Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Waking the Witch
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Random House of Canada
Published: August 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover ($29.95 CDN)
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Copy: Provided by publisher
Click here to read an excerpt


The new novel in Kelley Armstrong's bestselling Women of the Otherworld series showcases the fascinating Savannah Levine, a powerful young witch with a rebellious past and a troublesome heritage.

The orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon, Savannah is a terrifyingly powerful young witch who has never been able to resist the chance to throw her magical weight around. But at twenty-one she knows she needs to grow up and prove to her guardians, Paige and Lucas, that she can be a responsible member of their supernatural detective agency. So she jumps at the chance to fly solo, investigating the mysterious deaths of three young women in a nearby factory town, as a favour to one of the agency's associates. At first glance, the murders look garden-variety human, but on closer inspection signs point to otherworldly stakes.

Soon Savannah is in over her head. She's run off the road and nearly killed, haunted by a mystery stalker and freaked out when the brother of one of the dead women is murdered when he tries to investigate the crime. To complicate things, something weird is happening to her powers. Pitted against shamans, demons, a voodoo-inflected cult and garden-variety goons, Savannah has to fight to ensure her first case isn't her last. And she also has to ask for help, perhaps the hardest lesson she's ever had to learn.

My Review: 

I been a follower of Kelley Armstrong since I came upon the first novel in her Women of the Otherworld series Bitten about nine years ago.  Each novel is well written and executed with the perfect balance of plot/character description and dialog that enables you to invest yourself in the main characters beyond the duration of each book. In Stolen, the second book in the series, we are introduced to Savannah, when the main character of the novel, Elena, is captured and imprisoned along with other supernaturals. Savannah has periodically been mentioned in subsequent novels in the series, but nine books later she becomes the protagonist as she sets out to solve a supernatural murder mystery.

This book was almost everything I expected of a Kelly Armstrong novel.  Unraveling the mystery alongside Savannah was addictive and as always the mention of other beloved characters in the series had me gobbling up the pages like a book junkie.  The pace of this novel was fairly even keel with a few instances of suspense and anticipation as the plot thickens and the mystery unfolds.  I particularly enjoy Savannah's tough-as-nails outward appearance coupled with hints that she is a much softer person on the inside. Waking the Witch was an excellent story on its own but having an understanding of Savannah's life growing up (as read in other books in the series) enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of the story.

Each of Kelley Armstrong's novels introduces and explores a new love interest for the main character. In this novel Savannah makes it clear that she has been interested in being more then just friends with supernatural half-demon, Adam Vasic, but she believes he still sees her as the young ward of his friends Page and Lucas.  Adam is not the main love interest for Savannah in Waking the Witch, yet I felt that the the display of Adam's over protectiveness hinted that he may be realizing that Savannah isn't a little girl anymore. That dear readers is why Waking the Witch fell just short of perfection for me!  I wanted MORE growth in the romantic department between Savannah and Adam.  With that said the ending of this novel left things wide open for the next novel both in increasing the readers interest in Savannah and in the possibility of something "more" developing between her and Adam.

Waking the Witch was an excellent addition to the Women of the Otherworld series, primarily because I felt that Savannah has deserved her own book for some time now.  If your already a fan of the Otherworld series I think you'll be pleased with this addition, but if this is the first time hearing about author Kelley Armstrong or this series I recommend you check out the first novel, Bitten.  

My Rating: 4/5 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Giveaway of Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Would you like a copy of Alpha a month early?  Me to!  I was very excited to learn that Rachel Vincent is doing a giveaway of a signed copy of Alpha a month before the release date and if the entries exceed 550 she will give one lucky winner a signed copy of EVERY single book in the series. 

Click here to enter the contest.  The contest ends Monday August 30, 2010 at 11:59pm.  Good luck!  Well not any more luck then I am wishing for myself because I really want a copy!

Are you as excited as I am about reading this book?  Are you as undecided as I am regarding who you want Faythe to end up with?

Blog Hop Time!

Its Friday and that means its blog hoppin time!

Head on over to Parajunkee to participate in Follow my book Blog Friday

Jen at Crazy-for-Books has her weekly Book Blogger Hop so please go and check her out.  She also asks us bloggers if we use a rating system for our reviews and if so why.  I do use a rating system that I came up with and my wonderful designer Parajunkee.  I like it because I feel my particular rating system is unique and compliments my blog and it expresses to my readers how much I liked the book!  Feel free to tell me what you think of my rating system (its on the right side of my blog).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Title:  Mockingjay: The Final Book of the Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic 
Published: August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover ($19.99CDN)
Age Group: Adult 
Other Books in the Series: The Hunger Games & Catching Fire
My Copy: Purchased




Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.


My Review:


Despite this being a fictional novel Mockinjay came alive for me in a way that extended past the pages of the book.  We may not live in the dystopic society that is an every day reality for Katniss Everdeen and her family but I can see our own failings mirrored in the pages of Mockinjay.  I can see it in our capitalistic society that is obsessed with material goods and is driven by consumption, in the genocides that have happened in our past and that go unnoticed by many in our present and the starvation that is a reality for many across the world.  As I reconnected with the characters of this novel and experienced with them the horror of their reality I was humbled and became grateful for all that I have.


In each novel of The Hunger Games series it is Katniss's selflessness that stood out to me and her willingness to do anything to protect those she loves.  The narration of this novel is very morose but it is occasionally peppered with stories of hope, moments of laughter and touches of kindness.  While Mockinjay is not a book with constant action like the first two novels in this series, each moment was well written and I found the change in pace to add to the story rather then take away from it.


Suzanne Collins did not present her readers with a happily ever after story where after accomplishing the goals set out in the novel Katniss catches the man she loves and lives out her life a happy utopian society.  This is a novel with pages filled with horror, pain, death, sacrifice and situations I have no name for.  This novel is genuine and believable but in a twisted way that had me gasping in horror, clutching the pages in suspense and angry at the author for writing such a emotionally charged novel.  With that said Suzanne Collins delivered a novel with a beginning, middle and end that paid tribute to the main characters of the novel without diminishing the sacrifices they had made to bring about a worldwide revolution.


However excellent I feel the book was, in the end it was a simple moment when a mangy cat with a name that does not reflect his disposition reduced me tears and had me unable to fall asleep as I replayed the book in my head.  If you haven’t read this series yet I highly recommend you look into purchasing or borrowing a copy of The Hunger Games. This entire series is emotionally charged and it provides the reader with a fictional example of how to have hope when your situation seems hopeless, have courage despite being terrified and how to never give up even when you think you can no longer go on. 


My Rating: 10/5


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In My Mailbox VLOG (first one ever eeekkkk!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Title:  Eternal Ones
Author: Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Penguin Young Reader Group/Razorbill
Published: August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover ($22.50CDN)
Age Group: Young Adult
Copy: Provided by the Publisher

From the Publisher:

Haven Moore cant control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmothers house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

My Review:

I have been in somewhat of a reading rut this past week but The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller pulled me out at breakneck speed.  I have read a few books that could be considered somewhat similar in regards to the theme of young love and past lives however this novel engaged me so much so that I only put it down when I absolutely had no choice.

In most novels I have pretty good intuition when it comes to “figuring out” the plot and the characters but for the majority of this novel I could not put a finger on who the “evil” characters were.  I had my suspicions and in the end they turned out to be correct but I was second guessing myself as I was drawn though the twists and turns of each chapter. 

For the most part I enjoyed all the characters of this novel however I will say that Haven is a character who’s indecisiveness drove me crazy from time to time.  She was either to trusting or to suspicious but based on her life experiences (constant persecution for her peculiar tendency to black out and talk about a past life, being labeled as demon possessed, and being lied to my trusted members of her family about her early memories of her past life) I could empathize with why she was constantly second guessing herself and those around her.  What I really enjoyed about the character development in this novel was learning who in Haven’s present life was also connected to her in her past lives and understanding the role they played in the mystery of this novel.

While I don’t really believe in love at first sight, taking into consideration that reincarnation is a fact of The Eternal Ones, the instant attraction and love between Haven and Ian is believable.  This book is incredibly mysterious and from chapter to chapter I was held in a constant state of suspense and anticipation. The idea of reincarnation is incredibly fascinating to me and when paired with a passionate love affair that transcends time, a complex mystery, and a battle between good and evil that is truly sinister this book has rocketed to the top 20 list of my favorite YA reads of 2010.

If your a little tired of vampires and werewolves but still want something with a supernatural flavor I highly recommend The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller.  If you have already read and reviewed this novel please comment and link to your review as its always nice to read a different perspective!

My Rating: 4/5

Monday, August 16, 2010

BIG List Update

I have been in the process of updating my BIG Lists and moving them from a text list to a series of pictures that link to amazon where you can read more details.  It is connected to my amazon associates account but I am in no way trying to make a profit of my readers.  I use the Amazon Associates blog tool that allows me to search for a novel on the same page that I am creating a post which makes things much faster and easier for me.  If you choose to buy a book from my Amazon Associates account it is my intention to use that money to run giveaways on my blog. 

Lastly for some reason the book pictures do not always show when loading a BIG List page.  I am not sure why this is.  I hope it fixes itself however the links are still active. If it doesn't fix itself soon I will have to find an alternate way of displaying pictures for the lists.

As always feel free to email me with any book or category suggestions!

The BIG List of Time Travel Books

This is a list of books with a main genre/theme of this list.  Please feel free to comment with any suggestions.  Additionally I have included a "short" list of books within this genre/theme that I recommend.

Guru Recommended

OutlanderDark Seduction (Masters of Time, Book 1)Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, Book 1)Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1)

Adult Time Travel Romance Books 

Time For EternityCharming the Highlander (Highlander Trilogy)The Time Traveler's WifeTo Say Nothing of the DogMichael Crichton Set (Timeline, The Andromeda Strain, Sphere)A Knight in Shining ArmourA Dance Through Time (Time Passages Romance)by Sherrilyn Kenyon Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter, Book 1)Son of the MorningMorrigan's Cross (The Circle Trilogy, Book 1)Somewhere In TimePiratesReplayTime After TimeReflections in the NileUntil ForeverDoomsday BookThe Last Viking QueenThe Dark-Hunters, Vol. 1 (Dark-Hunter Manga)Timeless MistA Very Gothic Christmas (Holiday Classics)Isaac Asimov'sThe End of Eternity [Hardcover](2010)An Accidental Goddess (Bantam Spectra)Highland RebelReturn of the HighlanderTwice a HeroAs Timeless As StoneEnchantmentHighland FlingTime And AgainTouch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1)

Other Time Travel

 The Time Machine (SF Masterworks)Slaughterhouse-Five: A NovelMichael Crichton Set (Timeline, The Andromeda Strain, Sphere)A Swiftly Tilting PlanetThe Anubis GatesSomewhere in Time: Library EditionSomewhere in Time: Library EditionThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeGreen DarknessHyperionThe Devil's Arithmetic (Puffin Modern Classics)The City on the Edge of ForeverLabyrinthTimescapeNight WatchNight Watch

Young Adult Time Travel Books

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)A Wrinkle in TimeOld MagicThe Dark Is Rising (The Dark Is Rising Sequence)The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, Book 6)