Tuesday, March 31, 2015


After waiting and waiting and waiting and WAITING.

Fresh off the press: the LAST book for Julie Kagawa's Call of the Forgotten series is FINALLY. HERE.
HELLO GORGEOUS. Julie Kagawa is my FAVORITE author, so I am super pumped about this!

1. The gold. It reminds me of gold chains, don't you think? And what images do you get from gold chains? Strength. This book will be EPIC.
2. Ethan's eye. What's up with that? It seems very...fey-like. What does that mean??? Does he become a fey in some aspect? THE BURNING QUESTIONS.
3. The forest background. Things gets tangled up here, for sure. The forest just gives it an overall sinister feeling, which is awesome. I love it!!!

Wondering what the series looks like together now? Take a look:

Though these aren't the most consistent of covers (inconsistent cover model shots, placement of the titles, placement of the author's name, etc.), they do follow a similar theme. You have those nifty branches on the corners of the cover, which was also on the covers of the Iron Fey, the forest allusions in the back, and the unique markings/sigils per book. The titles themselves are...well, interesting. I personally think they should have just struck to the Iron _____, rather than mix it up with The Lost Prince. All the books have "Iron" in the title except that one, so it's a little strange. Also, so you have distinctly a silver and a gold book. Shouldn't there be a bronze book then, rather than blue? Oh, the unanswered questions...but that's all right. I love the books either way!

I cannot wait to read the final book! It's been two years since The Iron Traitor came out, so I think it's safe to say that I've been continuously burning in agony during that time. Like, BURNING. AGONY. Because after that cliff hanger ending...

Check out the last instalment of the Call of the Forgotten series, which is the sequel series to The Iron Fey, by Julie Kagawa, on October 27th 2015!

Official blurb, courtesy of Goodreads->http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18054085-the-iron-warrior

The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all. 

He killed me. 

Then, I woke up. 

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind's glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever. 

Leading the Lady's Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan's nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan's enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Now That You're Here Review: Eevee and Danny

A normal day for Eevee.
A normal day for Danny.

But not in the same Phoenix.
Not in the same world.
Not in the same universe.

Until Danny finds himself in Eevee's world.
Inhabiting her world's version of Danny.
And he has no idea how he got there.

Eevee can't believe the Danny she knew isn't the same Danny now.
Danny can't believe the Eevee he kissed isn't the same Eevee now.
And they can't believe they just discovered the existence of parallel universes.

Eevee might be Danny's ticket home.
Danny might be Eevee's ticket to freedom.
Together, they can figure it out.
Hey guys! Check out what I just finished reading!

Book: Now That You're Here
Author: Amy K. Nichols
Series: Duplexity series
Book standing: Book 1
Setting: Phoenix (modern day, as in this world's version)
POV: first person, told by both Eevee and Danny
Genre: YA sci-fi

Reading: first time
Favorite part: Eevee and Warren discussing Danny while setting up a science experiment. One talks about Danny's situation, the other confuses the conversation for being about the experiment, and vice versa. They keep confusing each other, and it's hilarious.
Categories: parallel universes! 
Rating: 4 stars

There are two main characters here, and unlike in the Defiance series where though there are two main characters, there's one that stands out a little more than the other, in this book, it's both Danny and Eevee who are the main characters. Eevee, who's trying to figure out how to get Danny back, and Danny, who's trying to adjust to that world's version of Danny and figure out what's going in his own world. Both story lines are interesting and compelling. There's no obvious character arc here that stands out in comparison to the other; this story is truly about the two of them.

First off: WORMHOLES ARE EXPLAINED. I'm serious. There's a lot of science (don't worry, none of it makes any sense to Danny, so it's fine), and bam! Wormholes are explained. Neutron stars are explained. Chaos theory explained. Electromagnetic pulses are explained, even created. How awesome is that? You have to sit back for a bit just to applaud the author for all the research she must have done.

So, let me ask you: if you suddenly found yourself in a body that's yours but not, in a city or town that has the same name but isn't, with all the people you knew all completely different, what would you do? My first step would be to freak out. Just like Danny. He goes around, trying to find someone familiar, someone who knows him, unaware that everyone knows that world's version of him. I don't know how Danny managed to pull it off once he realizes he's in another version of him's life, but he somehow he did. Pretending to know people he doesn't, pretending to be familiar with everything that isn't. Yikes.

Danny doesn't recognize anyone expect Eevee. But the Eevee in his world was a painter, and the Eevee in this parallel world is an science academic. His parents in his world are alive, yet his parents in Eevee's world are long dead. Danny's world is more of a dystopian version of our world, whereas Eevee's world is, well, our world. There are lots of similarities and differences between their worlds, like people and their occupations...But regardless of all that craziness, Danny was still able to be true to himself. In his own world, he's a graffiti artist, which is what he resorts to in order to find some peace of mind. It's how he, and everyone else, knows that he's not that world's version of Danny.

And then we have Eevee. The super-smart girl, who lives and breaths physics. The one who ever entertained the idea that what Danny is telling her, about having no clue where he is and talking about things that don't exist in her world, is the truth. She brings a whole bunch of quantum theories, and together, they realize that Danny's from another universe. And it's not merely psycho-babble. It's mind-blowing to her. If I ended up in a parallel universe, I very much would like an Eevee to be there for me, to both believe me and help me figure a way home.

In the book, we know that Danny basically switched places with Eevee's world's Danny. Meaning that Eevee's version of Danny swapped places with Danny, and ended up in the dystopian-like parallel universe Danny is from. The question: what happened to him? How does he get back? The answer to those questions: the next book! The sequel (companion novel?) to Now That You're Here is While You Were Gone, which deals with the other Danny and the Eevee of that world. Because we know that right before Danny ended up in Eevee's world, he was in a world of trouble. That Eevee's world's Danny has no idea what's going on, and is probably in a lot more danger than the Danny in Eevee's world.

Wow, that's complicated. But believe me, it makes a lot of sense when you read the book. Kudos to the author for breaking down such a complex issue into simple and understandable terms! While You Were Gone comes out August 4th, 2015, so check back sometime after that to listen to more of my rambling about parallel universes!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Prophecy Review: Kira

I am the king's Demon Slayer.
I am the most feared girl in the kingdom.
I am also the young prince's bodyguard.

The kings of the other kingdoms have been murdered.
I am on the run with the prince, to keep him safe.
But the enemy is nearing.

The young prince is predicted to be the savior.
He is the One in the Dragon King's prophecy.
I have to keep his safe so he can fulfill it.

We've set out on search of a ruby that controls the seas.
It will give the prince a chance to regain control of his fallen kingdom.
It will help me raise him into a king.

I will protect the young prince.
I will battle evil soldiers, demons, and shamans for him.
I will ensure the safety and victory of the prince.

My name is Kira.
Hey guys! Today, I am the one and only Demon Slayer, Kang Kira!

Book: Prophecy
Author: Ellen Oh
Series: The Dragon King Chronicles
Book Standing: Book 1
Setting: The Seven Kingdoms (fictional world)
POV: third person, told by Kira
Genre: YA fantasy, a bit historical

Reading: first time
Favorite line: "Your differences are what make you unique. They're what make you special. You have nothing in common with these ignorant wretches who thrive on superstition and fear. You were meant for greatness."
Categories: "We Need Diverse Books," feminist
Rating: 4 stars
My initial reaction to the first chapter: Holy crap, you go girl!

The beginning of this book sets up Kira, who happens to be the only female in the King's guard. She's different than everyone else, being able to identify demons, and thus kill them. But marked by her strange yellow eyes, that's exactly what makes everyone so afraid and hateful towards her. We get that right in the beginning, when all Kira is trying to do is do her job, yet the superstition of the villagers provide an obstacle. Nevertheless, Kira still gets her job done in the most awesome way. The next part that set her character up was the sudden announcement of her betrothal. Kira is a warrior, and now she's expected to marry and "settle down" into a more "womanly" role? No. Just no. And you can see Kira fighting it, not wanting to becoming some wife of a shallow fool. Her desire to be who she is and not be judged or hated for it is really strong, and I loved it.

What I found interesting was the historical setup. The author successfully brought back an old tradition, one that makes me cringe: stereotyping women, and betrothals. I mean, really? Marrying off your daughters? Fine, I guess, if you've lived your life knowing it would happen, but still. Next issue would be all the other females in the book. They (the court ladies) are all shallow and weak. Weak, I say! Weak! Of course, they play excellent foils to Kira, and only enhance her independence and bravery, but still. They're all fawning over soldiers and clothes, gossiping about Kira and how she's doing "a man's work", how she doesn't look pretty due to her ruggedness and her armor, blah blah blah. I'm sorry, but am I the only one who notices that Kira is the one keeping them safe from demons? She's a warrior. She has an extremely strong sense of honour and duty, much more than the women of the court do combined. She can handle a sword, a dagger, a bow, and if there are no weapons available, she has her fists. She doesn't turn away from danger, doesn't cower in the presence of fear. Now that is a true hero. What does it say when the women of the court all decided to jump into the ocean, rather than fighting back? What does it say when Kira, beaten and battered, still rises up to protect the prince, all while coming up with a plan to save the kingdom? Who's the real hero, the women of the court or Kira? The answer is Kira. I agree with Kira here: shallow women like them are pretty much useless.

What also makes Kira strong? Her duty to protect the prince (who's twelve) and her honour to her family. She has two brothers, Kyoung and Kwan, and I love their relationships. They are the most awesome siblings I've ever read. Given, their father is the king's general, so obviously the three of them would be expert fighters. There's no hostility towards one another, no competition over who's better. They're all equals, regardless of their age and gender. The part when Kira and Kwan fight side-by-side to protect the prince? YES. That is duty, honour, and family all in one. What could be better?

This book also falls under the We Need Diverse Books category. It's set in a fictional world very similar to Ancient Korea, and the terms they use are Korean as well, like Oppa and Noona. I think it's safe to say that Kira is clearly not white. But quick question: how many books do you know that feature a non-white protagonist in a world that isn't dominated by caucasians? Not many, right? That's what I thought. Well, look no further, for you can this one to the list! Kira is equally, if not more, kickbutt than the caucasian protagonists of a few other series I know. I approve :)

I loved the strong female character of Kira. I loved how she challenged and rose above the stereotyping of her gender, showing the world what she has. I can see her saying, "Yes, I'm a girl. Problem?" So. Good. Too bad it was so short. But I still have the next two books to read through, so I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Review: Eliza

Every century, there is a Chosen One.
Someone chosen for greatness.
In this century, I am the Chosen One.

But I'm far from being great.
I've never done anything remarkable.
And I don't see how I ever will.

I became the secret wife of a king.
A king who needs the Chosen One.
Not a failure of a princess.

The country will at war soon.
A revolution to persuade the king to act first is at hand.
The same revolution who thinks I can save them all.

My name is Eliza.
Hi guys! Today, I'm Lucero-Eliza, or just Eliza for short :)

Book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns
Book Standing: Book 1
Setting: Joya d'Arena, Orovalle, the desert (parts of a fictional world).
POV: first person, told by Eliza
Genre: YA fantasy

Reading: first time
Favorite Line: "I promise to spare you further embarrassment. Next time, I'll let you die."
Categories: high-fantasy
Rating: 4 stars

It's been a while since I've read a high-fantasy book. This was a nice refresher to why I love fantasy so much!

I really love Eliza's character. She is a round character, and she changes both physically and mentally in a realistic way. At the beginning, she's full of self doubt for both her physical and mental being, with this overall sense of helplessness. She doesn't know what to do, and feels inadequate. But through the events that take place, she changes. We see her confidence beginning to grow, and her decisions become independent and brave. Gone is the mere girl floundering around trying to find a reason to stay out of everyone's way. Instead, she becomes a strong woman, able to think quick on her feet and to see the big pictures in war.

I particularly like the beginning, where we see that Eliza, who knows that she's been pampered her entire life, wants to help out more, but is hesitant because she doesn't know what use she can be given the lifestyle she's lead so far. Yes, she makes a few mistakes, but when you think about it, those are very realistic actions given the circumstances.

Eliza's growth is one that is quite admirable. I'm sure we all would like to be able to break free of the Useless Shell and emerge as a leader, one who stands strong and proud with her people. In a way, Eliza sort of has two kinds of friends/people, all who view her completely differently: the members of the royal court, who see her as a princess, and her desert companions, who strip her of her princess role, forcing her to build an identity other than "princess".

Next paragraph is spoiler, so highlight it if you want to read it. Else skip down.

Humberto. HUMBERTO. I accidentally read a spoiler before I read this book, so I knew that he dies, but STILL. When he was murdered, I was devastated. Seriously. I want to applaud the author here for being able to create such a loveable character in a mere few hundred pages. A character, who though we haven't known long, is able to leave readers mourning his death. Because if we all had Humbertos in our lives, life would be a lot brighter.

The Godstone. This is how you know you're God's Chosen One. There's literally a stone in your navel, which warms and cools in response to prayers and danger. It's embedded into you, and it holds a lot of power (if you know how to use it), and lots of people want to get their hands on either the stone, or its bearer. Which leads to issues in regards to Eliza's safety, but hey, what's life (or a book) without danger?

The take on religion was also very original and unique. The belief of God among the people and characters is extremely prevalent, but also the way God is represented. A lot of times, God is known to be that omniscient presence that's there but not really, but in this book, God is always guiding Eliza somehow. God leads Eliza, chooses her as the chosen one, but what Eliza is trying to decipher is why. There are also two main holy texts that explain the roles of God's Chosen Ones, which Eliza studies furiously, and it's actually quite interesting. Sort of like a "How-to-succeed-as-God's-champion-101". If only we had texts like those in real life.

Bottom line: if there's a stone in your navel, there's a chance you might be God's chosen one. And if you want to know how to survive as a bearer of a Godstone, read The Girl of Fire and Thorns so that you can learn from Eliza!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

OBLIVION: Companion Novel to the Lux Series!


If you don't know, I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux Series. Like, big big fan. Which is why I was sad when the series came to its conclusion this year, BUT!!!

I just got news that there will be a COMPANION NOVEL to the series! Told from Daemon's point of view! That's right! From Daemon's POV! An entire book! And it's going to be called Oblivion!

Initial freak-out. Because that means we're going to get another beautiful cover to accompany these lovelies...
But I guess the cover will probably look more like the new covers, so something along the lines of these:
(Actually, there's another companion novel, Obsession, which features the story of an Arum and a regular mortal girl, but it's not part of the mainstream story...)

This book will be released December 2015 (!!!), and will be available digitally or in print (in print only if you order it online, meaning you can't buy it in stores).

If you haven't this series yet, check it out so that you can join me in obsessing over the announcement of this companion novel!

You can read about the author's announcement about it here.

Spring Book Haul

What's better than celebrating the beginning of spring with a book haul?
Take look at these new beauties!

I've actually read all these before, which means I'm super excited to re-read them and fall in love with their characters all over again! :)

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi: The epic conclusion to the Shatter Me series! It stars Juliette, who has finally accepted her power to kill people with simply a touch. And there's one man she's out to get...

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: This is the one book of the four in which I haven't read all the books published in the series yet! But I loved this book so much that I know I'm going to love the rest of them! We have Mara, who can't remember how all her friends died. Lo and behold, it's safe to say she had something to do with it, if only she could remember what... Go here to read more about it! (And in case you're wondering, this book is YA paranormal, not a contemporary mystery of sorts)

Cress by Marissa Meyer: the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series, in which we have an epic retelling of Rapunzel, in line with the stories of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. The cover of the final book just came out, which you can see here, and to read my review of Cress, go here.

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: this book holds a very dear spot for this blog. Why? Because it was the first book I ever blogged about! This book features a runaway princess, in which a prince and an assassin are searching for her. To read my (very first!) review, go here.

Now the big question is: where are they going to go on my bookshelf?

Or a better question: do I even have space?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dorothy Must Die Review: Amy

I didn't ask to be swept away in a tornado.
I didn't ask to go to Oz.
I didn't ask to find Oz completely different than the movies.

What happened? 
Dorothy happened.
They say she found a way to get back to Oz.

Dorothy seized the power.
And the power made her crazy.
Oz is a mess.

I will remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
I will steal the Scarecrow's brain.
I will take the Lion's courage.

But once that's all done.
I will kill Dorothy.
I will restore Oz.

I am the other girl from Kanas.
I am Amy Gumm.
Hello, friends! Today, I'm Amy, from Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die book!

Book: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die
Book Standing: Book 1
Setting: Oz, a bit of Kansas in the beginning
POV: first person, by Amy
Genre: YA fantasy, paranormal

Reading: first time
Favorite line: "If you have to be alone, though, wouldn't yo rather be alone among friends?"
Rating: 4 stars

Let me say this: the book title alone is brilliant. Just the word "die" alone is epic.

This was definitely a very smart version of an original text we all know. Here, we have the after story of Dorothy. No one ever really asked the "what happened next?" question, and even those who did never got an answer. The general assumption is that Dorothy went back to Kansas and probably lived happily ever after. Wrong! We find out exactly how Dorothy copes with going back home after visiting the magical world of Oz (hint: she didn't cope. That's why she ended up back in Oz. No, that's not a spoiler. It's in the description!).

This is a very compelling book. I loved the voice of Amy. She just sucked me right in, from the very first sentence. It contains different parts of sass, determinism, vulnerability, and bitterness. I agreed with a lot of things she was thinking--her thought track was right on, and the things she wonder about were the same things I wondered about too. The inner conflicts of being good or wicked, of being unsure who she really was, of whether or not she could turn out to be exactly like Dorothy if she were in her shoes (literally. I'm talking about her magical red shoes.), of who exactly is trustworthy and who's not.

We get to see all the familiar faces we know from the traditional movie in this book: you have Dorothy (obviously), along with some rather twisted versions of the Lion, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and Glinda the good witch. But they aren't the only ones we get to see. The Wizard, flying monkeys, the other witches of the four cardinals, Munchkins, the whole fun gang is here too. Just...different. Darker. We have a reversal of good and evil here, so yeah.

***Next paragraph is spoiler (highlight it to read), so skip it to the next set of asterisk!***



You know, quite a lot of people died here. You go through Indigo, and then Gert, and then Jellia. That's 3 deaths all in one book. I mean, I know that in wars there are a lot more deaths, but this is only the first book. Plus, these are characters that we get to know, and thus we care about as they're semi-important to the plot. And so the agony of their deaths. Times three? Unbearable. Also, I really like how there's 3 different sides to this war. It's not just good vs. bad, nor is it bad vs. revolution with an even evil agenda. In this one, we have bad (posing as good) vs. bad (Revolutionary Order of the Wicked) vs. good (I think? It's the Wingless Ones/Monkeys resistance, and the Wizard seems to be one their side). Gah. So many sides to choose from. But if they're one thing that has been stressed throughout the book, it's that you should trust absolutely no one. The Wicked Witches are apparently doing "good" as a means of self-interest, the Wizard is merely a manipulator, etc. I swear, only the monkeys are the honest ones here. Also, I happen to ship Amy and Nox. Forget about Pete (I actually thought he was the Wizard in disguise at first. Turns out I was wrong, and that the Wizard is actually old. Huh.), even if he does have brilliant green eyes.



***Welcome back!***

I really loved the magical element to this book. Because this is Oz, magic is everywhere, and none of it is explainable. Sure, there are specific rules, but the laws and limitations are never truly explained, which gives readers a wonderful sense of the limitless possibilities that can be accomplished in Oz with magic. Literally anything can be done here. There's no logic to it, and I'm totally fine with that. Logic is overrated, anyways.

This book definitely gave me a different view of Oz. I'd never really considered Oz as being one of my to-visit places, mainly because it seemed like a really creepy happy place. Okay, it still is kind of creepy...and maybe a few parts scary with Dorothy...but I'm not quite intrigued about the Wizard of Oz lore. For all you fans who already know everything there is to know about the Wizard of Oz, this book will be a fresh new look on the world you once knew, and it will push you to ask questions about the characters and places you love.

So, in the event that there's a tornado and you're in Kansas, please do call Amy so that in the event you land in Oz, she can help you out!

Official blurb, courtesy of Goodreads->http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18053060-dorothy-must-die

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: WINTER

This cover came out JUST yesterday! Presenting, the fourth and final instalment of Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles, the cover for Winter!
Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!!

1. That apple. It's...glowing from inside. And the stem/leaf is purple...What sinister magic in brewing in that apple, I wonder? I'm really curious to know how the apple will play a part in the book!
2. The hand. It's...a little unsettling. Who's holding it, exactly? In the other books, it was clear who the human figure was. But here...well, it's probably Winter herself, but we don't truly know if it is...
3. Magic. None of the other books showed any clear sign that magic was involved in the books. But here, we see that there obviously is something different with the apple. It's emanating magic, after all...

Let's take a look what entire series looks like, shall we?
God, that is a beautiful set.

1. The central red object. You have the shoe, the cloak, the ribbon, and the apple. They're all the trademarks of each fairytale (not the ribbon, but the point of it is to point out Cress' long hair).
2. The humans. Or, part of them, anyways. I like how they've incorporated part of the characters' bodies into the covers. Cinder's leg, Scarlet's arm, half of Cress' torso, and Winter's (I'm assuming it's Winter) hand. 
3. The black-to-purple background. I love the gradual transition from less black to more purple throughout the book covers. In Cinder, more than half the cover is black, but once we get to Winter, we have the majority of the cover being purple.
4. The first letters. The C, S, and W. I love the little swirls and the hanging marks. Basically, the font is super cool.
5. The overall consistency. Because we all love covers that match each other.

...And according to Goodreads, Winter is going to be a MASSIVE book. 800 pages? Holy crap. That's freaking long! The longest book I've read was City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare, and that was ridiculously LONG. Like 725 pages long (but it kind of makes sense, as it was book 6 of the amazingly awesome series)! This one? 800 pages? HOLY CRAP. But I have no doubt that it will be 800 pages of awesomeness, because come on, what YA book is that long if it isn't good?

Don't wait to catch the Winter, epic finale of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, on November 10th, 2015! 

Official blurb, courtesy of Goodreads->http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13206900-winter

Here is the stunning conclusion to the national bestselling Lunar Chronicles, inspired by Snow White.

When Princess Winter was thirteen, the rumor around the Lunar court was that her glamour would soon be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. In a fit of jealousy, Levana disfigured Winter. Four years later, Winter has sworn off the use of her glamour altogether. Despite her scars, Winter’s natural beauty, her grace, and her gentleness are winning admiration from the Lunar people that no amount of mind-control could achieve.

Winter despises her stepmother, but has never dreamed of standing up to her. That is, until she realizes that she may be the only one with the power to confront the queen. 

Can Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Princess Winter, and the palace guard Jacin find their happily ever afters? Fans will LOVE this amazing conclusion to the series.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dreams of Gods & Monsters Review: Karou

I took control of the chimaera rebellion.
But only through a deception.
And if anyone finds out, I'm dead.

The rebellion wants revenge.
A bloodbath for those who destroyed their homes.
The angels.

The Misbegotten are the angels that destroyed them.
But they are not to blame.
They were only following orders.

The real enemy are the angels who gave those orders.
The ones that have entered the human world.
The ones that are trying to gain human weapons of mass destruction.

If these angels get those weapons, no where will be safe.
The Misbegotten and chimaera must band together.
Mortal enemies, but fight for the same cause.

The leader of the Misbegotten, Akiva.
The leader of the chimaera, me.
The ones who fell in love a lifetime ago.

An alliance must be formed.
My name is Karou.
Hi guys! I admit, it's been a while since I reviewed a book, but here today, I am Karou!

Book: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Book Standing: Book 3 (final book)
Setting: Eretz (fictional world) and human world (present)
POV: multiple views, all in third person, mainly by Karou and Akiva
Genre: YA fantasy

Reading: first time
Favorite part: the horror of Jael realizing that it was Liraz waiting for him in his tent. Official moment of doom. 
Rating: 4 stars

WARNING: I make no guarantees that it will be spoiler-free. I have a tendency to get carried away when there's a lot I want to talk about.

Oh, this series. It is unique in so many aspects, and I'm really glad I read it. As I've mentioned, it deals with angels and chimaeras. Mortal enemies, but yet even within the groups of angels and chimaeras, you have the good ones and the bad ones. So, naturally, you'd think that it would be sort all right to form an alliance with the good ones of both the chimaera and and the angels, right? Not exactly. More like an uneasy alliance, where everyone's trying very very hard not to kill anyone or make a pact with others to double-cross them.

Of course, it does help that the leaders, Akiva and Karou, are not in an uneasy agreement. Far from it. They couldn't agree more with each other. Heck, they're the love interests for each other, torn apart by fate, misery, and species. But they make it work, somehow, and yes, it comes with a great cost.

I want to talk a bit about Jael. He's the main antagonist in this book, and boy, may I be the first to say that he seriously doesn't deserve the title as an angel. Actually, his impure motives are probably the means of taking a look and determining who the real monsters here are: the chimaera, with their hybrid forms, or the angels who rule? Everyone's raised to know that angels are messengers of god and whatnot, but in this case, there is an entire race of angels. And, well, there's an emperor, who's corrupted. You'd think that the leader of all angels would have to be some holy and heavenly figure, closest to god, right? Nope. This guy, Jael, murdered his brother and nephew to take the throne, them tried framing it on Akiva. And if that wasn't bad enough, he then learns of human weapons of mass destruction, and immediately decides that he wants to get his hands on them. And so, he plays on the whole human belief that angels are messengers of god, ultimately trying to trick humans into worshipping him and giving him what he wants.

How's that for evil? Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the evilest of all angels, using his title as angel as a means to kill everyone. Meaning: if angels seem to descend onto Earth, demanding worship, we all must ask ourselves exactly what they're here for, before submitting our wills to them.

Wow, and that now makes me seem like a total non-angel believer. "If angels do descend, and they're here for good reasons, you're going to be smitten because you doubt them!" yells someone in the back.

Good point. But this is exactly why I love YA books: it deals with complex issues by breaking them down into relatable and easy-to-understand terms. In this case, you have to be careful with who you put your trust in. Society has preached angels as the good guys, but only as mythical figures. If they do come down, do we trust them? Is society right, or should you question everything? The answers to these questions all boil down to your gut instincts. I would proceed with caution in cases like these.

Okay, enough about all this philosophical stuff. I'm driving you all crazy, aren't I? My bad.

Let's talk about Liraz. Is she kick-butt or what? Because she is freaking awesome. Angel, yes. Misbegotten, yes. Trained solider, and probably the best of the best. I do love myself a strong female character, especially since we get to see so much more of her in this book. After a certain death of someone dear to her, well, she's hell-bent on taking Jael down. But she's also mourning, and we get to see a more vulnerable side to her. What I love is that it shows that women can still be awesome while being emotionally vulnerable at times. Liraz isn't someone who normally cares a lot about anything beyond her two brothers. She's described as being a cold and unfeeling solider. Yet here we suddenly have Liraz struggling with her feelings internally. Yes, she channels it all into her quest for vengeance which makes her even more badass, but it also clears her head and really makes her take a step back to look at everything. She's no less awesome (she wanted to be the one to punish Jael, and punish him she did...through humiliation and a lot of pain), and the way she gets Jael is beautiful.

Jael's downfall: his overconfidence and the fact that he's put himself up on such a high pedestal. That fool. He returns to his camp, believes that his army won, demands he "needs a women" to help him unstress (this guy isn't hard to hate), and lo and behold, finds himself stuck in a tent with none other than Liraz waiting for him. And I use the word "stuck" lightly; what I mean is that he's completely trapped. So what exactly happened? He was way in over his head. He returned to his camp, fully believing that the angels patrolling around it were of his own army. Wrong! Misbegotten took the camp, and disguised themselves! And, knowing Jael, they knew he would want a woman to "help him unstress", and planted Liraz in his tent. Liraz, who has been waiting patiently to get to Jael. And get him she do. May I please have an applause? Because I would kill to have gotten a look at his expression when he realized that he was screwed.

The way Karou and Akiva overthrow Jael is so simple, yet effective. You don't need big complicated scheme! Blackmail and deception always works perfectly fine in wars!

Ziri and Liraz were also adorable. Just...I can't. Liraz, who's so used to being cold and emotionless, is contrasted to Ziri, who forced to be cold when he's not. Both are in the opposite mind sets that they're use to, and it's all brilliantly executed. 

Zuzana and Mik, the humans. Karou's friends. The ones I would be, as I am a human. See? I'd fit in right with them. Okay, no. But as a human, I'd get to play the same roles as those two. I love them, because they bring into perspective the fact that though the main battle is between two non-human species, humans still exist. They also bring the humanity of everyone out, with their light humor and sarcasm. Also, because they are brave and funny together. Everyone, both chimaera and Misbegotten, love them. I'd love to have them as friends.

The ending. It wasn't gut-wrenching (thankfully), but it wasn't all completely happily ever after. There's a quote in the book that says it wasn't a happy ending, but a happy middle. As in they're not done yet, but they're working their way towards the ending. There will doubtlessly be some rough spots to get to the ending, but as of the ending of the book, they're in a happy place. And in a way, I feel like that's only right. Both Karou and Akiva have responsibilities to uphold, ones that future depends on. But they deserve some happiness at the very least.

But are there loose ends? Yes. A few. They're not as obvious nor as important, but they're still there. It's enough that it leaves you wondering, but not too significant to the characters that it's a pressing unanswered issue (cough, looking at The Queen of Zombie Hearts here). First, we have Razgut, who's made Esther his new...transportation. I guess Razgut is sort of back to square one, being stuck on the back of some human, with no way to return to Eretz, turning his host, Esther, mad. Though truth be told, Esther kind of deserves it. She double-crossed Karou, after all. Let her succumb to madness, for all I care. But as for Razgut...what becomes of him? He's technically not a threat, key word being technically, but who knows...

Other loose end is the fact that everyone has become a godstar (the people we care about, anyways), and they're all to one day battle the Cataclysm. But through Eliza, we all sort of know that they're going to win, one way or another. How they win, well, that's let up to the reader as it hasn't happened yet. So I guess that's not quite a loose end, but still...

Well, I've blabbered on for a while now, haven't I? And I haven't even gotten started... Alas, I shall spare you the rest!

Bottom line: pick your battles carefully. Not everyone is a good guy, no matter what society tells you...after all, the good guys turned out to be the monsters here, not the gods! 

PS. Did I ever mention the brilliance of the title? Dreams of Gods & Monsters. Throughout the book, the real question is: who are the real gods, and who are the real monsters? *taps temple with a wicked smile*

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cover Reveal (ish): THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS

So...the cover of The Immortal Heights, the last book in Sherry Thomas' The Elemental Trilogy, came out Feb. 17th and I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT.

Unbelievable. But at least I found out before the one-month mark-later. Better late than never, right?

Without further ado...here it is!
Am I the only one who sees that? Because LOOK AT IT.

There are freaking dragons on it. And that. Is. AWESOME.

1. DRAGONS DRAGONS DRAGONS. Did I ever mention the dragons? Though if you take a closer look, there seem to be two different dragons here...one actually looks a little furry. Like...a phoenix? Ha, that would be appropriate! It would be a combination of the two covers, with the phoenix and the dragon!
2. Electricity/Lightning. Because that just makes the cover electrifying (sorry, I couldn't resist making that joke). Even the dragons are breathing out electricity!
3. Sun. Notice how the dragons seem to be stemmed from the rising sun? And how the sun it right above the temple/city/castle thing? Yeah. Enough said.
4. Background. There are mountains in the background! And fog! And it's so pretty!!!
5. Wings. The dragon's wings? Don't they also seem like electricity to you? I think so. And I also think that it's a pretty cool idea!
6. Two heads. I'd like to think that they each represent Iolanthe and Titus. Because it's only right that they get a cover together.

This cover is totally appropriate for this series. Don't believe me? Take a look:
1. Those elements: Fire. Water. Electricity. Just...epic.
2. The colors: The red/orange. The green/blue. The blue/purple. Never have I seen such a beautiful merging.
3. Consistency: I love covers with consistency. And here, we have it. From the elemental beasts that takes up the top half of the cover, to the sun that all the creatures seem to stem from, to the city at the very bottom, to the distinct horizon in the distance. There's this sense of endless possibility, as well as hope. I love it. I love them.

Sadly, I have yet to read The Perilous Sea yet, but that is really high on my to-read list! The Burning Sky was absolutely one of my favorite books, so it goes without saying that the rest of the series will be fantastic too! To read my review on The Burning Sky, go here. These beauties will (hopefully) be finding a new home on my bookshelf very soon!

Sherry Thomas' The Immortal Heights comes out October 13th, 2015! Make sure you grab this book, because I will guarantee that this last instalment will be just as (or more!) awesome as it's fabulous cover!

In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort....

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cover Reveal: UNTAMED

I am super duper excited to present to you the cover of A. G. Howard's final Splintered mini-novel...Untamed!


1. It's white! Actually, I'm going with the whole bride-theme thing happening here, because if you read Ensnared, well, yeah. But the white...it's a lot less unsettling (by unsettling, I mean vivid) than the other covers. Peaceful.
2. There's a split...One half of Alyssa's face is normal, the other is netherling. Appropriate, seeing as she's caught between both the human and netherling world!
3. Eye marks! We first got a glimpse of what Morpheus' eye marks looked like on the cover of Unhinged, and it was explained in Splintered that Alyssa's were the female version of them. Well, it's nice to be able to put an image to the picture now!
4. The purple and red. The two main colors working here apart from the white are purple and red. Purple...for all of those who have read Ensnared, you know probably what purple means...Purple magic... On the other hand, we have a very pretty contrast of the red flowers and purple flowers. Plus a purple moth (Morpheus?) and a red Ace of Hearts card.

There's more I'd like to say, but they all get a little in the spoiler realm, so I'll just keep them to myself until you've all read them! To read my review on Ensnared, go here.

Untamed is a collection of 3 short stories, including the Moth in the Mirror (which was previously released only as an ebook), The Boy in the Web (is that about Jeb? Thomas?), and an additional extended epilogue from Ensnared!

And here's what the completed series looks like...

Yay! I can't wait! Untamed comes out sometime in January, 2016 (why is it so far away???), so until then, we can sit in burning agony and try not to lose our heads too much :)

Official blurb, courtesy of Goodreads->http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25105196-untamed

A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions.

The headlining short story, Six Impossible Things, takes readers into Alyssa’s future, via new and deleted scenes, to offer a deeper understanding of the decisions made at the close of Ensnared. It’s an extended, detailed version of the epilogue and beyond. Two bonus stories, The Moth in the Mirror and The Boy in the Web, delve into the past.

Together, this collection provides a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


So, super special day today! These beauties came out two days ago (and I apologize for being late on it, but it's only by a few days)! I've been waiting and waiting for these to come out, so I'm so excited that they're here, and that I can share them with you!

May I first present to you the cover of Firewalker, the second book in the Worldwalker trilogy by Josephine Angelini!

1. Do you see the three willstones hanging right under the droplet shape? Willstones. Lily's three Willstones! How cool is that? Here's betting that they play a pretty important role...
2. Purple! As I've mentioned before, it. Is. Purple! Purple fire! You don't see purple fire as often, and something about it, the way it merges with the regular orange-yellow color of fire, makes it seem like it's very deadly. A beautiful danger, one that can easily burn right through anything.
3. The forest! There's a forest (it looks like it might be a snow-capped forest) that is being set aflame. What's going on? What exactly does Lily have to do with it? Does she start the fire? And the fire...it's curling upwards, as if being collected...
4. Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing for swirls? I love swirly things. And this cover has no lack of them! They're everywhere, and I couldn't be happier! There's an elegance as well as a magical feel to it...
5. The "drop of water" effect. It looks like there's a giant drop of water about to go crashing down on the fire below, putting it out...

Now, you're all probably wondering why it looks so drastically different from the cover of the first book, Trial by Fire. Reason is because the book got a new cover. That's right. New cover. Now, I know that new covers can be a reader's worst nightmare (especially if you already have the original cover), but there isn't really any helping to it. On the positive side, the new cover for Trial by Fire is pretty neat, though. So, without further ado, here is the new cover of Trial by Fire:
This is probably the first cover I've seen with an aqua-green color! It's very pretty :)

Here's the two covers for Trial by Fire side by side:
In comparison to the first cover...
1. The colors are much more vivid than the original one. There was a lot of grey in the first cover, but with this facelift, it almost seems a little more exciting. It's definitely more vibrant, with a bigger contrast of colors.
2. The castle's entire form. Unlike in the original, we only got the main face of Lillian's tower/castle. Here, we have the entire thing. And boy, does it look sinister. It's like that dark place you don't quite want to get close to, yet the secrets it holds is too intriguing to turn away from...
3. Apart from the castle...it's all on fire. A little different from the first cover, where it was Lily who's at the centre of the fire. Yet I can't help but notice that for both cover, the castle still stands taller than the fire itself...
4. The circles. They look like...dimension maps? Which is appropriate, given that there are numerous versions of worlds out there. Everything is interconnected one way or another!
5. The droplet form. Actually, unlike Firewalker, I see the droplet not as water, but as a small flame. There's a candle-like aspect to this cover, though I guess you could arguably say the same for Firewalker.

Here's a quick look at how the new covers look together! And may I say that they make quite a fine pair!

Josephine Angelini's new cover of Trial by Fire is to be the paperback version of the book, which comes out September 1st, 2015! Similarly, Firewalker also comes out September 1st, 2015, too! Get ready for a very Worldwalker September!

I've added the blurbs for both Trial by Fire and Firewalker down below :) And to read my review of Trial by Fire, go here.

Official blurb of Trial by Fire, courtesy of Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20613491-trial-by-fire
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Official blurb of Firewalker, courtesy of Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22469323-firewalker
Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.