Friday, December 2, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (12/2/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
The Shadow Society  (The Shadow Society #1)
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski (ARC)
Although it began with the extremely overused "girl who appears normal but has a dark secret is drawn to a new mysterious boy at school" opening, after some rather shocking violence and alternate world twists it has turned out to be a pretty good read with engaging intrigue and a strong female lead. Currently halfway through and quite enjoying it.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Caraval
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (ARC)
2 StarsAlthough I did enjoy the world and game reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there was way too much description, Scarlett was too reluctant and overthought everything to the point of frustration, and I never truly felt the sisterly bond. While the mystery of Julian was intriguing, after way too many switchbacks I lost interest before the final conclusion, and while the end was satisfying for the most part it left me feeling disappointed and a little gypped. Review to come.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, #1)
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins (ARC)
I have both books in the duology so I think I'll give it a try!


So what are you reading this week?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Dark Energy (Robison Wells)

Dark Energy
Title: Dark Energy
Series: standalone
Author: Robison Wells
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction
Told: First Person, Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (gruesome visuals, violence, violent alien attacks, kissing)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

We are not alone.

Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest. Since then, nothing—or no one—has come out.

They have arrived.

If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site—because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything is a special project, it’s this.

And there’s no going back. 

A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the new future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.


*          *          *

In a Sentence: A thrilling and chilling contemporary sci-fi with quick wit, engaging characters, and a compelling story, despite a creepy alien element.

Dark Energy was a genre roller coaster that began a light contemporary sci-fi, plunged into horror at the middle, veered into a tense adventure before a thriller climax, and ended on a romantic note. From the first sentence I was instantly engaged by easy, witty writing with great banter, simple yet realistic settings, and a diverse and relatable cast of characters. Except for a few instances of rather vivid and unnerving horror, the story was fast paced and engaging with exciting and surprising twists, including an ancient mystery I found quite unique and interesting. 

Alice was a fun and, in spite of the horror upbeat viewpoint character thanks to her easygoing attitude and adventurous streak, and the posse of fierce friends she collected were smart and snarky and I loved every one of them. (I especially adored her NASA dad and their close yet liberal relationship.) The romance was cute and sweet in the face of the action and adversity, and I appreciated that it took its time to build over the entire book. Given all the tension I felt the ending was plausible, and the story wrapped up nicely.

Conclusion: A thrilling read that always kept me engaged with effortless banter, relatable characters, and chilling twists. Despite a few rather squicky bits, I really enjoyed the quick and exciting read and look forward to trying more by Robison Wells.


Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles


Friday, November 25, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (11/25/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Caraval
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (ARC)
I've been hearing such amazing things that I couldn't resist this any longer, but sadly I'm not enjoying it as much as others have. There is so much description, and viewpoint character Scarlett is so indecisive and frustratingly overthinks everything. But the world is imaginative and I'm enjoying the intrigue, so I'll stick with it to the end. 


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Dark Energy
Dark Energy by Robison Wells (ARC)
4 StarsA thrilling and chilling contemporary sci-fi with quick wit, engaging characters, and a compelling story, despite a creepy alien element. Review to come.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
The Unexpected Everything
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (ARC)
I think it's about time for a light contemporary, so maybe I'll finally give Matson a try.


So what are you reading this week?

Friday, November 18, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (11/18/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Dark Energy
Dark Energy by Robison Wells (ARC)
This has been a thrilling genre rollercoaster! It started as a light contemporary sci-fi, plunged into horror near the middle, and then turned into a tense adventure as we neared the climax. I only have a chapter or two left and I'm itching to find out how it ends!


>> JUST FINISHED <<
My Lady Jane
My Lady Jane by Hand & Ashton & Meadows (ARC)
3.5 StarsA humorous historical reimagining that was a bit slow and wordy at times but possessed great characters, fun fantastical twists, and adorable romances.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Ruined (Ruined, #1)
Ruined by Amy Tintera (ARC)
Feeling like a fantasy next so think I'll try Amy's latest! Really enjoyed her Reboot duology.


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

{Nerd Blast} THE DIABOLIC (S.J. Kincaid) + INT Giveaway!


Welcome to the Official Nerd Blast for 
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid!


The Diabolic

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. 

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out July 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex, was released July 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, released October 2014. Her standalone novel, The Diabolic, releases November 2016.



GIVEAWAY

5 winners will receive a copy of THE DIABOLIC + swag by S.J. Kincaid!
Giveaway is International | Must be 13+ to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ten Books (With Covers) I've Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!


Ten Books (With Covers) I've Added To My TBR List Lately

Frogkisser!NovaThe Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1)
Traveler (Traveler #1)Romeo & What's Her Name
Dividing EdenLibriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)The Ship Who Sang (Brainship, #1)
Daughter of the Pirate KingFrau Faust, Vol. 1
  1. Frogkisser! (Garth Nix) - This sounds like a ton of fairy tale fun, and I'm a big fan of Garth's storytelling!
  2. Nova (Margaret Fortune) - I'm a sucker for sci-fi, and this looks unique and interesting. 
  3. The Spirit Thief (Rachel Aaron) - I enjoyed Rachel's sci-fi Paradox series (released under the name Rachel Bach), so when I found this at a used book sale I thought I'd give it a try!
  4. Traveler (L.E. DeLano) - A writer whose stories turn out to be real alternate universes that she travels to with a cute guy? Umm, yes please.
  5. Romeo & What's Her Name (Shani Petroff) - I have a secret love of drama class, and as a "romantic comedy of errors" I just can't resist this.
  6. Dividing Eden (Joelle Charbonneau) - I really enjoyed Joelle's Testing series so I'm excited to see her tackle fantasy!
  7. Libriomancer (Jim C. Hines) - I'm sorry, there's an entire series about librarians who wield book magic? How did I not hear about this before??
  8. The Ship Who Sang (Anne McCaffrey) - I discovered this sci-fi classic doing research for my Nano novel, and then a few weeks later found a ex-library copy at a used book sale! If that wasn't fate - really excited to read it soon.
  9. Daughter of the Pirate King (Tricia Levenseller) - I'm take it or leave it when it comes to pirate books, but this one sounds really good! 
  10. Frau Faust vol. 1 (Kore Yamazaki) - Okay so technically the American edition doesn't have a cover yet since Kodansha just announced the license last month, but I'm just so excited for this new series from the author of my favorite manga, The Ancient Magus Bride!! If the awesome Japanese cover is any indication, I'm in for another amazing read.


So what books have you added to your TBR lately? Have you read any on mine? If so, what did you think?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Shadow Run (AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller)

Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)
Title: Shadow Run
Series: Kaitan Chronicles, Book 1
Author: AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: Light Science Fiction
Told: First Person (Nev & Qole), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, gruesome death, experimental torture)
Format Read: ARC (won)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

"Firefly" meets DUNE in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.

Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.


*          *          *

In a Sentence: An engaging sci-fi with a rough start and lengthy bouts of inaction but amazing action, unexpected twists, and great characters.

Sci-fi, especially what I've started to consider "Light" Sci-fi, is my go-to genre, so when I first laid eyes on Shadow Run's simple brown spaceship cover and intriguing title I could not get my hands on it fast enough. After winning an early ARC (sometimes giveaway stalking does work!), I couldn't help but read it ASAP.

To my disappointment, the first 50 pages were rough and rather slow - almost exclusively internal monologue with very little character interaction and movement, let alone action. The first chapter was also rather a mess of telling from a somewhat unengaging character, and the next wasn't much better. I struggled to make myself continue, but was convinced that it must get better.

And it did. After a shock of a twist I did not see coming, the writing, pace, and characters shifted for the better, and once we got our first taste of action I was hooked. Although the story was still prone to lengthy chunks of downtime and long conversations I didn't quite see the point of, the writing improved with every chapter as continual twists and thrills kept me reading late into the nights. I grew to love the entire crew of the Kaitan Heritage, and their struggles and horrors weighed on me as they fought a seemingly unwinnable battle. Their loyalty for each other was fierce, and even their occasionally misguided and conflicting actions were understandable.

The thrilling climax was occasionally a little confusing as the two viewpoint characters went separate ways for a time and their alternating chapters backtracked a smidge to overlap, but it was definitely exciting and engaging as I had no idea what to expect at every new turn. The end was a bit soft for me given all the violence and buildup, but it wrapped the book up nicely while still leaving me most definitely interested in reading the next book.

A Note on Classification: Going into Shadow Run I was under the impression it was an adult book, even though it was quickly revealed that Qole was under 18 and most of the crew were I believe under the age of 25. About halfway through though I got a hint of Young Adult, and poking around the ARC discovered it's actually being marketed by the publisher's children's department. Despite a pleasant lack of language and sex, for me it still had a distinct adult vibe that, while I would have no trouble recommending it to a teenager, I would just as easily recommend it to an adult without telling them to look for it in the teen section.

Conclusion: Although it had a rocky start and was prone to long bouts of inaction and conversation, the action was amazing, the twists unexpected, and the characters worth rooting for. I definitely recommend Shadow Run for light sci-fi readers, and look forward to the next book in the series!

For Fans Of: Firefly

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles