26 Sep 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly blogger meme started by Breaking the Spine. If you want to check this meme out at its origin and particpate, just click here.

It's getting tough to pick books I'm waiting on, especially when there are so many! But this week I am waiting on the third book in a wonderful series by Cassandra Clare. That's right, the third installment of her The Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Princess. I already posted about the cover reveal here, but let's take another look at it, shall we?

Blurb:
Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Clockwork Princess is due out March 19th, 2013. I'm not sure I can wait that long! But at least we have City of Bones movie news to tide us over, and other books to fill the void.

So what are you "waiting on" this week?

25 Sep 2012

Blog Content Change Plus a Giveaway Link

Hey everyone!


So you may have noticed that I update at the most twice a week, and there is not always one review a week. While this blog had its moments where I would pump out more than one review per week plus a few extra book-related posts (such as cover reveals or Waiting on Wednesdays), that is not something I can guarantee on this blog anymore.
I had originally intended for this blog to be strictly a book review blog with some book blog memes here and there, but my non-blog life does not always allow for that. I am also a writer and have two WIPs on the go, so they take up a lot of the spare time I do have. I thought about replacing my reviews with videos, and I might still do that, but I am also going to include more posts on anything book-related in general, as well as writing-related.

So basically it will be the same content plus some writing posts.

And to kick off the writing posts, to all of you writers out there, Shallee McArthur, a YA sci-fi and fantasy author is having a giveaway on her blog.

The potential winners of the giveaway could win:
A 10 dollar giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and Noble
A 10-page critique
A 5-page critique

Critiques at any stage in the writing process can be very helpful, and could open some doors, so if you would like to enter, please visit Shallee's blog here.

The giveaway follows an insightful blog post by Shallee McArthur about how "You Are a Real Writer", so that is definitely worth a read. Join the discussion on her blog in the comments below her post. Shallee asks: "...Have you ever felt you had to somehow prove yourself before becoming a real writer? Or do you already take pride in your awesome writerliness?"
I hope you all take pride in your writerliness, as Shallee puts it!

Happy writing, happy blogging, and happy reading, everyone :)

22 Sep 2012

My Book Shelf Tour

I finally did one!
Here is a twenty-six minute video tour of my bookshelf complete with mini-ramblings about each book where I meant to say what they were about but ended up just saying 'this is a really good book.' 'This one is also really good.' etc. Haha.

If you have any  book recommendations for me based on the books I already own and love, leave them in the comments below!
And if you want me to review any of the books I've read, let me know that as well. Sometimes I just can't decide.

Happy reading, and link me to your bookshelves! I'd love to see what books we have in common and hear your recommendations. :)

19 Sep 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly blogger meme started by Breaking the Spine. If you want to check this meme out at its origin and particpate, just click here.
You've read my review on Marissa Meyer's Cinder (and if not, you should check that out here, because the book was fantastic!), so this week's W.o.W should come as no surprise. This week I am waiting on Scarlet, book number two in The Lunar Chronicles.


Blurb:
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I am very curious to see how the story of Little Red Riding Hood will be incorporated, and am anxious to find out what happens next in Cinder's story.
Scarlet is due out in bookstores February 5th, 2013. So there is a bit of a wait, but luckily there are some other great books to occupy ourselves with, right? (I know, I know. That doesn't make it any less painful)

15 Sep 2012

Review: Allegiance by Cayla Kluver


Title: Allegiance
Series: The Legacy Trilogy
Placement in Series: #2
Author: Cayla Kluver
Rating: 4.5/5
Blurb: 
Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.
An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...
Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.
Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....

Review:

This book made me cry. To me, that's a very good thing. It means it affected me.  I love the characters -- especially obnoxious Steldor. I love the growth of Alera. She is in mid-transition here to what I predict will be a pretty bad ass character in the end. It's a very interesting and usually a pleasing thing to see a character grow into a better, tougher person. And in a series like this, it is all the more believeable.

As usual Cayla Kluver ceases to amaze me with her writing. She's a young writer and this is her first series, with Legacy being her first published work. She is among the young adult writers that redeem young adult writers (and by young adult in this case I do not mean genre/age group. I mean writer age group). Kluver writes in a way I hope to, using language, phrasing, and expressions that pull you into the time and world this series takes place in. She paints such a visual setting with her prose, that I envy her. I truly admire her skill.

I really enjoyed this book, and for those of you who have not yet read Legacy, I suggest you head on over to your local bookstore and/or library and pick it up. It's amazing, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction. Now this review is going to get spoilery, so from hereon out if you get spoiled, don't say I did not warn you.

I have to jump right to the part of this book that affected me most, and that was (man, if you haven't read this series, I hope you've already stopped reading, and if you haven't DO NOT READ FURTHER) Alera losing her kingdom. This was a turn I did not expect the book to take. I had it in my mind that Narian would lead the Cokyrians to battle Hytanica and they would be unsuccessful. That Hytanica would be safe in the end, even though I knew there is another book after this one. I think I expected them to somehow get Narian back after that war, which causes another one which becomes the main climax in the final book in the trilogy. Mostly I was rooting for everything to go well in this book, but man was I disappointed. And in the best way possible. I was rooting so hard for Hytanica, and when London was gone and everyone was stuck in the castle, with Hytanicans knocking on the doors outside but not being permitted entry because it was too full... It was so emotional, and I had no idea how they could possibly come out of that alive. But of course Cannan and the other Elite guards had plans up their sleeves, and managed to (with some difficulties) whisk Alera, Steldor, Miranna (Miranna -- I didn't see that coming, either! Well, I did get suspicious when she told Alera of the letter, and I was gripping the book yelling at Alera with my mind that something was not right, but alas, she did not hear me) and few others to a hideaway.

I mentioned above that this book made me cry. Well I teared up a bit when they lost Hytanica, but when they all accepted Steldor was dying and there was nothing that could be done, that was it for me. I read on hesitantly, begging through my tears for a way to save the arrogant King that Alera is so uncomfortable with (But I mean, come on, Alera! I'd pick Steldor over Narian any day!). I was literally choked up with tears and emotion. I felt everyone's pain at losing Steldor and eventually succumbed to the idea just like they did.
And then London and Galen come back and London, I think you are my second character apart from Steldor. Alera holds him on a pedestal, and I am right with her there. He is an amazing character, and I really do hope we get to learn of his time in Cokyri. I know the High Priestess shared some, but I'd like to get it from London. The whole story. I think it would be a great way to better get to know his character, and please Cayla Kluver, do abide Alera's wishes to know that. Please? For her? If not, then for us readers?

This book did not leave us with a very happy ending. It left me devastated, but thankfully with enough hope to keep me alive. I read this book so much later than I should have (seriously, it's been sitting on my shelves for months), but I'm a little thankful I waited so long, because now I only have to wait a little over a month for the final book in the trilogy to come out. So I won't be in pain for too much longer. But seriously, there were few happy things in this book, yet I was perfectly content reading them. It was torture! Pure torture. Those poor guards and their families. And Baelic. I don't want to talk about him. I can't.

And can I just say that I would like to punch Narian in the face? I understand that you are trying to at least save Alera here, and that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, but seriously! *tugs out hair* It hurts, Narian. What you are doing hurts. And I kind of wish Alera would just get over you, but I feel like you are it for her, and I am just going to have to accept that, alongside Steldor. Hmph.

Just ugh, this book is amazing. I'm looking forward to reading Sacrifice, even though the title terrifies me.
What will have to be sacrificed?
Or rather, who?
And London, what is your plan?


Theories in the comments! But try not to spoil, just in case?
If you post a spoiler-y comment, place a warning in case anyone who has not read the books won't have to worry. And readers who have not had a chance yet to read these fabulous books... Just be cautious, I guess.


This book!

12 Sep 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #4

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly blogger meme started by Breaking the Spine. If you want to check this meme out at its origin and particpate, just click here.
This week I am waiting on a first book in a new trilogy by Julie Kagawa. I thoroughly enjoyed her Iron Fey series, as well as the first book in her Blood of Eden series, The Immortal Rules. She has quickly become one of my favourite authors, and when it was announced that she would be writing three more books as a companion to the Iron Fey series, but this time featuring Meghan's younger, grown up brother Ethan Chase, I was ecstatic!


Blurb:
Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.


I'm very curious as to see where this series will take us -- Julie never disappoints, and I expect Ethan's story will be just as compelling as Meghan's.

The Lost Prince is due out at the end of October of this year, so mark October 23rd on your calendar!

5 Sep 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #3

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly blogger meme started by Breaking the Spine. If you want to check this meme out at its origin and particpate, just click here.

This week I am waiting on the third book in The Legacy Trilogy by Cayla Kluver.
I just have to admit here that I have not yet read Sacrifice, the second in the trilogy. It's on my bookshelf waiting to be read, and I'll be starting it once I finish the book I am on now (yikes, it's been so long I'm going to have to re-read Legacy. No complaints there! I adore that book). But still, I am waiting on the third in the trilogy. It's just one of those series of books you know you will enjoy until the end.


Title: Sacrifice
Series: The Legacy Trilogy
Author: Cayla Kluver

Goodreads Blurb:

This is not the time for the fight to end. Now is when the fight will begin. This is the time to regain what has been lost.

Alera
Queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy.

Shaselle
Daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.

One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor's edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family's tragedy, following whispers of insurgency.

Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine, a conspiracy ignites that may end in slavery or death—or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what must be sacrificed.

3 Sep 2012

Old Favourites #1

This is not exactly a meme I am starting, since I will not be posting these very often, but if you would all like to join in, feel free :) Just leave a comment below if you're interested and perhaps I'll make it a for sure thing :) (And if someone is already doing this, google failed me, because I tried finding one. Oops)

What is Old Favourites? Reviews on new and semi-new books are great. We get to discover books soon to come out because of arc reviews, and we get to see what others think about new releases and if they're going to worth a read. But what about older books? Ones that were published years ago that we enjoyed as kids, or as young adults, and re-discovered recently. That is what this almost-meme is for. Old Favourites will revive these books, and possibly even introduce them to those who never heard of them, or were too young to read them and just getting into books now. Books are timeless.

So for my very first Old Favourites post, I want to bring to light a book series I read in the seventh third/fourth grade that I enjoyed immensely:


Title/Series: Silverwing
Author: Kenneth Oppel
First Publication Date: October, 1997

Silvering was written by bestselling Canadian author Kenneth Oppel when he was thirty years old. It was first introduced to me through a reading program called Silver Birch. From what I remember, we had the option to read from a selection of books, and then vote on our favourites. Silverwing won in 1998. Hang on, that doesn't make any sense. I was eight years old, then. Meaning I was in grade three? Four? Wow, okay. I was younger than I thought I was, folks! Moving on...
Silverwing has won a few other awards, of course. I am mentioning the Silver Birch one because it is more personal to me.

Even though this book is a middle grade, I believe it to be enjoyable at any age. I keep seeing it in the book store and wanting to pick it up along with the series, but the covers never match, and I feel very attached to the covers these books bore when I was reading them (the one above being the cover it had when I read Silverwing).

The goodreads blurb includes nothing about the actual synopsis, so I'll pull up one from elsewhere.

Amazon Blurb: 
Shade is a young silverwing bat, the runt of his colony. But he's determined to prove himself on the long, dangerous winter migration to Hibernaculum, millions of wingbeats to the south. During a fierce storm, he loses the others and soon faces the most incredible journey of his young life. Desperately searching for a way to rejoin his flock, Shade meets a remarkable cast of characters: Marina, a Brightwing bat with a strange metal band on her leg; Zephyr, a mystical albino bat with an unusual gift; and Goth, a gigantic carnivorous vampire bat. But which ones are friends and which ones are enemies? In this epic story of adventure and suspense, Shade is going to need all the help he can find -- if he hopes to ever see his family again.

Other books in the series: Sunwing, Firewing, Darkwing

My personal thoughts on the series:
I read this series years ago, and am looking forward to picking it up again. My feelings while reading this book are still with me. I remember how great the writing was (even though I was eight years old, holy cow), how Kenneth Oppel brought these fictional bats to life. Middle grade book or not, it was amazing. The adventures Shade went on in this book and the rest were incredibly captivating. I will probably do a real review later on after I read this series again. I just have no idea when that will be, since I don't currently own the books (what was I thinking by not buying them when I was younger? Probably that I had no money to do so, since I was just a kid... Haha).

To see more on the Silver Birch awards and other awards by the Forest of Reading by the Ontario Library Association in Canada, click here.


Discuss: 
I'm really curious, guys. Who else has read this series? This series was a large part of my childhood before Harry Potter came along (in the same year as Silverwing, but HP did not get introduced to me until Prisoner of Azkaban was out). So who else read these books, and what did you think? And if you didn't, you should really check them out. Your library should have them. They're amazing.

1 Sep 2012

Mini Review: Iron's Prophecy


Title: Iron's Prophecy
Author: Julie Kagawa
Placement in Series: 4.5
Series: The Iron Fey
Rating: 5/5
Blurb:
Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child…
 I honestly did not know exactly what I was expecting when I began to read the final novella of the Iron Fey series that followed Meghan Chase's adventures. Certainly not a hint as to what we might see in Ethan Chase's series, that's for sure.
What I was mostly relieved about was that this novella was not just a 'hey look -- Meghan and Ash lived happily ever after' novella. There was a lot of actual content and conflict; basically, this story was not fluff.

In Iron's Prophecy, we learn that Meghan is pregnant (this does not count as a spoiler, considering is reveals that in the blurb), but there are some complications, of course. The Oracle visits Meghan and has something to tell the Iron Queen, but Meghan must meet the Oracle at a certain location. Accompanying her, as usual, are some old favourites, Grimalkin and Puck, and of course her knight, Ash.

I just have to admit here that I could not read this novella all at once. When I realised how much I missed these characters, I freaked out so much that in order to maintain my sanity, I had to put the book down. Seriously, if you had seen me on my social networking sites while reading this novella... I was crazy. It's just... these characters!

As usual, Julie Kagawa's writing is impeccable. Iron's Prophecy was a nice last adventure we could all take with Meghan, Ash, Puck, and Grim before we begin journeying with Ethan Chase on his adventures. Iron's Prophecy helped bridge the gap between The Lost Prince, for reasons I will not reveal. At least, that is what I am predicting based on what we learned in this novella.

This is definitely a must-read if you have read the Iron Fey series. And if not, then I highly recommend them. I caught on to the series a little late (just after The Iron Knight was released), and fell in love immediately. The character development is refreshing, and the unique twist Julie Kagawa added to the fey world is amazing. She certainly knows how to bring back an 'overly done' (as some might say) genre by adding her own imaginative spins. She did the same with her vampire-dystopia, The Immortal Rules, which I wrote a review on a while back.

Now to wait two more months for the first book in the Call of the Forgotten series :D
I certainly cannot wait!