anAbout Much of Madness
Seraphina Pearce doesn’t know what’s more frustrating: her magic’s affinity for death, her best friend’s transformation into an albino Sin Eater, or that simply touching a guy she loves means someone’s headed to the morgue.
After a sin-eating job goes awry, she casts a risky spell and butts heads with a handsome stranger in order to win an infamous grimoire.
Marceau L’Argent is the last person she should confide in because the occult cat burglar has a mysterious past, and he’s made it no secret he also wants the grimoire. He recognizes her dark magic and offers his unique help as a rare curse breaker. If all that weren’t enough, Marceau causes butterflies in her stomach—a feeling she’d long thought dead.
Seraphina was only trying to break her curse—not piss off Death himself.
MUCH OF MADNESS is a Southern Gothic Horror story about loyalty, sacrifice, and maintaining hope no matter the odds.
My Review: ***** 5 Stars
I fell in love with this cover the moment I saw it. So lush. So vivid. I'm pleased to share that the story inside is just as mesmerizing. Told from Seraphina and Marceau's points of view, I absolutely connected to both of these characters. They are interesting, they are flawed, they are real. S.E. does an amazing job with her world building and character development, thrusting the reader into a world of intrigue, magic, and danger, but balanced with hope, friendship, love and possibility.
The story changes locations from New Orleans to Nashville, TN. No matter where you are, the scenes are vividly painted and played through my mind like snippets from a movie. I found that I really had a hard time putting this book down, and for that reason, I finished it quickly. Although it concludes in a satisfying way, I was left wanting more of these characters and this world. I think you will find it does that to you too.
Much of Madness releases on February 29, 2016, but you can pre-order your copy today. I highly recommend this stunning debut novel.
About the Tiger's Curse Saga
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world.
But that's exactly what happened.
Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Packed with magic, action-adventure, and romance, the epic Tiger's Curse series will keep you breathless and yearning for more.
My Rating: ***** 5 Stars
I would give this more than five stars if I could. I absolutely fell in love with this series. Let me warn you, however, this is no light read. Literally, I mean. When I love a series this much, I must have the hardcovers for my hoard (oh...um, collection.) These books weight a TON! That said, they will suck you into the pages and not let you go. Even after the last sentence is read, you will find yourself daydreaming about these books.
Now, I do have one complaint. Kelsey. She grows up a lot during this series, and by the last book, I loved her. But in the beginning? That girl needed some self confidence! If I had to listen to her complain one more time about how plain she was and how Ren couldn't possibly be interested in her, I was going to reach through the pages and slap her myself. Get over yourself, girl!
The brothers are amazing. Ren and Kishan are practically perfect and yet different enough that you ping pong back and forth, wondering which one will end up with Kelsey. Team Edward and Team Jacob is nothing compared to this conflict. I found myself being Team Ren and Team Kishan and thinking, can't she keep both of them?
If you like being whisked away on an epic quest to lush landscapes and daring adventures, pick up this series, but make sure you're not doing anything for the next week or two.
I am REALLY behind on reviewing what I read. I read the Lunar Chronicles this summer, probably in July. Because I'm so far behind, the books I read that are part of a series, I plan to review the entire series. So, here goes...
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison--even though she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive if she does--in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother, or 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 is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.
Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
My Rating: ***** 5 Stars
I loved this series! I actually met Marissa Meyer at the UtopYA Con 2015 in Nashville. When I purchased Cinder, I asked her to sign it to my 12-year old daughter who started it, but didn't finish. So, I was like, OK, I bought the book, not going to waste it. I'll read it.
OH. MY. GOSH. What an amazing story. What an interesting world. I was completely sucked in and immediately bought the next two books, as well as pre-ordered Winter. I think the summaries above give you a good idea of overall story, but what they don't tell you is how you will fall in love with these characters. My favorite of the three was Scarlet. I absolutely adored the relationship that built between her and Wolf, and I found her to be brave and spunky.
There is enough suspense, humor, romance, and evildoing to please just about every kind of reader. I'm typically not a fan of Sci-Fi, but the technical lingo was light and kept me engaged in the story. This is one series you will not want to miss, especially if you are a fan of fairytales and want to see them done in a very clever and original way.
About Insanity (Mad in Wonderland)
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll's paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland's real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.
My Rating: ***** (5 stars)
One thing I have realized about myself. Tell me the book is inspired by Alice and Wonderland, and I'll buy it. Sold. While I like some better than others, I always seem to enjoy the twists on the original. I must say, however, that Insanity has now moved up near the top of my list of Alice-retellings (only beaten by Splintered, which I love!)
What did I love about this book? To start, the topsy-turvy nature of it. The synopsis gives you a big clue that you're in for a wild ride. When your main character is committed in an insane asylum, you know that she is not going to be reliable. And she is not, in the most glorious of ways. Alice constantly questions her sanity. She sees and hears things that others don't, or at least, they don't admit to. As the reader, you fall into the virtual rabbit-hole right along with her. And hold on, because it's a wild ride!
Let's talk characters, because I loved them. Professor Pillar is interesting and about as untrustworthy as Alice's view on the world, Cheshire Cat is a worthy villain, and Jack Diamond is fun, and well, odd. Clearly, when you are dealing with madness, you meet some strange blokes along the way. My favorite minor character was Fabiola. She was great fun to read, and I hope we see more of her in future books.
I don't want to say too much about Insanity, because I think a big part of the fun of it is just diving in and going along for the ride. The ending gave me goosebumps, and I ordered a paperback of book 2 because I want to add it to my collection. That right there should give you an idea of how much I enjoyed this story.
About The Ruby Red Trilogy
The Ruby Red international bestselling trilogy by Kerstin Gier took the world by storm is now available as a beautiful boxed set. The perfect gift for all the Ruby Red fans.
Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended—and eccentric—family in an exclusive London neighborhood. She’s had a relatively normal life so far, in spite of her ancestors’ peculiar history. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped Gwen. She hasn’t been introduced to “the mysteries,” and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend Lesley, watching movies and talking about boys. So it comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden leaps into the past.
She’s totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He’s obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she’s seen in any century . . .
My Rating: ****1/2
I loved this series and devoured the books in one weekend. The premise of a secret society that protects a group of time travelers is very cool. I also loved the descriptions of the period costumes and hairstyles. There are some surprising twists and turns along the way. I won't give anything away, but I must say that I really enjoyed some of them, even if I saw a few of them coming. The romance that builds between Gideon and Gwen is sweet, but it's the humor in the story-telling that really hooked me. On one of Gwen's earlier trips into the past, she ends up in a closet, gets chased by the staff, to find herself hiding in another closet. Told from Gwen's point of view, you quickly discover that she is both witty and self-depreciating, but also a strong and likeable character. There were a few storylines that felt unfinished or loosely tied up, but overall I really enjoyed this trilogy.
In fact, I enjoyed it enough that when I discovered books one and two were made into German movies with English subtitles, I ordered them. I can only hope that I can get them to play on my computer. I am now anxiously awaiting their arrival, and if time permits and readers are interested, I will review the movies on my blog too.
Final verdict: If you like light, playful romance, time travel, secret societies, and humorous storytelling, giving the Ruby Red trilogy a try. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
About Low Red Moon
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together.
Then Avery meets the new boy in school — Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him — at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.
Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting — by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Low Red Moon had a beautiful, lyrical rhythm to it. When we meet Avery, it's in the aftermath of the horrible murder of her parents. She was there, but she can't remember what happened -- understandable for such a traumatic situation. Luckily, Avery has her grandmother to live with in the same town, but as her family was estranged from her grandmother, the situation is awkward at best. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded, how Avery remembered fragments at a time, and the odd mannerisms of the residents in the little, isolated town near the woods.
In the middle of all of the strangeness that Avery is experiencing, in walks Ben, a new boy at school. Avery and Ben have an instant connection. And you know what? It didn't bother me. No, I am not a huge fan of insta-love, but their relationship is explained in a way that makes sense. I totally got it. The attraction between them is real and well-written.
I'd like to say the ending was a big surprise, but it was more of a sort-of surprise for me, as I saw some of the setup. It didn't stop me from enjoying this book or wanting to read the sequel if one is released. If you like books with poetic phrasing, romance, and a little mystery, you will enjoy Low Red Moon. Also, I cannot end this review without saying how much I love the cover and layout of this book. The hardcover jacket is a gorgeous metallic, and the inside is laid out with red accents. Beautiful!
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.
Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.
My Rating: 4 stars
Runes started a little slow for me, although it was clear with the immediate chemistry between Raine and Torin that SOMETHING fun would happen. As the story progressed, I found myself really getting into it, liking Raine and her friends, and rooting for her to end up with Torin. There are lots of twists and turns, although a few I saw coming.
After the initial chapter or two, the pacing picked up and the story flowed well. The writing is great with minimal errors. The characters are very believable and, for the most part, likeable. And the bad guys are more shades of gray than black and white, which is what I prefer. It ends in a way that has me looking forward to reading more books in this series.
About The Infinite
The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.
Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.
To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.
In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.
My Rating: 5 stars
The sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone did not disappoint! Kai's story continues in this vividly imagined world. She is struggling to come to terms with the events of book 1. Wracked with guilt and insecurity, she still manages to be an admirable heroine who is brave, loyal, and strong. There are romantic moments in this booth that are both sweet and poignant, but romance does not define who she is. What I like most about Kai is how she can navigate through her darker emotions to hang on to that thread of optimism. She will never give up on those she loves.
I am fascinated by the Infinite, the primeval gods of this broken world. They truly embody the elements they represent, but they display enough humanity to make them interesting and relatable. This also makes it hard to tell the good guys from the bad ones. This is not a world of black and white, but many, many shades of gray.
I assume that there will be another book coming in Kai's story, and I certainly anticipate it. This is a book that will keep you turning the pages and leave you wanting more in the best way possible.
About Gates of Thread and Stone:
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
Lori M. Lee makes her debut with this captivating YA fantasy.
My Rating: 5 Stars
First, I was captivated by the cover. Isn't it gorgeous? Then, the story drew me right in. The world building is breathtaking, even if the world itself is dark, dangerous, and unfair for many. You learn that this world exists after the Rebirth, and these are the remaining survivors of the great war. Kai is the ultimate survivor. She is street smart and careful, yet she's not hardened, which I really loved. She is brave and fiercely protects those she loves, maybe even those she doesn't, as we see in the first chapter how compassionate she can be to a stranger even when her personal cost is high.
There is a mystery element woven throughout. Kai's childhood memories are lost, and she doesn't know where she comes from. She only knows Reev, the boy who took her in and made them a family. Early on, Reev goes missing, and Kai begins her journey to find him. Kai's friend, Avan, joins her. The budding relationship between them is sweet and very well paced. I like that Kai has a head on her shoulders and doesn't allow herself to lose focus on her goal. Find Reev first, romance later. She is a smart, independent heroine and makes a great role model.
The imaginative way Ms. Lee built this world was as fascinating as it was thorough. The Outlands, the Void, and everything Kai and Avan encounter along the way was described so well. I could picture it all in my mind. The mix of technology, like the Grays, and magic was very unique.
I would have a hard time classifying this book. It's listed as YA Fantasy, but its truly a story any age could enjoy. It's fantasy, dystopian, and science fiction with adventure, romance and mythical elements sprinkled in. The ending both surprised and delighted me. I already have The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2) ordered and on its way. I can't wait to read it!
Reading is Power
Before I was an author, I was an avid reader. I absolutely adore books and getting lost in the worlds that other people create. I love to discuss books, too. Feel free to leave comments. :-)