Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: Blood Ninja III: The Betrayal of the Living by Nick Lake

Hi all!

An ending to a series!



Author: Nick Lake
Title: Blood Ninja III: The Betrayal of the Living
Release date: 7th of August 2012
Series: Blood Ninja #3
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Adventure, Historical, Fantasy
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 343 in hardback format
Source: Bought from the Book Depository

Summary:

The fate of feudal Japan hangs in the balance in this bloody conclusion to the epic trilogy.

Taro is at a crossroads: He has vanquished Lord Oda for good, but with no land and no title, he has no hope of marrying Hana, the daughter of a daimyo. So when Taro receives news of a murderous dragon and the large reward for killing it, he and his friends find themselves on a dangerous quest to slay the beast.

Their mission has the potential to save the people of Japan—but failure will result in the deaths of thousands. And dragons are not the only monsters they will encounter: The dead, led by the odious Kenji Kira, have begun to rise, and they have Taro in their sights.

In this heart-stopping conclusion to the Blood Ninja trilogy, the future of all feudal Japan is in danger, and everything Taro holds dear will be threatened. But it is the betrayal of flesh and blood—his own flesh and blood—that may be his ultimate undoing.

Review:

By now there should be no surprise that I anticipate and welcome any YA set in Japan, be it in a modern or historical settings, everything goes. I’ve read the previous two books in this engaging, imaginative and action-packed series and thoroughly enjoyed them, and I’m quite sad it took me so long to finally pick up the final book. What I discovered is that everything I found awesome previously is still there, but so are heaps of other aspects that just make the last book cramped and full of various plot devices, unnecessary additions, stalling, and despite including all these new things, the story somewhat dragged and felt really slow.

Zombies and vampires and dragons, oh my! That was the source of why I felt this final book lacking. Vampire ninjas as unique twist to the story was ingenious to me and when I heard about the dragon, it was still quite exciting, but when the zombies come around and then the god of death and why oh why can’t that creepily annoying villain Kenji Kira already hit the bucket, then it started to become a bother. There was for sure lots of action, close calls, incredibly tense and oh-my-god-what’s-going-to-happen moments, but all these heaps of bad guys against our poor trio of heroes, who had internal relationship issues as well, wasn’t really encouraging and pleasant to follow. Also, poor Taro, I genuinely felt sorry for him in this book, how much torture, physical pain, emotional pain, betrayal can one person bear.

Despite my whining, I still more or less liked the book, it had a really satisfying conclusion and I was left leaving the series with a smile on my face. I was really happy on how everything was pulled together and all the fates were more than earned. I also absolutely loved the confrontation between Lord Tokugawa and Taro, it was a long time coming and I was on the edge of my seat when they finally met for real, face to face. What a wonderful final showdown they had. Also, Nobunaga was a great villain in the two previous books and Kenji Kira was only disgusting, but the one with more momentum and the main adversary was without a doubt Tokugawa.

While the main gang of three were already from the start somewhat of a cliché: a boy with a destiny, his tough friend and a beautiful strong-willed lady love - I thought they made a decent team and I quite liked all three of them. I’m happy that everything wasn’t smooth sailing for them in this book and various issues came up that were in the long run unavoidable and the separations they went through were good for character development and strengthening bonds, especially for the two sidekicks. I’m glad that the both of them also were able to see each other and survive without Taro by their side all the time.

Overall:

I can say that this was an excellent series with imagination, fights, adventure, Japanese mythology and, most of all, my favourite setting, especially since feudal settings for Japan-themed YA books are incredibly rare. The final book was based on some aspects a slight let down, because there was just too much of everything in it, but it still worked and the previous two were so good that they compensated slightly for the spots lacking. I’m quite sad that this series doesn’t have as many readers as it deserves though, because I guess, it is somewhat of a niche mix of setting and genre. Still, give the series a try, especially if you enjoy historical adventure, action and manga.

3 stars!

LIIS

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Rumpelstiltskin by K.M. Shea

Hi all!

It's been a really long time since my last post! I promise to better myself!




Author: K.M. Shea
Title: Rumpelstiltskin
Release date: 11th of December 2014
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #4
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Published by: Take Out the Trash!
Pages: 236 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

When Gemma’s drunken father tells King Torgen of Verglas that his daughter can spin straw into gold, Gemma assumes her life is over. Held captive in a room filled with straw, Gemma is ordered to spin it all into gold by dawn the following day, or she will be killed by the king’s orders. Rather than cry her eyes out over her sad fate, Gemma tries escaping, and becomes acquainted with a mysterious mage named Stil. Stil offers to help Gemma complete her task, for a price, and turns the straw into gold thread.

Unfortunately the gold whets the greedy appetite of King Torgen, who is determined to wring more gold from Gemma. Gemma is relieved when Stil agrees to help her a second and third time…but his requested payments for the task grow stranger and stranger…

Can Gemma outsmart the evil king and survive Stil’s unusual bargains?

Timeless Fairy Tales are loosely related stories that take place in the same world. They can be read as a series, or as individual, stand-alone books.

Review:

Since I thought the retelling of Cinderella by the same author was wonderful and the synopsis for the current book was intriguing, I bought the latter as soon as I discovered it and started reading immediately. I wasn’t disappointed and the first book wasn’t a fluke by a mile, on the contrary. I was again swept away to this fantasy world, where new life has been blown into dusty fairy tales, characters were exciting and 3D and a clearer, coherent and whole picture started to form in my mind in regards to what is going on and how all the books are connected in the series.

I loved the smaller yet profound changes from the original fairy tale, particularly the fact that the villain is now the hero and what a charming hero he was. Otherwise, nothing overly major was changed, but despite this, the story felt fresh and new and this is, I gather, mostly due to the well-executed characterization, dialogue and general plot and background of the series. The latter makes me quite excited, because it’s imminent that something huge is coming from the villainous side and I can’t wait to see everything unravel and witness the big bang. I really appreciate where the author is going with this series in regards to that. I also liked that the series feels connected via references to characters, places and events from other books.

My favourite aspect of the book was, however, the main couple. I really loved the subtle clash of the characters of Stil and Gemma. The first being sneaky, charming, slightly vain in an adorable boyish and sweet way and the latter having her feet completely on the ground, being practical, realistic and with no time for nonsense. Moreover, I appreciated that neither was too overbearing, suffocating, clingy, oh-so-tortured or any other extreme that most YA and NA main characters nowadays tend to be. With differences, came similarities, both were exceptionally talented in diverse areas, Stil in craft magic and Gemma in making clothes. It was nice to see that both had something they were passionate about and it wasn’t only each other. I also thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue between them which was bantery, smart, funny and sweet. I will, however, never forget how Stil twisted the original meaning behind the Rumpelstiltskin quite “I want your firstborn” into something that was utterly swoon worthy. I honestly thought they were a lovable couple and despite me still only slightly favouring Cinderella and Friedrich from the previous book, Gemma and Stil managed to upstage a huge portion of YA and NA main couple I read about. Also, a fairy tale without either of the main couple being royal is always a welcome change for me.

I didn’t so much enjoy the secondary romance. The idea was intriguing and quite unexpected, and there was also a definite usefulness in regards to the plot, but they simply didn’t catch my fancy compared to the main couple. I would even say that I would have preferred more time dedicated to Stil and Gemma on the expenses of the secondary couple.

Overall:

This series has turned out to be a real gem! Good storytelling on the basis of beloved fairy tales, extremely easy to like characters with distinct personalities, noteworthy dialogue and plotting… I’m definitely sticking to this series! Now I simply have to find the time to read the first two books. Why is time my enemy in regards to reading? Also, can I ask for a Puss in Boots version and some other lesser known fairy tale books?

4 stars!

LIIS

Friday, January 9, 2015

Release Day - Torment by Kristie Cook!

Happy Friday!

One of my all time favorite authors and friends, Kristie Cook, has a release day toady. The 6th book of the Soul Savers series is out! I have already read it and it is simply a great book!

Get it today! All the links are available below!

Happy book birthday, Kristie!






 He’ll torment her soul until she breaks…and humanity until it falls.

When the Daemoni expose their existence to the human race, all Hell breaks loose. Literally. Not only do they walk the world freely, attacking at will, but they’ve infiltrated the highest levels of power in the human world. World War III erupts between countries and species, with Lucas, leader of evil on Earth, orchestrating it all. He even possesses direct control of thousands of human soldiers’ minds, putting himself in position to take over humanity.

Alexis, still young and inexperienced, must lead the Angels’ army to war. But every step she takes is trumped by Lucas, who single-handedly turns the humans against her Amadis. When Alexis and Tristan top every country’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, they are forced to go underground to fight this war. And their first mission is to free the human soldiers by breaking the link that allows Lucas to control them.

But the Four Horsemen have apparently arrived, bringing the world into the apocalypse. Can Alexis and the Amadis prevent Lucas from taking over humanity? Or is he truly the Antichrist, and the events tormenting the world part of an age-old prophecy that can’t be stopped?

This highly anticipated sixth book of the Soul Savers Series will leave readers in shock, begging for the final installment, Faith.








Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, primarily New Adult paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy. Her internationally bestselling Soul Savers Series will be complete and all seven books available by early 2015. She's also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 350,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category, and Wrath peaking in the Top 10 on 5 international iBooks stores.

She has also written The Book of Phoenix trilogy, a New Adult paranormal romance series that includes The Space Between, The Space Beyond, and The Space Within. The full trilogy is available now.

Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, a beagle, and a puggle, but spends many weekends with her three sons at UCF, cheering on the Knights.





















Monday, January 5, 2015

Review of The Resistance by S.L. Scott!

Happy Monday!

After reading a teaser from The Resistance I decided to purchase the book and here is the review.


Author: S.L. Scott
Title: The Resistance
Publishing date: 28th of April 2014
Publisher: S. L. Scott
Pages: 370 pages
Genre: Adult: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Purchased in amazon

Summary:


22229083


You don't choose when. 

You don't choose where. 

And you don't get to choose who you fall in love with. 

The minute he opened his sexy mouth, Holliday Hughes should have known Jack Dalton was trouble. His smooth pickup lines, broad shoulders, and ridiculously handsome face charmed her right out of her clothes. She gave into her desires, the instant attraction blinding her to the obvious. 

One night. That was all it took for Holliday’s world to be flipped on its axis. Jack Dalton was cocky. Smug. Volatile. Demanding. He ignited something deep inside her like no other, but there was something more to this brooding bad boy. There was a dark side to him she couldn't help but be drawn to. 

Torn between what she knew about him and a mysterious side he tried to hide, could she walk away or was he simply too hard to resist?




My review:

I got a sneak peek in Skip to the Good Part anthology, where a short teaser from The Resistance was published and I bought The Resistance right after that. The teaser was so promising, so I simply had to have the book! Boy, did I love it!

The Resistance is an intense, fun and well-written book! I loved the characters and the whole story-line and the dialogue in the book adorable!

Holliday Hughes is a successful woman who has invented an Internet meme which went viral. She is visiting Las Vegas for a meeting and after a boring event she is headed to a bar, where a gorgeous guy is asking her for her ID when she is buying a drink. There is an immediate attraction between them and Holliday decides to go for a one-night stand with the sexy stranger whom she thinks is a security guard in the hotel.

Next night in Vegas she finds out shocking truth about the guy she met. Jack Dalton is a lead singer of a world famous rock band The Resistance and he is better known as Johnny Outlaw. Jack Dalton stole a piece of Holli's heart, but she is not sure she can like Johnny Outlaw. And this is how their story starts.

What I loved about the book?

The characters were extraordinary well-written. I loved that Holliday was an independent and successful woman who put her foot down when needed. I liked that she didn't have insecurities and she wasn't heavily influenced by the fact, that her boyfriend was a rock star. She was down to earth and at the same time had a great sense of humor. She was there for Dalton when he needed her most, but then again, she knew what her limits were. I loved that!

I also loved Dalton. What wasn't there to love about him?! He wasn't only a good looking star, but also had his heart at the right place. I was very happy for him when he faced his demons.

I also loved Rochelle and Cory and my heart broke for Rochelle and I am so happy that the next book is about Rochelle.

The dialogue was funny and right out awesome! I giggled a lot. At the same time,the author also gave quite a lot of intensity and anxiety. The relationship between Dalton and Holli was hot, intense and very sexy!

I also loved the plot and the story development. It includes some serious surprises to me and I love that about a good story!

A great read!



5 stars!

Happy reading!


There was an error in this gadget
;