Review: Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

strange and ever after

Title: Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3)
Author: Susan Dennard
Release Date/PublisherJuly 22nd 2014 by HarperTeen
Finished: April 16th 2014
Pages: 400-ARC eBook-got from Edelweiss for review
Series:
1. Something Strange and Deadly
2. A Darkness Strange and Lovely
3. Strange and Ever After

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

What I Thought:

I was accepted to read a copy of this from Edelweiss. Continue reading

Review: The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer

inventors secret

Title: The Inventor’s Secret (The Inventor’s Secret #1)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date/Publisher: April 22nd 2014 by Philomel
Finished: January 3rd 2014
Pages: 368-ARC-given for review
Series:
1. The Inventor’s Secret
2. To come

Synopsis from Goodreads

In this world, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape  or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.

What I Thought

Continue reading

Review: A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

darknessstrangeandlovely

Title: A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2)

Author: Susan Dennard

Release Date: July 23rd 2013 by HarperTeen

Read: September 15th 2013

Pages: 406-Hardcover-Owned

Series: 

  1. Something Strange and Deadly
  2. A Darkness Strange and Lovely
  3. Strange and Ever After

Synopsis:

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

What I thought:

I loved the first book in this series so much, and I can’t believe I waited a few months to read this one! Then again, it shipped late with another book so I could get free shipping, but still!

There are many books that I’ve become a bit emotional over and really enjoyed, but parts of this book gave me ALL the feels! I forgot how much I missed this story, with Eleanor and Daniel and all of their romantic tension. Add to that all that was going on when she got to Paris: the thrill of dark magic, necromancers, and of course more zombies. I just couldn’t put it down!

Eleanor was so strong in the first book and I really loved her character. But now that dark magic enters her life, she slowly starts to change and the battle to fight off any temptation to use the magic gets harder for her. I felt bad that she thought she needed the magic to fight off Marcus from the last book, instead of trusting in her companions like before. And the deeper she gets into it, the more the lies come and mess everything up later on. Daniel was just as heartbreaking in this one, and he’s undergone a bit of a change himself which was interesting. I liked how he kept slipping to his old self at times.

I really did like that the story goes more into the magic arts and necromancy too, and even talks more about demons and Le Mort (the zombies). It’s the perfect dark, romantic read, and just what I needed right now! Definitely pick up a copy of this book, and the first if you haven’t already! I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment! 🙂

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Review: Steel Lily by Megan Curd

steel lily

Title: Steel Lily (The Periodic Series #1)

Author: Megan Curd

Release Date/Publisher: August 12th 2013

Finished: August 29th 2013

Pages: 266-eBook-given for review

Series: 

  1. Steel Lily
  2. Iron Pendulum
  3. Untitled

Synopsis:

AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.

She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Four: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.

Or so she thinks.

That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Four. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued. But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.

…Which means digging deeper.

When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, she learns that while some secrets are better left concealed, humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.

What I thought:

I was given a copy of this to review from the author, thank you!

Based on the description alone, this book really intrigued me. I’m a sucker for those that can manipulate elements, and the added dystopian/stempunk feel really made me want to read it.

Avery at the beginning was a bit hard to like, but after I read more of her side and what’s happened to her and the world I started to understand why she was like that. For instance she complains quite A LOT about the dome in the first few chapters, but after a certain police-like figure forces her to use her powers it’s no wonder she feels that way. She does grow on you, even though she starts the whole insta-lust thing when she meets Jaxon and keeps telling herself she shouldn’t like him. I have to admit the thing they had was kind of cute, but I didn’t see why she had up a resistance to him.

The other characters were pretty neat too, you have the bad guys of course, and the object of her womanly affection. Then there’s Alice, her best friend, who totally became my favourite. She is so nice and tries not to let much bother her and she even has a great sense of humour! Sari was pretty cool too, and I liked her hacker abilities that made her seem important even if she didn’t have any powers.

The story and the world building were pretty good. All we really find out about WWIII was a quick history lesson in one of Avery’s classes, and then some little tidbits when they start snooping later. We learn about the domes and the radiation and what it caused too. I really hope there’s more on this and the world outside the domes more as the series goes on, because I felt myself wanting to learn more about it.

The only other thing I would have liked was a bit more editing. There were a few sections (not many) that had me a bit confused when things hapened, and some of the verb tenses if I remember correctly were jumping at the beginning of the book. In all honesty I did enjoy reading this, and that extra touch would have just made the story a bit tighter.

This was a good start for a debut author!

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Review: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

kinslayer

Title: Kinslayer (Lotus War #2)

Author: Jay Kristoff

Release Date/Publisher: September 17th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books

Finished: July 26th 2013

Pages: 448-eBook-ARC given for review

Series: 

  1. Stormdancer
  2. Kinslayer
  3. Endsinger

Synopsis:

A SHATTERED EMPIRE
The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The toxic blood lotus flower continues to ravage the land, the deadlands splitting wider by the day. The machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild conspire to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

A DARK LEGACY
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.

A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.

What I thought:

I received this ebook from the publisher for a fair review, thank you!

I remember that I did like the first book, and although I did mention that it was slow and there were tons of descriptions, that writing style grows on you after reading more. The settings and characters in the author’s world definitely expand more than the first book and the story really builds nicely too, and I found myself enjoying this one even more! With everything that goes on in this book I just kept wanting to read more too. The ending and how everything turned out was so awesome, especially certain twists that were added, especially one involving Yukiko near the end of the book.

There are multiple POVs from different characters, all who play an important role to the development of this story. From Yukiko and Buruu, to the future Shogun, Kin, and other members of the Kagé who are trying to make a difference. Some of them characters we didn’t meet before, but I loved seeing all sides of the story.

I won’t go into the story so as not to ruin anything though, but I will thank whoever put together a character map at the beginning! There was no way I would have been able to remember each character from the first book without it. The maps were hard to see on my Kobo screen, but I’m sure in the final paper print they’d help a lot too.

Honestly if you want a good book with samurai, a corrupt government, rebels, lots of action and legendary creatures mixed with a bit of steampunk, then go get this book! But of course make sure to read the first book too! Highly recommended.

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