Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Shift by Rachel Vincent (Shifters #5)

Title: Shift
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:3/5

Why I picked it: Book #5 in the Shifters series, which I am really enjoying.

Synopsis (from back of book): Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.

As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option….

Review: Where do I begin? This is a really tough review for me to write because my feelings on this book were so mixed that I'm having a hard time sorting them out. Please bear in mind that this review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.

The start of this fifth installment of the Shifters series introduces the reader to a new breed of shifter - thunderbirds. Hands down, my favorite part of this book was being immersed into the world of the birds, and I am truly in awe of how...realized their race was, down to legal systems and homes. The thunderbirds are honor-bound creatures that kidnap Kaci at the start of the book. As we continue on, it seems that Calvin Malone is back to his old bastardly tricks yet again. Although Malone does not feature prominently in this installment, you definitely get even more of a taste of just how vicious he really is. This is a reason why I really do not get how Blackwell is only now starting to realize how much of a douche Malone is, and perhaps do something about it.

Thunderbirds aside, my other favorite part of this book was Kaci. You really start to see her growth as she depends on and trusts Faythe in situations where any 12-13 year old would be scared - let alone one who has the history of trauma that Kaci does. It was really nice to see Faythe in a role with a more motherly and nurturing feel - as opposed to being her usual selfish self.

But speaking of Faythe...yeah I still can't deal. The fact that she goes through this book downright lying (via omission) to Marc about her and Jace makes my eye twitch. She is still playing with emotions and being totally selfish with her relationships. Marc comes off as both emotionally unstable as well as insanely jealous and possessive. How are we to think that Faythe is making the right choice in not telling him what happened with Jace, when every sign points to him needing to know such information ASAP? Please, if I was Faythe I would NEED to let him know because I would be downright terrified of what would happen if he found out from another source.

One last bright spot in this book for me was Jace. Vincent really develops him from a fun-loving, jokey guy to a determined and tough man. The Jace of Book 1 is a far cry from the man he has become further on in the series, and I really think it's because he has nothing left to lose. One minor point: Jace's mother. Really? How pathetic and weak can one be?? She kind of horrifies me as a character based on what she's willing to put up with without protest. She's a tabby! By our understanding of werecat society, we are to think she'd have much more options!!

Overall, I am glad I read this book and I do feel that the series is really well developed and thought-out, but I cannot help but be disappointed in the choices the main characters seem to make, as well as how - for the most part - they do not grow. I am going to finish off the series with my next book, "Alpha" - and I have been told that the last book makes the whole series worth it so I'm excited to start.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BloodBound #1 Is Out!

So as you know (if you even remotely looked at my blog), I read a TON of Rachel Vincent. Well, her new book, "Blood Bound" promises to be just as awesome as her others and I can't wait to get my paws on a copy.

Here is the synopsis:
By blood, by word, by magic…

Most can’t touch the power. But Liv Warren is special— a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.

Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.

But when her friend’s daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can’t rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.

Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.

And more blood will be spilled before it’s over…







How awesome is this trailer? I am loving the music!!

Anyway, to get your OWN copy, please check out: Blood Bound on Amazon OR on Booksamillion.

In My Mailbox #1

Today in the mail, I received a copy of Karen Essex's "Dracula in Love," which I won thanks to Misty over at The Book Rat. I'm really excited to read it, but do have to wonder if I should read the original "Dracula" first in order to gain a full appreciation of this re-telling. As soon as I do, I'm sure you'll see my review here!

"Sweetly" and Twitter

So, I'm not sure if you're aware but today, Jackson Pearce's YA novel "Sweetly" comes out. If you follow Jackson on twitter, then you know that yesterday she held a giant twitter extravaganza to get #sweetly trending.  It's not 100% for sure yet whether or not we were successful but, let me tell you, the ever-generous Ms. Pearce gave away like a butt-ton of prizes. It was fun and today, I actually purchased "Sweetly" for myself.

For a limited time, Jackson Pearce is sending out signed book-plates for "Sweetly" if you email her with a copy of the receipt of purchase! For more information, check out her Twitter feed: @jacksonpearce or go go go and buy your own copy of "Sweetly!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (August 23th)

The rules:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

"Three feet from the ground, the bird had feet. Bare, pale human feet, where there has been sharp, hooked talons a moment before.  Then his head was human, but for the wicked, curved beak jutting in place of both his mouth and nose."


- p.26  Shift by Rachel Vincent (Mass-market paperback)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: Prey by Rachel Vincent (Shifters #4)

Title: Prey
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:3/5

Why I picked it: Book #4 in the Shifters series, which I am really, really starting to enjoy.
Synposis (from back of book):  SOMETIMES PLAYING CAT AND MOUSE IS NO GAME...

Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father's authority is in question, and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing, and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

Review: I know I am not going to voice the popular opinion and give this book a lot of high praise. Frankly, "Prey" disappointed me and I found it to be my 2nd least favorite in the series. Parts of it dragged, and I feel that the author actually made Faythe take a step backwards in terms of character development.

First of all, I have to mentioned that I loved LOVED the last book so I picked this one up with a voracious appetite to keep the story going. From the get-go, the book took a lot longer to capture my full attention, even during the "high action" scenes that have held me completely spellbound in previous books. Maybe it's because the main conflict in this book is more of a political nature, or maybe it's because side-characters, who I really didn't care about, play a large role in this installment. Most of all though...there was the problem of Faythe.

It took me a while to get on the Faythe bandwagon and it was only during the previous book that I really started to enjoy her as a character. This book kind of negates a lot of that. She's back to acting on impulse and never stopping to look at the consequences of her actions. The Faythe-Marc-Jace triangle reaches a new tipping point and it really makes me wonder what these guys see in her. I don't respect Faythe for playing with emotions. I also don't respect Faythe for being reckless with people's hearts. She needs to make up her goddamned mind once and for all and stick to her decision. This triangle is almost as frustrating for me as the triangle of Sookie-Bill-Eric in Charlaine Harris' "Sookie Stackhouse" series. Ugh.

The book was not an utter failure, though, and Vincent definitely does not disappoint in one major aspect - leaving you wanting more. Each book leaves you with so many cliffhangers or unresolved issues that you can't help but crave the next installment of the series to answer those burning questions. Unfortunately, in "Prey," I found myself guessing those "surprises" much more easily than the prior books.

Overall, this book was enjoyable enough but I'm glad I'm finished with it so that I can move onto the next one in the series.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger HopHosted by Jen at Crazy-For-Books.

This week's question: “What’s the LONGEST book you’ve ever read?”
(Note: I’m putting one caveat on this question. You aren’t allowed to say the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, or other religious/spiritual text.)


Hmm...for me, it would have to be either "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy OR "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. I'm not sure which one is longer but they're both pretty hefty...and both were really great! "Anna Karenina" was reeeeally hard for me to get into until like page 200, but it was worth the effort.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (August 16th)

The rules:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

"We were both half-drunk, and probably looked pretty damn pathetic. The alcohol would wear off quickly, thanks to our enhanced metabolism, but I had a feeling the pathetic part would last while."


- p.39  Prey by Rachel Vincent (Mass-market paperback)


Monday, August 15, 2011

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver



Upon reading Misty's blog (The Book Rat), I stumbled upon her describing this gorgeous hard-cover book called "Liesl & Po," by Lauren Oliver. I haven't read anything by her before but have heard lots of positive things in the blogosphere about her previous works, "Delirium."

The book looks absolutely visually stunning and if you go to Lauren's blog, you can win your own ADVANCE copy! I'm, of course, entering because well...WANT!!

Clicky here to enter. One will be given away per month until November...so you have time to win!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Loot

As I'm sure everyone knows, Borders is closing and there just so happens to be one not too far from me. Well, of course I went and spent a ton of money on books that have been on my "to read" list. Check out the spoils:



I'm super excited to start reading them all. Unfortunately, my To Be Read pile is now up to like 75 books. I really need to start reading them faster than I buy them.

Review: Pride by Rachel Vincent (Shifters #3)

Title: Pride
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Why I picked it: Book #3 in the Shifters series, which I am really, really starting to enjoy.

Synposis (from back of book): Here's hoping cats do have nine lives.  I’m on trial for my life. Accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend—and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride—along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.

I’m two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him. With my lover Marc's help, I think I can protect the vulnerable tabby from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.  If I survive my own trial….

Review:  Wow! What a page turner! This book begins right where the last one left off and from the moment I started reading it, I was sucked in. Faythe Sanders is on trial for the infection and murder of her human boyfriend.  While she is still frustrating, and way too outspoken, the events of this book really help me identify more with her and, dare I say, even LIKE her. While she is waiting for the Council to reach their verdict, new events occur that really test Faythe's maturity, as well as the bonds of her Pride. What I really enjoyed in this book is the greater focus on Pride relationships as a whole. Rachel Vincent has really left out no detail in creating this world of werecats that have their own distinctive ways of governing and law.

Some of the events of this 3rd part of the series can be hard to read. I would even classify certain scenes to be horrifying. After reading this addition, I have no clue how I found this book in the "Romance" section of my bookstore. The sex is basically nonexistent and the best part of all is that...I don't care.

This book also introduces new characters that are really compelling. I loved Elias Keller, the bruin (werebear) that fits perfectly into the "gentle giant" stereotype.  Other new additions include members of the Territorial Council, as well as a new character with unexpected origins, whose story is heart-wrenching. I can't wait to read more about them in the continuation of the series.

Overall, the book was a great read. It really built on the foundations established in the previous novels and made me very happy that I stuck with the series. As I suspected, Faythe is really starting to grow and become a bad-ass bitch, instead of a whiny, spoiled one. Onto the next book in the series!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (August 9th)

The rules:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

"On those not-so-rare occasions when I needed to avoid telling the truth, I simply evaded the question, but Colin was pinning his lie to his chest like a fucking medal of honor. And he seemed completely unaware that such a badge was not of courage, but of cowardice and shame."


-p 69     Pride by Rachel Vincent (Mass-market paperback)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: Rogue by Rachel Vincent (Shifters #2)

Title: Rogue
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Why I picked it: The book is second in a series about Faythe Sanders, a feisty werecat. I read the first (which I didn't really care for, but more on that later) and had to continue on in the series

Synopsis: Okay, so cats don't always land on their feet.  I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I've made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I'm working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on and off duty.

But not all my mistakes are behind me. We're beginning to suspect that the dead are connected with a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

Review:  I really didn't think I was going to enjoy the 2nd book in the 6-part Shifters series but I was totally wrong. I went into this book disliking the main character, Faythe. In Vincent's first novel, "Stray," she was spoiled, bratty, annoying, and completely NOT someone I could relate to. I was encouraged to keep reading the series because Faythe grows a lot throughout and I'm glad I did. "Rogue" was a VAST improvement over "Stray" in many ways. Although Faythe is still kind of annoying, its nice to see her look over her thoughts and actions in the first book and see how dumb she was.  One characteristic that remains with her throughout, though, is her downright selfishness. Her relationship with Marc is still in a vague kind of state where one pulls and the other pushes away. In this novel, you learn more about the history of their relationship as Marc tries to get another commitment out of Faythe.

For me, the storyline between Marc and Faythe took a backseat to the genuine action and suspense that surrounded the rest of the book. We learn early on that someone is going around murdering tomcats and that these murders are connected to a string of missing human women. As the Pride uncovers more and more facts about the crimes, we learn that maybe the first book left a lot more unresolved than was originally anticipated.

This book really showcased Rachel Vincent's gift for telling a story in a way that captures the reader. I really enjoyed how she built on the relationships and story lines established in the series debut. Things that seemed insignificant before turned out to have real meaning later on. I just love that in a book. What can I say? I'm a sucker for awesome continuity.

Though I came into "Rogue" highly skeptical, I now cannot WAIT to start reading the 3rd book in the series, "Pride." If Faythe Sanders keeps growing at the rate she is, I have no doubt that I'll go from hating to...well...LOVING her character!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Book Blog, Really??

Yes, really!

I just love books. I adore them, I live in them, and I tend to hoard them (book buying obsession anyone?). Recently I have been really trying to commit myself to reading more and documenting my thoughts and ideas about books. This tends to lead me to write reviews or to bitch and moan to my friends about characters I loathe or lines from books that make me melt. Writing reviews leads me to reading reviews and thus, I get caught up in a whole world of book blogs that give me ideas of books I'd like to read in a never-ending wish list of titles.

Since I now read book blogs pretty regularly, I finally decided to add my own into the mix - not so much for the attention as for a concise place where I can document every moment of my book obsession.

What do I read? Everything! I go through periods where I'm really into one genre or another but I really don't discriminate (which is part of the problem). Currently, I'm really into paranomal romance but I really read just about anything. If there was a way for me to read everything in the world, I absolutely would. Another fun fact is that I rarely do not finish a book that I start. Even if I hate it, I suffer through it just to get to the end.

So please, keep me company as I explore the wonderful world of books and share my thoughts and ideas!