and HaperTeen in exchange for an honest review

    So many disappointing endings to series lately. Usually the whole book is good enough and the last 10% are the bad part. In Sweet Reckoning's case it's backwards. I simply did not like 90% of the book. At one point I picked it up and thought 'Let's just get this over with already'. It was painful to read. I had been planning on giving this 1 star but it got the half star and rounded up because of the last chapter + epilogue. The epilogue was very sweet and the last chapter finally had all the action, suspense, and badass-ness I had been looking for. It all came too late though.

    Love was in the air. Among other things. Like lust. And the smell of turkey. A weird combo.

    That right there pretty much sums the whole book up. Everyone was finally pairing off. There was gooey, cheesy lines every where your eyes landed, but most importantly there was LUST. With capital letters. Once Anna and Kaiden did the nasty it was all over. Kaiden had a one track mind after that and I just couldn't take the book seriously anymore. It lost all my respect right there.  (view spoiler)

    The whole book reminded me of reading a romance novel, only worst, cause this isn't supposed to be a romance novel. The plot was pushed out of the way to make room for this:

    "I will tie you up again if you don't behave," he warned.

    "Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?"

    And proceed to make out even though there were Dukes nearby.

    That was another thing that bothered me. Anna was always with someone. Yet they were supposed to be seen working alone so the Dukes wouldn't notice what they were up to. But they were always together with someone! Whether it was Anna with Kope, or with Kaiden, or with Marna and Ginger, or Jay and Patti. It was ridiculous. They'd get together and get all sad and messed up cause they had to part ways again, and I'm just thinking, why even bother, they have spent the whole book together anyway, what's the point. And it's not like they were doing some awesome missions or something. No, it was just relationship drama, and Anna's virginity in question. 

    Their cunning, Machiavellian plan? Wait. That was it and that's exactly what they did. It was boring.

    I'm sure a good chunk of readers are going to be ecstatic that Anna and Kaiden are finally together and getting it on, but to me it actually kinda ruined the series. Me? I was crestfallen.


    Would I Recommend it?


    Other books in The Sweet trilogy:

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    Early Unraveling of The Taking by Kimberly Derting

    The Taking by Kimberly Derting
    Title: The Taking
    Series: The Taking Book One
    Author: Kimberly Derting
    Genre: YA Sci-Fi
    Publication Date: April 29, 2014

    A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

    When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

    Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

    Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
      photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg 


    My Thoughts

    A copy was provided through Edelweiss and HaperCollins in exchange for an honest review

    I was hesitant to read this book because it was by Derting and her previous Body Finder series just didn't do it for me, but the subject matter and that beautiful cover made me cave in, not to mention I just had to press that little green Download Now button instead of actually requesting. So download I did. I really shouldn't have. I really could have gone without.

    I didn't like Kyra. At all. She was a brat, spoiled, and selfish. Worst case of Only child syndrome ever. Look, it can't be easy waking up the 'next day' and finding out that 5 years have passed, your parents are divorced, your mother remarried and had another kid. It must be brutal, but you DO NOT act like a self entitled little bitch because of it either. After a few days of having been back, Kyra sneaks out of the house and tells no one, because hell, what's the point, it's not like she was JUST MISSING FOR FIVE YEARS.

    I thought about leaving a note or something for my mom to let her know where I'd be, but then I figured she had my number -because she was the only one beside Tyler, who did-and she could call if she was worried.

    Moving on! 

    Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. I really liked you at the start but then that spark just fizzled and died. You went from swoon worthy to just a tad pathetic and I don't do pathetic. Went from Lovely, epic chalk drawings with beautiful quotes and sharing books because "I want to share one of my very favorite things in the world with you, Kyra." To being just a puppy being dragged around by Kyra with zero back bone and no substance. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I'm hoping this changes in the second book. (Not sure if I'm gonna read it though. Probably not).

    Kyra was absolutely boy crazy. There were I love you's exchanged after exactly 7 days of her coming back. Just no. It made it seem like Kyra couldn't be her own person, she always had to have a boy with her to define herself. It was frustrating. She had already decided to throw a future full of promise away because she wanted to go to same college as her boyfriend.

    Kyra was also stupid. She gets some blood work done and the guy that draws her blood is found dead not a day later after that. Does she get curious? Eh, it was a very fleeting thought in between her obsession with Tyler. She also doesn't need to eat much or sleep. But she is totally normal guys. She is 21 now, so she wants to be treated as an adult, but acts like a 5 year old instead and is vindictive enough to get a toy that her 2 year old brother wants just to watch him squirm. But she is an adult now! She can totally take care of herself.

    She only decides to figure things out at around the halfway mark, and that's when things started looking up. Everything was a tad unbelievable but I was willing to go along with it till they got to the contagious part. If a disease is air-borne that means it's transmitted through aerosol particles from when you sneeze and cough. It does NOT mean that just because your blood is out in the open and you breath in the same air you suddenly have the disease. Not only would the blood have to touch you, you would need to have an open wound to be infected. Not to mention the inherent properties of the virus/pathogen and how much of the virus you'd have to be exposed to, to actually get the disease. This was VERY poorly done. So unless Derting comes up with it's actually a an alien parasite that worms into your skin or some such bizarre thing then I'm not buying it at all.

    Oh, and did I mention she was also a special snowflake?

    They have done something different to you-to make you special.

    This girl is slow on the uptake, uses Tyler's phone to call her mom when the NSA is looking for her, uses a phone when they are running in a pitch black forest at night while being chased by dogs/NSA agents, therefore giving away her position. She argues about the fashion statement fanny packs make and refuses to put stuff she needs to carry in it because it's such a nerdy thing to use. Who cares that she can't use her hands now.

    "I'm not letting my stuff touch that thing. My hands work just fine. You know your nerd status just shot up like a million points, don't you?"

    I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I only kept reading cause I wanted to know who takes the people, but of course we don't get real answers and some weird crap happened at the end that makes no sense and it of course ends in a cliffwanker.

    Needless to say I give up on this author and I'll just get someone to spoil the rest of the trilogy for me so I can have some peace of mind.


    Would I Recommend it?


    Other books in the The Taking trilogy:
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