Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Ahsoka

Ahsoka Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ahsoka Tano, my favourite Togrutan Padawan survived so much and lived for so long, long enough to make her mark on Rebel history!

Ahsoka was long overdue and much wanted in the Star Wars canon series of books. I couldn't have loved it more if I tried, though I may be biased with my great love of her from Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. There was so much more to her story and so much more that needed to be told and E.K. Johnston did a wonderful job doing that!

"There's two kinds of family," Miara said after a moment. "There's the kind like me and Kaeden, where you get born in the right place to the right people and you're stuck with one another. If you're lucky, it turns out okay. The other kind of family is the kind you find."

I'm glad that Ahsoka found her family, finally, in the rebellion. I'm glad that she found Bail Organa and that she took her place in the fight! This book was action packed, giving a glimpse in to what Ahsoka's life was like post Clone Wars and pre Rebels. She learned what path she wanted to be on, something in the middle of the road not quite a Jedi and not quite a Rebel. She became legend!

She allowed herself a small smile at the idea that Imperial monotony was working to her advantage.

She was still the same Ahsoka, the same girl we'd come to know though time and war had changed her. She was alone, adrift, and yet she was still herself, or at least the way I had always imagined her. I think I was afraid that this telling of her life would be something that didn't feel right, or that didn't fit with the expectations I had based on how well I knew and loved the character. I was wrong - it was more than I could have ever dreamed!

The stories that called back to the Clone Wars, the search for her new crystals for her white lightsabers, it was something that was perfectly Ahsoka and fit perfectly with her. The crystals singing to her after a prophetic dream with Master Yoda one evening when she was searching for the right ways to save Kaeden, save her friends on Raada. The right way to protect others and help others who needed it.

(view spoiler)

I am so happy and so grateful that I was able to witness the birth of a rebellion legend through this wonderful story!

Five enthusiastic stars and wishes and dreams for more wonderful titles that show us what else Ahsoka Tano did!

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Review: All Is Bright

All Is Bright All Is Bright by Sarah Pekkanen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Does she get a happy ending???? I wish there was something more to Elise's story? Is there something more to Elise's story? Sarah Pekkanen please tell me you wrote a happy ending for her too!!!

I think I need her to have a happy ending more than I wanted Ilsa to have her happy ending with Grif. I think I need it because she reminds me so much of me, and I haven't found my own yet!

Heart wrenching and EXCELLENT. I want more!

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Review: Love, Accidentally

Love, Accidentally Love, Accidentally by Sarah Pekkanen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was ADORABLE!

I think there could have been so much more to this story, but the little snippet was perfect. Now I have to read All Is Bright because I want to know more about Elise!

Bookshout has been my home for quick little reads and it's actually had me discovering authors that I didn't know anything about! I would very much like to read more by Sarah Pekkanen now because I really like her use of description and her ability to create characters that hold on to your soul!


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Review: Darkness Reigns

Darkness Reigns Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book thinking that I would humour it - I got it for free, Jill Williamson offering a free copy, like many indy authors do. A review wasn't expected, but I'm going to give one because I now want to read this whole series! I really enjoyed this story that can only get deeper as the story goes on.

Living in a Polytheist society can be tough, especially when that society also celebrates distinct class lines and actions that keep the poor poorer. The kings of the land are making sacrifices to the Gods, well one God in particular, Barthos, and that is not what everyone believes is right, especially not Wilek the young prince who can remember watching is father the king sacrifice his own son to said God and still with little result. Even though Wilek has convinced his father that the sacrifices should not be children and innocents, but those who are criminals and convicted of crimes, he still feels great guilt and suffering at the thought of these men that his father is sending to their death in The Gray.

Wilek bucks tradition on many levels. He has fallen in love with his concubine, Lebetta, but that love is not to be no matter how many times she tries to make it more that just the relationship they have. Wilek is promised to Lady Zeroah, and no marriage can be made between a concubine and a prince. He wants to be heir, he wants to be the one of the sons his father chooses to lead the realm, but he doesn't want to rock the boat so much that that will be hindered. He wants to change laws, change the way things are, but he doesn't feel powerful enough to do anything at the moment. I want to see him find that power.

By contrast, Mielle becomes the honour maiden to Lady Zeroah. She feels powerless to right the wrongs that she sees in the world. When she finally finds someone she believes to be good, a man that she could love with all her heart, she's faced with the gut wrenching knowledge that she can never have him due to the way the society is created. Trevn doesn't even realize until she tells him, screams it at him, but he feels the same about her and I can't wait to see what he will do to be able to make it possible for them to be together. He is said to change laws and this is the one that I will have my eyes on.

Lady Zeroah wants to be the only one for her future husband, to be certain that she is the only one that he loves and she does want him to love her. She wants him to turn from the polygamous ways of the old kings, to decline the harems and to only choose her as his queen. I want her to be able to do this - because she wants to make the kingdom a better place.

Then there is the cult of empowered magical women... Oh yeah, I know I should find it distressing that a group of powerful women are the "bad guys" here, but I don't think it's them I think it's one of them. Specifically Mreegan. I think Charlon would be the better leader, leading with compassion, but Magon needs Mreegan for something, to make something happen.

I have this feeling that we're looking at something intricate that is about to happen. I can't wait to read more now!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: The Bronze Key

The Bronze Key The Bronze Key by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I did NOT see that one coming at all!!!!! I did, however, foresee who the Magisterium spy was although only when they did the thing (omitted due to spoilers) to hear what their witness had to say about the chandelier crash at the party.

EXCELLENT BOOK - leaving me waiting impatiently to see how this plays out in the end. I could expect nothing less from something from Holly Black & the delightful Cassandra Clare!

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Theft of Swords

Theft of Swords Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why did it take me so long to get into this one? I bought the Audiobook from Audible during a huge 2 books one credit sale last year based on the reviews of numerous Goodreads members being so promising... AND THEY WERE NOT WRONG!!!!

I love these books - I'm so sorry I didn't write my review back in July when I finished, I just couldn't form the words to express how wonderful this series is! There isn't just one thing that I can put my finger on that says this, THIS is why Theft of Swords is so phenomenal. I grew up knowing that Fantasy was for me - it was the genre that I adored and I devoured The Lord of the Rings trilogy, fell in love with Dark Towers Boxed Set, and who hasn't delved in to A Game of Thrones? Riyria Revelations ranks right up there with them for me!

So, the beginning of the endless list of things I love about Riyria Revelations:

1) The Characters

Hadrian and Royce are PERFECTION! They're sarcastic, self deprecating, playfully antagonistic, but beyond that they are family. I could read stories about them daily for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy! A cynical thief and scrappy do-gooder at heart being the best mercenary team on the market? YES PLEASE! They fight together, and separately. They fight with each other and against enemies, but they are always there for each other as best friends should be.

Of course, they aren't alone in all of this and Michael J. Sullivan has constructed complex characters that are rich with history and that leave themselves in your imagination wanting to know more about what happens to them and where they come from. The characters are wonderful, and I have to tell you I have adored Myron since the moment he appeared in the story and Gwen... Well, let me sum that up for you in a review of later books how much I love Gwen. The characters really drive the story and I love that.

2) Oh What a WORLD!

One of the biggest pitfalls in Fantasy is not having your world fleshed out. You see those name mentioned above of books that I loved? They were stories that had whole worlds, languages, governments, systems of magic, etc, that remain rich and fertile that we have barely scratched the surface of understanding for. I think even their authors may sometimes feel that they have barely scratched the surface of the stories they could tell within their secondary worlds. This is how Theft of Swords felt to me. Races, religious factions, civil uprisings, there was so much here that I feel like there were stories that we haven't heard, stories that Royce and Hadrian hinted at during their banter between each other and with Alric and it's something that doesn't end.

I've never imagined what sort of kidnapping but not quite kidnapping a king would be like, especially if said king was rather noble and very inflated sense of his new title. It was the road trip story set in a magical (and less modern) world that really did it for me. There wasn't just one conspiracy occurring in the story, there were many and all of them supported by little magical elements, religious elements, or racial elements (dwarves and their powers over stone, elves and their near immortality, etc) that wouldn't have been possible if the world of Elan wasn't so solidly constructed.

3) The Intrigue...

You know how to reel a reader in with your words and deliver a hook right at the end just when we think everything is ending it cliffhangers into the next adventure! That's something that a hallmark of great story telling - to be able to hook your reader and be able to frame the next adventure of a series up enough to grip them and make them DEMAND to hear the what happens next. (Or it makes them scream "HOW DARE YOU?!" in all caps on twitter at you for making them wait for the next edition to be published!)

Slowly but surely, I'm going review all of these books... But just this one for now.

Thank you for an incredible series, and one that I will read over and over I am sure! And thank you to Tim Gerard Reynolds for the incredible acting throughout the series. I can't wait to continue adding on to my list!

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: Between Hope & the Highway

Between Hope & the Highway Between Hope & the Highway by Charissa Stastny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I'm giving this 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 for here. Yes, there was a slow burn to this, but honestly Rawson was obnoxious throughout. Even when they'd made their peace and finally given in to their feelings, it just made me feel like Liz was settling for something she didn't deserve.

If you saw my status updates, there was a lot of back and forth between the two on the will they won't they scale. At one point I could have sworn they gave me whiplash from how fast they jumped back and forth in their opinions of each other! This story could have ended about (well the ebook said there was 837 pages so...) 400 pages earlier with the same outcome. It was just too much cat and mouse for my liking.

The writing is good, with a good message about God and love, but felt like there was just too much of it. If you enjoy Christian romance with a slow burn, and can handle a long cat and mouse game this one is for you. Apparently, it just wasn't one for me. Swearing throughout and one steamier scene at the end, so it doesn't hit the clean rating.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Review: Finding Cinderella

Finding Cinderella Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't think there are enough words to explain how much I loved this book. Cinderella, or Six, fell on top of Daniel in a storage closet on his spare fifth period and it turned into love. A baby came from that moment in the end, but love was the ultimate outcome. I think I could read a million books like this if there was that much love. I've discovered an author I want to see more of just simply from the honest and real way her characters are written.


I haven't read any of Colleen Hoover's work before, but Finding Cinderella has made me a believer and I want to read more!

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Review: Death Thieves

Death Thieves Death Thieves by Julie Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

"Well your army isn't all that effective or I'd already be there. Now that I'm rested and fed, I think I could take you." I smiled and flexed my arm for him.

"You and what army?" His lip twitched at the corner. I wondered how long it would take for me to make him laugh.

"I am my own army," I mimicked back at him. His lips quirked again, but no laugh. I'd grown to like his almost-smiles.

I really loved this one! Julie Wright did a wonderful job of mixing a romance into a dystopian universe with time travel, crazy Professor's wanting to rule the world and two teens who were doing their best to be themselves. Summer and Tag have a wonderful story, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks and a girl who was going to be part of the salvation of the Earth. It was sweet and I loved the adversity and obstacles that they came across after he saved her from her own death in 2010 and dragged her kicking and screaming into the 2100's.

Being stuck together, they learned so much about one another. They learned to count on each other and to learn to depend on one another like they hadn't with anyone before. I was sure from the beginning that Professor Raik was a problem and was vindicated in watching them come together, fall in love and defeat him.

Bonus points for the beautiful scene on the "worst day" of Summer's life that left me with so much hope.

A beautiful story about the power of love, the power of family and the beauty of trust in kindred spirits. 4 of 5 stars not for the beautiful writing but for the missed errors from editors. I found a few places where there were grammatical errors and typos were missed causing the wrong word but properly spelled to be included. I can't wait to read more by Julie Wright!

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