The Jewel (Jewel Series #1) by Amy Ewing

I never quite understood those girls, the ones who bought into all the caretakers’ lines about how important we are, how we are fulfilling a long and noble tradition. I once asked Patience why we couldn’t come home after we’ve given birth, and she said, “You are too precious to the royalty. They wish to take care of you for the rest of your life. Isn’t that wonderful? They have such generous hearts.” I said I’d rather have my family than the royalty’s generosity. Patience didn’t like that very much.

Violet isn’t swayed by the promises of prestige that come with being bought at auction and birthing royal babies. All she can see is the last nail in the coffin that contains her freedom.

Once to see it as it is. Twice to see it in your mind. Thrice to bend it to your will. I picture what I want in my mind—a heat builds in the center of my palm at the same time the ache begins at the base of my skull. I can feel the life of the tree, a moving, shimmering thing, and I pull at it, tugging on it like strings on a marionette, drawing it out. A tiny lump forms under my palm, a green leaf peeking out between my fingers. The tree resists a little and I gasp as fire rips down my spine, and it feels like needles are being shoved into my brain—my back arches and my head spins, but I’ve experienced worse pain in my four years at Southgate, and I’m determined to succeed in this. I force myself to focus, biting my lip hard to keep from crying out, coaxing the threads of life one by one, like strands of gossamer, pulling them out, shaping them, and the lump grows bigger, until it fits comfortably inside my hand. A lemon.

I give this book a 3.7 out of 5 stars. I really liked the way that the author described the world in which they lived, as well as the different people’s role within said world. My favorite character was Violet, I like that she wasn’t fooled by the things they taught in the ‘school’ where she was pretty much raised. She took care of her friends and people in general, but she also stood up for herself and even pushed the boundaries of her captivity. I also really appreciate the Duchess as a villain. I really like that she isn’t one dimensional, while what she does has something in it for her she also thinks that by doing what she is doing it will ultimately help others as well. I’m actually looking forward to what she does and what happens to her in the future. This book is the first of a series, luckily it’s looking like it’s just going to be a trilogy (ending in sight!) and the second book The White Rose is already out!


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The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

 

The Herrani believed that a god ruled not just one thing, but a whole domain of associated ideas, actions, objects. The god of stars was the god of stars, yes, but also of accidents, beauty, and disasters. The god of souls … Kestrel’s throat closed as she remembered Arin invoking that god, who ruled love. My soul is yours, he had said. You know that it is. His expression had been so open, so true. Frightened, even, of what he was saying. And she had been frightened, too, by how he had spoken what she felt. It frightened her still. The coin. Kestrel forced her attention again to the coin.

Kestrel is forced to keep her love a secret in order to protect the one she loves… but the more she lies to keep him safe, the closer she is to losing him

Kestrel didn’t miss his message. She wasn’t blind to the way he had indicated that their conversation could be overheard, nor was she deaf to his coded invitation that they could speak more freely in his guest suite. But she struggled against the pain in her throat, and said only, “Your ride here was hard?” “Yes.” “And the snow. It’s falling already?” “Yes, my lady.” “The mountain pass will close.” “Yes,” Tensen said gently, and he saw too much. Kestrel could tell that he heard that horrible note in her voice, and that he recognized it as the sound of someone fighting tears. “As expected,” he added. But she hadn’t expected this: this stupid hope, this punishing one, for who would long to see someone who was already lost? What good would it have done? None. Apparently Arin knew this, too. He knew it better than she, or his hope would have been equal to hers, and would have driven him here. Kestrel drew herself up straight. “You can find your rooms by yourself, Minister Tensen. I have more important matters to attend to.” She strode from the hall. The veined marble floor was icy beneath her feet: a frozen lake with fractures she did not care to see. She walked, she did not care. She did not.

The chances she takes to insure Arin’s safety are becoming more and more dangerous.

The chances he takes to understand Kestrel’s choices are pushing them farther and farther apart.

Chances are taken, lives are lost, and choices are made… and they don’t always turn out for the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really love the way the author is able to draw me into this series, she created this new world and I love that I’m able to picture it so clearly. I have to say that the first book in this series was great and this installation kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I was definitely in a lot of inner turmoil throughout this book as well. Basically Kestrel’s lies and Arin insecurities were KILLING me! I mean I understood where they were coming from but, because I knew everything that had happened I was tortured by their actions (because they didn’t know what I did). Don’t think you will get any closure at all by the end of this book, because if you read the first book you know that this author likes to end on a CLIFFHANGER and this book is no different.

The Girl from Above:Betrayal (The 1000 Revolution #1) by Pippa DaCosta

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I made it eighty-three steps before the alarms sounded. The chase begins. If I could get outside, I’d lose them in the busy streets. I broke into a jog. The green exit sign glowed ahead, so close. Ten strides, nine, eight—Agony ripped through my limbs and tore my control from me. No! I crumpled in a heap, robbed of all sensation. Perhaps that was a good thing, not to feel. From my perspective, from where I lay, the EXIT glowed green in my upturned palm. It had seemed so close, but now, as the hammering of boots echoed down the hallway, that unassuming sign mocked me. A synth? Escape? it said. Synths don’t escape. They don’t think outside their orders. Grossman must have thought the same, right before I’d killed her with her own pen.

All #1001 knows is that she is different from the 1000 other synths that were made… she has no boundaries

When she stows away on a ship, she starts to find herself

I used to believe stars were wishes, that if we reached them, our dreams would come true. But the stars will always be out of reach, and no amount of dreaming will capture them. I wish … I wish we had more time. I wish we had forever. I wish you loved me. Don’t let me go.

When #1001 starts to have strange dreams, the ship’s dynamics start to slowly change.

I give this book 2.6 out of 5 stars. I really like the idea for this book and were it seems to want to go, but from just installation of the series I felt that I was left wanting. While I like #1001 as a character I didn’t connect to her on the level I had hoped. On the other hand I really liked Caleb, in that he was so secretive it kept me interested to know what he was hiding. I also liked a lot of the dynamics between the different characters even some events were a bit predictable. I do look forward to reading the other books in this series as I feel the author is one that will get better the more she writes. Even within the book the longer I held on, the more the book started to be able to draw me in. And as she left me on a CLIFFHANGER I feel that the next book will hopefully be able to suck me in from the beginning!

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

Two armed sentries passed us. Each wore a hooded camo poncho and carried a rifle. They nodded politely. Under my breath, I said, “Arcana don’t freak them out? Gabriel’s wings alone should throw them.” “At first, yeah. But they look to J.D. to see how to act. They hero-worship ‘the hunter.’ ” Charismatic Jack could be so compelling when he wanted to. “He uses our help to maintain order,” Selena said. “The Azey might have the twins, but J.D.’ s got three Arcana himself—a psychic, an exquisite bow-goddess, and an illusionist.”

Evie has return to Jack and the others from Death’s castle and she’s changed, they don’t know if for the better.

“Don’t let any humans know what we’re planning.” “Understood.” I furtively kicked Selena’s boot; she straightened and said, “Oh. Thanks, Gabe. I won’t forget this.” “It will be my pleasure, Selena. I look forward to it.” His eyes widened. “I mean, not that I am pleased about the occasion.” Selena let him off the hook. “I look forward to kicking serial killer ass.” He grinned. “Precisely.”

The action doesn’t stop just because Evie was gone… Jack and the rest of her alliance has tracked down the Lovers and hope to end the sadistic twins reign of terror.

When things get out of control and someone ends up in enemy clutches the two main men in Evie’s life must set aside their differences in order to save them.

I gave this book a 4.6 out of 5 stars. Ms. Cole doesn’t fail to provide the action in this latest addition to the Poison Princess series. As always she sucks you into the world after the Flash and you are forced (you have no choice, you have been sucked in after all) to follow Evie’s adventures in this post-apocalyptic tale. So, I still like Evie but Aric is my favorite. I have to say that I pretty much liked Aric from the beginning (not always sure why) but after learning more about him and his past, I love him all the more. I love his struggles and his attitude for the most part, though he is a bit too bossy for my taste (but he’s also from another time period and place so I forgive him, mostly). I have to warn you there is a MAJOR CLIFFHANGER at the end of this book, and the next book has yet to be released… so READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #1) by Kresley Cole

 

He stands chained against a rock, pinned at two places on each limb and once around his neck. Before him—an opening into hell that spews fire. Here he waits and suffers, offered to a column of fire that may weaken but is never-ending—never-ending, just like his life. His existence is to burn to death repeatedly, only to have his dogged immortality revive him again. Detailed fantasies of retribution have gotten him this far; nursing the rage in his heart is all he has. Until her. Over the centuries, he has sometimes heard uncanny new things in the streets above, occasionally smelled Paris changing seasons. But now he has scented her, his mate, the one woman made for him alone. The one woman he’d searched for without cease for a thousand years—up until the day of his capture.

Lachlain is a lykae (think werewolf) and he has been imprisoned in his own personal hell for decades… By vampires.

The human males she passed turned their heads slowly to regard her, frowns in place, sensing something, but unsure. Probably some genetic memory from long ago that signaled her as their wildest fantasy or their darkest nightmare. Emma was neither. She was a co-ed—a recent Tulane grad—alone in Paris and hungry. Weary from another failed search for blood, she sank onto a rustic bench beneath a chestnut tree, eyes riveted to a waitress drawing espresso at a café. If only blood poured so easily, Emma thought. Yes, if it came warm and rich from a bottomless tap, then her stomach wouldn’t be clenched in hunger at the mere idea. Starving in Paris. And friendless. Was there ever such a predicament? Couples strolling hand in hand along the gravel walk seemed to mock her loneliness. Was it just her, or did lovers look more adoringly at each other in this city? Especially in the springtime. Die, bastards. She sighed. It wasn’t their fault that they were bastards who should die.

Emmaline (Emma) is a very rare bird, even in the world of the supernatural. She is half Valkyrie and half vampire.

When Lachlain finds that a vampire is the mate he’s yearned for, he must make a choice.

I gave this book a 3.8 out of 5 stars. While it is very fast paced and interesting I felt that there was something missing at the end. This is the first book in a series, but the series is set up where each book tells about a different couple while still being interconnected. I hope that as the series continues, not only will I meet new characters but I will also get a bit more about the old ones as well. At first I didn’t really have a favorite character but as the characters grew my favorite became clear. Emma became my favorite character, I didn’t like her in the beginning because she was kind of depressing. She saw herself as weak and didn’t see herself as attractive, and it really annoyed me (she was a bit pathetic, but she would have times of inner strength which gave me hope). Luckily as she was forced out of her comfort zone she learned to believe in herself and began to unlock her true badass potential. Lachlain was another story, he was always strong but in my opinion he doesn’t really think before he acts most of the time (and it gets him in trouble, mostly with Emma). I mean yes, he was tortured for decades and that probably (definitely) had something to do with it too, but some of the stuff he did should have gotten him his ass kicked. I’ll just say that kidnapping Emma in the beginning worked for him in some ways but it really did burn him too. I love the way the Kresley was able to create this new world with some crazy characters and keep the reader interested and in the know (lots of explanations were needed but she wove them into the story). Anyway like I said, this is the first of a series but you do get some closure on Emma and Lachlain, which is good because I think there are like 12 books in the series so far.

Tyrant (King #2) by T. M. Frazier

It’s so cold. I’m going to drown. Deeper and deeper I sink into the dark water until two arms appear above me, hands extended out, calling for me to grab them so I could be saved. One arm was adorned with a gold wrist watch, the other was wrapped in a thick leather belt. I try to grab onto both of them, but I can’t reach and they don’t reach into the water any deeper. It’s then I realize that in order to be saved, I can only chose one. I reach toward the belted arm and grab hold, but instead of being lifted out from the abyss and thrust back into the frigid air as I expected, the arm turns me around and pushes me down deeper and deeper until I have no choice but to inhale the murky water. I fade into oblivion wondering if there really was a right choice, because I have a feeling that no matter which one I chose, they both would’ve pulled me under.

With her real identity now known to her, Doe is more confused than ever.

Just when Doe’s found a place for herself everything is ripped away… again

I gave this book a 4.7 out of 5 stars. The thing really liked about this book is that there was never really a dull moment. From basically the first page (well the last chapter of King if we’re being serious) you know that this book will be as action packed if not more packed than the last one. Frazier introduces almost a whole new set of characters without losing the ones you already know and even tying some of them together in ways you didn’t necessarily expect. My favorite character of this series continues to be Doe. While Doe continues to have her world knocked off it’s axis, she continues to grow and adapt for her survival. In this book you finally get to see the ‘complete’ Doe, she gains what she’s lost and she finally finds out who she truly wants to be. King is still a badass in this book, but he’s also still an idiot when it comes to his feelings. The one thing I dont like about King is that he makes a major decision and then in hindsight he realizes that he did the opposite of what he wanted the whole time. :/   Though I thought that it wasn’t really a surprise who the villain was, some people (Suih P) disagreed. But, overall whether you know whats going to happen or you’re left completely clueless it’s a great read and definitely a page-turner. Also this is the end of Doe and King’s story but apparently we can expect more books about different characters in the series!

Check out my review on the first book of the series!

King

The Kricket Series (As a Whole) by Amy A Bartol

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“I think finding Prince Charming is your wish.  Mine is still Northwestern University,” I reply, picking up my backpack and throwing it over my shoulder.  “Just think how happy my mom would be if I told her I was marrying you. She’d flip out, seriously,” he says half-jokingly. “Enrique, that’s a really tempting offer, but since I’m only seventeen, I’m gonna keep my options open,” I reply, putting my hat on and trying to sweep my mass of blond hair beneath it.

Kricket doesn’t live in a fairytale and she is well aware of it. She just wants to make to eighteen so that she can be legally responsible for herself.

 

“The priestess, born of two worlds and of two houses, has returned to Ethar as prophesied.  Kricket Valke, the stolen daughter of our order, is a hostage in the House of Rafe”

Kricket is forced into a world that she knows nothing about, with prophesies that she is a part of but that she has never known.

 

His lips should be cold, I think, a mirror of his ice-blue stare. I try to turn my head and escape the curves of his mouth.  My lips skim lightly over the stone rigidness of his jaw, tasting the saltiness of the sea air that settles there. His lips hunt mine, finding them again – claiming ownership by covering them once more.

Kricket has to learn what she has to do to survive, (as she always has), but this time the rules are different.  On a different world she not only has to survive, she has to learn the customs and the politics so that she can make it through another day.

 

I must admit when I finished the last book, I felt duped. I was not expecting it to end the way that it did and I felt that it was all wrong (of course it was after midnight, so we’ll put some of that on tiredness).  When I woke up the next morning and thought about the ending and the other possible outcomes, I calmed down a bit. I’ll be the first to admit that I want a HEA and after all the things that Kricket goes through in this book I thought that she deserved one as well. In retrospect I realized that she got one.

I give this series 4.3 of 5 stars. I did enjoy this book and once I got over how I envisioned it ending and the actual ending, I appreciated it more. Kricket is a strong young woman who comes into her own and realizes that the only person she can really depend on 100% of the time, is herself.  She is crafty and strong and has to use those qualities often to survive. She discovers a lot about herself and people in general, what can be endured and where loyalties lie. The people that she should be able to count on all let her down, and even the people that she adopts as her own have a tendency to either have ulterior motives or decide that there are other things that are more important to them then she is…

Amy Bartol is a talented writer with a vivid imagination. She has the great ability to bring you into her stories, with the imagery that allows you to picture her alternate worlds. She gives enough detail that you can merge into the world of the characters, without being too wordy.

I was reluctant to start this series because I have been burn by Ms Bartol before. I started her Premonition Series and I don’t know that it was ever finished. I am notorious for not starting a series unless I know that it is finished, partially because of this series. I am however glad that I took a chance and read this series.

-Suih Patton

 

Yay! Another Review from my sometimes reviewer!

Also look at my review for just the first book: Under Different Stars

-Fe