Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Magic Gifts: A Novella by Ilona Andrews FREE for a limited time

For any of you who've read the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (An AMAZING series) today is your lucky day.

Ilona Andrews has just released a sparkling new novella for all fans!
But what's this?? It's only available for a limited time, you've got 2 weeks from December 24th to download it. Yes that's right... click here to download because it won't be sold on Amazon or BN in the future. AT ALL. **scream of horror**

It comes in a huge range of formats including Kindle, Epub and Pdf.
And it is downright amazing.

Go on! what are you reading the rest of this post for?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

17 years of a normal life, a single moment to change it all.

Eloise Hart always thought of herself as a normal teenager, but when a troop of cruel and twisted faeries kidnap her for the single purpose of using her as bait, she has no idea what to do.
Kept in a strange world with mythical creatures for company, Eloise is the prisoner of the power hungry and tyrannical King Strahan.

Strahan's wife, turns out to be Antonia, Eloise's aunt who's always been a little different always mysteriously disappearing for half the year and returning for the other. Antonia alone is the only one who can end Strahan's cruel reign. But when she too is captured, the mission rests in Eloise's hands and it's up to her to defeat Strahan, the fate of Courts depend on her.


My blurbie thing
Ok. let us turn to reviewing shall we?

Alyxandra Harvey manages to write a quick and flowing tale with love, and action as well as a healthy dose of magic.

First, let me comment on how pretty the cover is? Isn't it just gorgeous? The alternate cover is one that is equally eye-catching. **sigh** pretty pretty...

The book itself is written from 2 perspectives, one is Eloise's and the other is viewed from her best friend Jo's. I quite liked this idea because the two views gave the book a lot more freedom to change course, we could see what was happening to both parties as well as their thoughts and feelings. It was also very clever because the two personalities are so different from each other, again more variety.
Although the name of who it is the story is being written from is displayed before each chapter, I admit, I am a dork, and still got confused. :) But afterwards it's easy to pick up on who the character is because of their style of speech of just from where they left off.

The characters in Stolen away are all very well developed, you pick up different bits and pieces about them over time. Eloise, the protagonist of the book as expected, is a very different character. She isn't loud in a sense that she's outspoken or confident which could be interpreted as shyness and I suppose she is a little, but you also realise she's actually bold in her own way. She expresses herself through her appearance, her dress style mostly. As the book progresses you also realise that Eloise is also very kind as well as selfless, trying to help others almost to the point of hurting herself.

Jo, the other perspective is very different from Eloise, but they're alike in their fierceness and loyalty. Jo, I found was a very expressive character, she's quirky and funny and a complete and utter flirt. It's rather amusing. What I found though, is that this was her weakness. I mean honestly, she goes running after complete strangers. It's a wonder she wasn't kidnapped ages ago. But she's very protective of her friends almost to the point of threatening to physically harm others
ha, the joy.
Along with such admirable traits, Jo also has an obsession with English slang, using or rather trying, to incorporate the words into her everyday language. Once again, highly amusing

Stolen Away is a very engaging tale, the plot was good, the characters as well, but I found some things just far too convenient and completely random.

**Spoiler Alert**

When Eloise communicates with Jo by saying her name whilst holding the necklace. what on earth?!? It's just so rushed, and it was a complete and utter accident. It just doesn't make sense, it would have been better if they communicated via messenger pigeons or something. at least that would have made sense (actually I don't think it would, but that's beside the point). What I'm trying to say is that there should have been some sort of lead up to the communicating via necklace thing, say I don't know... one of the faeries helped her or whatnot. It doesn't make sense for her to just happen to stumble upon such a thing and learn to harness it's powers (now I'm just being melodramatic) without and help and it's not even explained properly.

**end spolier-ish**

And calm. **breathe**
Phew. Now I shall go onto ranting about the love interests. Jo and Eldric are my main concern. They meet, they kiss and in a grand total of about 3-4 days, they declare their undying love for each other.
Need I say more?

The ending though was one that made me hold my breath, it was action packed almost as if Alyxandra Harvey were saving up her awesomeness to unleash it upon us, leaving us spellbound and begging for more.

After having read Stolen Away, I'll definitely have to read Alyxandra's other series.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

The car crash that happened 5 years ago was meant to kill Abbey. But it didn't, so her mother died instead.

Some say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes, others: a tunnel with a blazing bright light at the end. Abbey didn't see either. She saw a ghostly boy with eyes as blue as the sky reaching out for her. And that single brush with Death is enough to mark Abbey forever.

Now years later, Abbey still feels the effect of the car crash, she's bullied at school, silent at home. But when Death returns for round two, Abbey's life will be changed yet again. Because this time it's not just her life on the line.

Death never forgets...


Yep. That's me blurbie thing.

I must say, the idea behind this story is brilliant. It's original, different, and very captivating.
The story is told from alternating views which is very clever in letting the story unfold. It's also very clear which is always a good thing, with the name of the person, or at least the location stated before each segment, eliminating any chance of confusion.

It was also very pretty :) Each chapter opens up with the same number of soaring birds as the chapter. so basically chapter 1 equals one bird and so forth, the effect was fascinating.

At first I just didn't find myself getting into the book... I honestly kept looking at the number of pages I read and comparing it to the total number of pages in the book. It was a very slow start, luckily things started picking up after about 2 thirds of the book. Thank goodness. From there, everything was all systems go. The book suddenly morphed from a "must force self to finish reading" to a "ooooooh action".

Tanner Lange is one of the first characters mentioned in the story as Abbey's best and only friend. He is also the victim of a dirt bike ride gone wrong, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. Tanner pops up every now and again throughout the book, always thinking of Abbey and doing his best to help her. All very sweet.

Nate Holden is another character of the book, he actually plays a huge role throughout the entire book. Nate is the subject of Abbey's affections. Now, I may be a little harsh, but I was honestly a little creeped out on Nate's behalf. He doesn't even know of Abbey's existence aside from a few flashes and glimpses of her from school, yet there she is fantasizing and watching his every move. **shudder**
Nate is pretty much the unknowing innocent in the book, and because of Abbey's mild *cough* obsession with him, he finds himself the victim of a body snatch. Ack. The poor boy.

Now, it probably seems like I'm ganging up on Abbey Chandler, but don't get me wrong she's a great gal. She's just a little overzealous at times. Having said that, I also want to point out that Abbey has a very hard time at school, always bullied, always excluded. People treat her cruelly and she often finds herself the punch line of their malicious jokes. She blames herself for her mother's death, as well as what happens to Nate. I have to say though that she's a little maddening at times, through her treatment of others and her actions, and she's also a tad naive.

The romance in the end I found was a little rushed, there was no build up, heck the guy she ended up with wasn't even around for more than half the book. Yes it was all very cutesy and sweet but to me it felt like it was added in as an afterthought. I just felt there should have at least been some sort of lead up instead of just instant-love.

Having said that, I'm still glad I finished this book because in the end I found it quite enjoyable.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

It never ends well when the Hunted falls in love with the Hunter...

Chosen from a young age because of her ability to breathe fire, the first fire-breathing Draki in generations, Jacinda has spent the majority of her years fighting the will of the Pride. Her rebelliousness leaves her at the mercy of the hunters, cruel poachers that seek to capture the Draki for their many resources, their tough skin, their ability to seek out gems and so much more. Against all odds, one of the hunters lets her go, a beautiful boy that leaves her with more questions than ever.

With the Pride seeking to oppress her forever, Jacinda is forced to hide among the humans whilst keeping her identity and the greatest defence of the Draki, the ability to appear human, a secret.

As fate may have it, he is there and his mere presence stirs the Draki within her, threatening not only her identity, but the entire Draki race as well.

Her inner Draki is fading, and Jacinda knows she must keep her Draki alive, but the cost is more than she could ever imagine, because in order to save her Draki, Jacinda must get closer to the very thing that seeks to destroy her...


Wow. Gorgeous and good!Just check out the cover my peeps.

A great combination, the storyline is so intricately woven that it just keeps you guessing. You know something's going to happen involving certain characters but it's almost impossible to guess what. Firelight is very well written and easy to understand, Sophie Jordan uses the perfect combination of action, mystery and romance to create a novel that will keep readers captivated.

So, Jacinda, she's the character who's got everything, but doesn't want it. Hey don't get me wrong it's not like she unappreciative, she just doesn't like all the attention it gives her. She didn't ask to be a fire-breather, and the good thing, is that she's genuine about it. She's very selfless, obeying the will of her mother even when it was like killing a part of her. I'd say she's got far too much patience :)

The idea of twins, with one in the spotlight and one left in the shadows, though overused, is brilliantly incorporated into this story. You can't help but feel empathetic for each of the characters. So there's Jacinda and then you've got Tamra, really they couldn't be more different. As you progress through Firelight, you can tell that Jacinda loves Tamra very much, and not just because Tamra never manifested, never became a true Draki. Tamra though can become a little demanding at times, but then you realise that she's been deprived of a life for so long, that she simply jumps at the chance to be seen as normal. Even though Tamra can be a tad (word that starts with a b and ends in itchy) at times, I suppose you've got to give her some leeway...

Back to Jacinda, she can be a little undecided at times especially when she's thinking about Will, the hunter boy, let's just say that she has very weak willpower when it comes to him. One moment it's all "No, bad bad hunter, must stay away" and then it's all "Hunter is so beautiful, smoochie smoochie" I found it quite entertaining to tell you the truth, and yes... it was all very cute. But I was a little annoyed at Jacinda, honestly woman? Where is your dignity?!?

Will, and all the other characters were very well created, I could actually see a clear image of them in my heads... or maybe I'm just making it up, but you get my point. Each has their own sense of being, I don't even think that makes sense :)

So yeah, there is once again a story of star-crossed lovers in this book, but who am I to complain? It was the perfect touch, adding a sense of unease and urgency to the story, they can't be together but in a way they can't be without each other. ooh-la-la

I love the story idea, I've always been a fan of dragons and Firelight is no exception, with its stories of Draki with their own unique twists you just can't help but be sucked in by the genius-ness of it all. DRAGONS WOOOOO!!!

Though I felt the story could be tweaked a little more to improve it, I still though it was great and I'm sure Sophie Jordan will astound us with Vanished

lol... might even give it a 3.8 hahaha