Friday, November 17, 2017

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.


This is the poster for season 13. Season 13! This show has been on for so freakin’ long, and I love it and hate it at the same time.

I’m still behind on this season. I’ve watched only the first two episodes, but I’ll catch up eventually. *sigh*

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels about Thor: Ragnarok. In case you haven’t seen it and/or for some reason know nothing about it, I’ve posted the trailer below:


First off, I was wary going into this movie. The comedic aspect of it freaked me out a little. Honestly, I loved the serious aspect of the first two Thor movies, so having this third movie look so much like Guardians of the Galaxy was weird. I’ve got to admit, though, I liked the overall film. Yes, there were too many jokes, but I laughed at most of them.

Thor was different in this film. He was a little too joke-y. He also knew references that didn’t seem possible for him to know as a Norse god, like the whole “He’s a friend from work,” line. I also thought Hulk talking was too much. He seemed almost too smart. He went from can’t-talk-at-all to talking in almost complete sentences.

While the jokes were many, the CGI was really good. Hella’s outfits were on point, and Valkyrie was really kicka$$. I was super excited to see two strong female characters being awesome, even as not-so-good people.

The plot of the movie was also super fun. The scenes where Thor and Hulk fight were freakin’ awesome! I used to love Thor, but after watching Thor: Ragnarok, I LOVE Thor. His powers are amazing.

All in all, I’m super excited to see Thor in Avengers: Infinity War. Also, if you were wary like I was about seeing this movie, don’t be. It’s definitely a fun time that has a strong storyline, which I think should contribute greatly to Marvel’s overall world. Warning, though, there are some more adult phrases mentioned (i.e. the word orgies is thrown out there).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

 "Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Iron Gold
(Red Rising Saga #4)
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Hardcover, 480 pages, Del Rey Books
Genres: Sci-Fi

Honor and betrayal fuel a caste-shattering revolution in the action-packed new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Rising Trilogy. Ten years after the events of Morning Star, Darrow and the Rising are battling the remaining Gold loyalist forces and are closer than ever to abolishing the color-coded caste system of Society for good. But new foes will emerge from the shadows to threaten the imperfect victory Darrow and his friends have earned. Pierce Brown expands the size and scope of his impressive Red Rising universe with new characters, enemies, and conflicts among the stars.

My Thoughts

I’m not sure how I feel about this new series that Pierce Brown is coming out with. I really don’t want Darrow and co. to be in any more stressful and potentially dangerous situations, especially considering it could mean their deaths. I also don’t like it that Darrow and co. aren’t going to be the main characters in this one. Apparently, another Red is going to be the protagonist? I’m not entirely sure. 

However, I do have to say that I’m glad we get to learn more about this world, and I am excited to see what happens between Morning Star and Iron Gold. I'm also glad I didn't have to wait a year or more between books like everyone else since I just finished book three a month ago.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Devils & Thieves
(Devils & Thieves #1)
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Hardcover, 393 pages, Little Brown Books
Genres: YA, Paranormal

Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

My Review

This book is a tough one. I love the idea of a magical motorcycle gang. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s such a weird and unique concept. I also really enjoyed the complexity of the characters’ backgrounds. A teenage witch with drinking problems and a love interest who leads the motorcycle gang is an awesome romantic combo. I mean, I read the first two-thirds of this book in less than 24 hours; it was that addicting.

BUT, the ending was predictable. I knew who the bad guy was and what was happening in the main conflict halfway through the story. I also thought some of the dialogue, action scenes, and plot were rushed. The book needed 50+ more pages to flush things out.

All in all, this book made me keep reading, and it combined two things you wouldn’t think would go together: magic and motorcycle gangs. The entire thing had a Sons of Anarchy/Blood and Chocolate/Secret Circle kind of vibe.


*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Monday, November 13, 2017

More 2018 Cover Reveals

So, I just wanted to share some more awesome cover reveals for 2018. Some of these have been released for a while, but I thought I’d share since they’re just so pretty.

***

Sky in the Deep
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 352 pages, Wednesday Books
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she's been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

My Thoughts

This cover is just so beautiful. The gold with the girl in the background. I’m super excited to get my hands on a finished copy of this one. I don’t know a lot about it beyond the blurb, but I need a finished copy on my shelves.

***

Ash Princess
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages, Delacorte Books
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

My Thoughts

Ok, so this one looks a lot like a grittier version of Red Queen, and I’m here for it. The colors are beautiful, and I really hope the title gets a raised font. I just want to creepily stroke my fingers over the finished dustjacket.

***

The Darkest Warrior
(Lords of the Underworld #14)
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Hardcover, 384 pages, Harlequin
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

A searing Lords of the Underworld tale by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep.

He is ice...

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm, and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire...

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her...and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily ever after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

My Thoughts

The covers for this series are either hit or miss for me, but I actually like this one. The swirly green with the very muscly and attractive guy make me happy. ;)

***

City of Lies
(Poison Wars #1)
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Hardcover, 512 pages, Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

This amazing epic fantasy debut is perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik.

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me... Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he's a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising...and angry.

My Thoughts

The blurb for this book does get me super excited, but the cover… Wow! I’m a sucker for weaponry on covers. I guess because it always make the protagonist look kicka$$.

***

Queen of Air and Darkness
(The Dark Artifices #3)
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Hardcover, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: YA, Paranormal

Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

My Thoughts

So, the covers for this trilogy haven’t been the greatest, but I’m feeling pretty good about this one. It’s not my favorite of the overall Shadowhunter world (that honor belongs to the new paperback versions of TMI and TID), but it’s pretty in its own way.

***

Heart of Thorns
(Heart of Thorns #1)
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Hardcover, 320 pages, Katherine Tegen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

My Thoughts

Swirly gold designs on a white background? I’m digging it. Again, it’s not my favorite cover in the world, but it’s very pretty. It reminds me a bit of Marissa Meyer’s Heartless cover.

**

Alright, there you have it. These are some of the most recent cover reveals for 2018 titles. What do you think? Are there any other covers you’re excited to add to your shelves next year?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Need to Know
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Hardcover, 304 pages, Ballantine
Genres: Adult, Spy Thriller

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

My Review

In this book, one CIA analyst and mother of four finds out her family is in trouble after she identifies Russian spies living in America. I have to warn you, this book is a quick-paced thriller that will have you flipping pages too fast to comprehend.

The quick-paced aspect of the storyline is helped along by the main character of the story. Vivian Miller is a strong female character in terms of balancing her family and work life. She’s the typical woman, except for the fact that she works for the CIA. Vivian wants to have it all, a steady career and time to spend with her family, but her job always seems to get in the way of family time. It was hard to watch Vivian’s struggle and realize that millions of women go through this every day.

Despite my love of Vivian’s dilemma, I was a little irked at her. She often brushed issues aside or didn’t delve in deep enough to the situation. Her emotions just felt nonexistent sometimes. She also made some odd decisions for a CIA agent.

Her emotional situation probably had to do with the pacing and length of the book. While it was very fast-paced, it was also very short. I think another 100 pages could have contributed greatly to Vivian, her family, and her coworkers’ character development. As it stands, the other characters read pretty flat, even Vivian’s husband who is a major character in the book.

However, I can’t lie, after getting sucked in in chapter by chapter, none of these issues really mattered. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

All in all, this book is a fun, quick read. If you’re looking for something that you’ll devour in one or two sittings, I’d say go for it. It’s also the perfect read for fans of Ashton Kutcher’s Killers film or even the television show Bones.


*Note: I received an ARC of this book to review from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: All the Books Edition

 "Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

I’ve been gone for a while, so I have a pretty large haul this time.

Can’t Let Go by Gena Showalter
By Your Side by Kasie West
Vanilla by Billy Merrell
All About Mia by Lisa Williamson
Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Invictus by Ryan Gaudlin (library book, not pictured)
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (Netgalley ARC, not pictured)

So, I kind of got a mix of everything this month. I’ve got library books and finished copies. All of the finished copies except Can’t Let Go came from the up-for-grabs bin at work. Can’t Let Go was purchased from Amazon (with my Amazon credit) for the preorder giveaway Gena was hosting.

I was super excited about Vanilla and All About Mia because those two authors are coming to a signing in NYC. I hadn’t originally planned on buying their books (no $$$) for the signing. I was actually only going to go to the signing for one particular book, Runebinder. Now, I can get three (or maybe four if I decide to buy a Libba Bray book) books signed for the price of one. Yay!

Oh, and thank you Ballantine Books for approving my Netgalley request for Need to Know.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Blood Fury by J.R. Ward

 "Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Blood Fury
(Black Dagger Legacy #3)
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages, Ballantine Books
Genres: Adult, Romance, Paranormal

A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thought he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another.

Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love. But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love.

As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with an erotic connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love . . . and cost Saxton everything?

My Thoughts

I’m behind on this BDB spinoff series. I read the first book, and, for the most part, I enjoyed it. It doesn’t have the same energy and feel as the BDB books, but the books are still good reads. This one sounds like it will have LGBTQ+ elements, so I’m excited for that.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?