Monday, February 18, 2013

{Music Monday} City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Ok so the song I have chosen for this is Losing You by Dead By April. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but it is a magnificent song and I felt that it described almost every character and how the felt they are losing each other over their personal demons. Especially concerning Jordan and Jace

Thursday, February 14, 2013

{A Kelly Coffee Review} Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Autor: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles
Genre: Young adult Paranormal
Publisher: Little Brown Books



Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

I know that Kelly M. and Kristin have already been over these roads, but I legitimately just read the book (and hadn't heard of it until I saw the stunning trailer on Breaking Dawn) and thought I'd go ahead and give my take on it in celebration of the movie release.

To begin: 5 stars. Why? Because I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to pick it up and read it in the middle of my workday, as I waited in line for things. I thought about it, thought about the characters and the world and the concepts even when I wasn't reading it. Was I totally 100% blown away? No. The prose didn't make me swoon or sit back in awe. It made me laugh but didn't  move me to tears. There were bits I thought were somewhat overdone or repetitive (dream sequences, anyone?), but I simply couldn't rate anything that engaged me this much as anything less than a 5.

I love Lena--the outsider who wants to belong but isn't willing to compromise who she is in order to fit in. She reaches out to that misfit, teenage part of me that makes her easy to identify with. Her strength, her intelligence, her vulnerability--I just want to follow her story. And I love Ethan--his devotion, the fact he's real, and scared and still refuses to be scared away.

The setting is so strong, so real that it's effortless to fall into. The supporting characters are strong. The concepts of Casters and their world are, I feel, very original takes on a theme that has become very now and "in", to the point of losing the edges that made vampires and witches and magic so appealing. I feel like Beautiful Creatures brought back those edges and the darkness that I loved so much about these paranormal novels.

Is it perfect? A paragon of the witchy, paranormal novel? Maybe not. Is it compelling, and original and just fantastic? Yes. There are places where it's a little campy, a little unbalanced, but the strength of the overall story and characters more than make up for it. Five stars, and I'm dying to dive into the rest of the series.

{Cover Reveal} Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs

As part of the official Vemom Squad, Tera has allowed Better Read Than Dead and other Venom Squadders to share the new cover of:

Sweet Legacy (Sweet Venom #3)

Sweet Legacy releases September 3rd, so be sure you've added it to your Goodreads TBR!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

{A Kelly Coffee Review} The Actor and the Earl

Title: The Actor and the Earl
Author: Rebecca Cohen
Genre: Historical fiction, adult, slash, Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Elizabethan actor Sebastian Hewel takes his bow at the proscenium only to embark on the role of a lifetime. When his twin sister, Bronwyn, reneges on the arrangement to marry Earl Anthony Crofton, Sebastian reluctantly takes her place. At nineteen, Sebastian knows his days as a leading lady are numbered, but with this last performance, he hopes to restore his family’s name and pay off his late father’s debts. Never mind the danger of losing his head should he be discovered.

He didn’t expect Anthony to be so charming and alluring—not to mention shrewd. While he applauds Sebastian’s plan, Anthony offers a mutually beneficial arrangement instead. Sebastian will need every drop of talent he has to survive with both his head and his heart intact, because this is the best part he’s ever had.

This is a gay fiction book and contains homosexual content. Recommended for mature readers.

This was just a good read. When I first read the synopsis, I thought that Sebastian was going to be a traditional cross-dresser and possibly a caricature more than a character. I was completely wrong and very glad to be. Sebastian is a man who loves to act but was the sort of build that usually played women, so while he doesn't take particular issue with having to cross-dress, he doesn't actively enjoy it. It's a relatively minor, but important distinction that grounded him and just made him come alive to me.

The most compelling part of this book was the characters. Although the setting is fun--Shakespearean England--it is the characters who grounded it and allowed you to enjoy the setting. Sebastian was, in my opinion, exquisitely executed, and it is through him that the story is told. The heart of this book are the characters and that falls right into my preferred wheelhouse. They're believable, multifaceted and well-developed. Their interactions are amusing and heart-wrenching appropriately.

There were two minor things that kept this from being a 5-star review. The first was a strange pacing lull in the middle, where I just walked away for a couple of days. The second was that while I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I wasn't blown away. There are some somewhat-lengthy Shakespearean quotes that didn't quite work for me (but I don't always enjoy Shakespeare). But on the whole, it is a very enjoyable book.

{A Kelly M Review} Hidden by P.C. & Kristin Cast

Title: Hidden
Series: House of Night #10
Authors: P.C. & Kristin Cast
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Atom


At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side -- but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all.

With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together -- but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before. The twins are barely speaking and the House of Night's former enemy, Kalona, has now become their warrior, pushing their trust to the limit. To top it off, Zoey is pretty darn sure she might be losing her mind. She saw something when she looked at Aurox through the Seer Stone that she can hardly explain to herself, let alone her friends. Is it possible that Heath has come back in a different form? Is that why Zoey's so intrigued by Aurox, when it's so obvious that he's dangerous? And who would believe her if she told them? Zoey knows that following her instinct about Aurox might be just what they need to defeat evil . . . but if she's wrong, it could cause the destruction of those closest to her.

With the tension at a breaking point and friendships on the line, can the nerd herd come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it's too late?

Okay so this is the tenth book already. I seriously want to finish this series but it’s getting too much now. End the damn thing! But when I got a copy of it from Penguin Books SA I decided to read it just to get it out of the way. The series is getting too long. It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t bothered to buy the last two books of Morganville Vampires. I got sick of it. Luckily, Hidden actually didn’t fail to hold my attention. A lot of things happened that left me going: “Excuse me? What the hell just happened?!”  So I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. I don’t regret that I read it at all and I just want the next book, but it really should be the last book.

The story literally begins where it was left off. Neferet has finally been outed and has been shunned by the high council. It follows to show how Zoey and her gang with the kelp of Thanatos has to deal with the chaos Neferet is trying to create. I know, what’s new right? Well Zoey’s grandma gets kidnapped by Neferet and basically the entire book is how she needs to be saved. It’s quite interesting on how they do it.

You also find out that they have a traitor in their midst and honestly that was the WTF moment for me. It was like WOW. It happened so sudden and really without any explanation, so I’m hoping for one in the next book.

Aphrodite is by far my favourite character of them all. She made me laugh so much and I like that I haven’t gotten tired of her. She still comes up with new things that made me giggle. I think if there was no Aphrodite, I would have suffered tremendously throughout the book. She also finally learns how to use her gift of prophecy correctly.

Zoey finally grew up. After ten books it has finally happened people, and I literally heard an angle choir singing hallelujah. I don’t like calling female characters annoying because everyone does that and I really hate it because they never give a reason. It’s so easy to say ‘oh she is so annoying.’ I however do not find Zoey annoying, what grates my nerves is how she substitutes swear words for other words. She would use bullpoopie instead of bullshit. I mean honestly? You just don’t have to swear then, there are so many other words you can use instead of a substitute. After a while I wanted to rip out every page with that word in, but she does grow up and she finally takes a stand and acts like a high priestess of Nyx should, so I am very proud of her.

It felt to me like everyone basically grew up in this book. I saw more of mature thinking and decision making than bumbling idiotic teenage drama and silly decisions. I’m really proud of the people the characters turned out to be or who they are starting to become.

All in all this wasn’t a total train wreck. Those of you, who want to give up on the series, don’t. It might be long but I think the end result will be worth it. I really enjoyed this book.

Monday, February 11, 2013

{Book Review} Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium

Series: Delirium #2
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Library

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"So what was your name before?" I say, and she freezes, her back to me. "Before you came to the Wilds, I mean."

For a moment she stands there.

Then she turns around.

"You might as well get used to it now," she says with quite intensity.

"Everything you were, the life you had, the people you knew... dust."

She shakes her head and says, a little more firmly, "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."

After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the "cure" - an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love - but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.

I loved Delirium but, in my humble opinion, Pandemonium was so much better. Lauren finally gets to the meat of the book and shows how living in the wild isn't at all about freedom, it's about survival. Sure, no one's performing procedures to make sure you can never feel  love, but with love comes hate and deceit. More deceit than Lena could ever imagine. But there's also forgiveness and friendships.

When I first started reading Pandemonium, I was unsure about the "then" and "now" format of the book, many times I cannot wrap my head around this type of writing, but Lauren pulled it off and somehow made it dovetail perfectly in the end. Though, I will warn, the end is a bit of a WTH? moment. 

I really loved Raven, but I would have liked to see Lena take a bigger leadership role in Pandemonium. This line really bothered me - "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next." And this was Raven's absolute belief. You must forget EVERYTHING about before and just move forward. Well, it is the past that makes us who we are, so you must never forget but you must live in the present. I think this was one of Lena's strengths. I think, if she'd been allowed, she could have taught Raven and the rest of the group about empathy and true love. Raven was just a bit too hard and bitter for me. I understand that she constantly experiences death and loss, but she's basically turned off her feelings which is exactly what the government does with the "procedure."

Ms. Oliver amped up the action in this installment to a thriller level. I think I chewed most of my fingernails off while reading. Who was friend? Who was enemy? Was it possible to trust ANYONE? Poor Lena! But the girl rocked and completed her mission. That being said, she's a better person than me, because I just don't forgive deceit that easily.

My main complaint about Delirium was the super long paragraphs and extra fluff that I could have lived without. The writing in Pandemonium is much better in my opinion. You still fall into the world Lena's living in and feel her emotions, but the story is created much better. Now, keep in mind, this is my opinion and my opinion alone. My complaint about Pandemonium is, while there were definitely some twists and turns I never saw coming, I absolutely saw the cliffhanger ending playing out exactly as it did. But oh well...leads into an interesting storyline for Requium, which I will be posting a review of closer to release. But...I absolutely loved REQUIUM!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

{Cover/Title Reveal} Crest of the Blood Moon by Robin P Waldrop

Welcome to the title and cover reveal of...
dun, dun, dunnnnn
(Swing by Robin's blog to enter to win a copy of all 3 ebooks)

This is my favorite cover of the series and with good reason!
Check it out!

Title: Crest of the Blood Moon
Series: Blood Moon Series #3

Also...take a look at the trailer!

All graphics and video work by Book Cover by Design.
Graphic Designer: Kellie Dennis
Contact Info:

Samples of Kellie's Designs

Sunday, February 3, 2013

{A Kelly M Review}: Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Title: Enshadowed
Series: Nevermore #2
Author: Kelly Creagh
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Antheneum


Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dream world -- a treacherous and desolate realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel Lanley, plagued by strange visions and haunted by the nightmares of Varen's creation, is the only one who can save him.
Isobel knows that her only hope lies within a Baltimore cemetery. There, in the early morning hours of Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, a mysterious stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" will make his annual homage at the legendary poet's grave.
Only the Poe Toaster holds the key to the way between worlds. But even greater dangers lie ahead for Isobel. An ancient evil, draped in veils of white, is watching, challenging her for Varen's affections. When Isobel finally finds Varen, he is no longer the quiet and brooding boy who once captivated her, but a dark force, powerful and malevolent.

I could not wait to read Enshadowed since the cliffhanger of Nevermore was brutal. This one wasn’t much better. I think Kelly Creagh is trying to get my body to explode with frustration. This Edgar Allen Poe inspired story is honestly one of my favourite series of books ever. It is also the darkest world I have ever been plunged into. It is so beautifully written and the gothic imagery that she creates just blows my mind. I love anything Edgar Allen Poe.

All things considered though it took me forever to get through this book. The conclusion I came to was because of Varen. He is basically awol in most of the book and that seriously sucked so hard. BUT at least I had Pinfeathers. Call me a freak but I am strangely attracted to Pinfeathers. I love him!

My favourite character in this series is Gwen. She makes me laughed out loud, literally. The stuff she comes up with gives me stomach aches, that’s how funny she is. Also she is very loyal and even though she would love to know what exactly is going on she keeps her mouth shut when Isobel asks her not to ask questions.

Isobel is a tad depressing in this book, but I do understand why. She goes the above and beyond for Varen and that is admirable. But I know a lot of people won’t agree with me and go, “she is annoying and makes stupid decisions,” I want you guys to remember something, she is 16 and still young and she is doing the best she can. Put yourself in her position, who would believe you?

In this part of the story you learn a lot more about Reynolds and what and who he is, his history, everything and I really found this so interesting. This was basically a filler book. But it doesn’t have the dreaded sequel curse. Well not in my opinion.

I would highly recommend this series. If you want something different then this is the story for you. it’s nothing I have ever experienced.

Favourite quote:
“I'll keep it," she said. "Then, when you get back, after you and the dark one are done making out and planning a future filled with blond-haired, green-eyed, pigment-challeneged rug rats, I'll bring it over and you can add it to your scrapbook, right before you start cooking me dinner. I like vegetarian lasagna with cottage cheese instead of ricotta."
"And don't forget the mushrooms. Garlic bread, too, please. That is, as long as your vampire lover doesn't object."
"I want to say thank you," Isobel said. "For... everything."

"No," Gwen said. "Thank YOU for the delicious dinner. I can almost taste the baklava you and Darth Vader will be making for dessert. Something tells me you're gonna have to look that one up, though.”


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