Monday, August 18, 2014

new blog

If you guys still read these, then I love you.

Anyway, I started a new blog. I will be starting fresh there with new reviews as well as other content. I'm so very excited to start this new blog, and I hope you share in my excitement

I love you! <3 br="">

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Can't Do This Anymore

Hey, guys!

I know that I already made a post about the hiatus that this blog has been put on, but I'm here right now to tell you that I'm done. There's a small possibility that I'll come back in the summer, but for right now, I'm done. Blogging isn't fun for me anymore. Writing posts and reading review request books just isn't fun. I haven't been reading as much lately, and that's due to me gaining a social life (aka, actually talking to my friends rather than being antisocial) and end-of-the-year homework.

The same is for Lindsay. Recently, she has gone back to school, and she's been busy. We hate to disappoint you, but this is for the best. Both of us feel stressed, if not annoyed, writing this blog.

I apologize for all those review copies I've received that won't be reviewed. Eventually, I will read and review all of them on this blog, so, yes, reviews might come up every now and then, but only review copy reviews.

Really. I sincerely apologize for letting all of you--publishers, authors, readers--down, but I can't do this anymore. The lingering thought keeping a blog running weighs me down, and it's difficult.

I love you all,

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tori's Review: Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Book One in the Avalon Series
Published on January 21, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Young Adult | Science Fiction | Dystopian
432 Pages
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.
Jeth Seagrave lives in a world where a police force called the ITA monitors the planets and people can travel at the speed of light in their spaceships using metadrives. In this futuristic world, Jeth works for a powerful man named Hammer Dafoe, who's basically the equivalent to a drug overlord in today, stealing spaceships and metadrives from the ITA.

On one of Jeth's missions, he runs into an ITA agent who's willing to work with Jeth to betray Hammer in exchange for information on Jeth's parents who were murdered by the ITA for treason. This supposed alliance starts Avalon off with a bang, which is something I appreciate.

There are few aspects of Avalon that are memorable--the beginning, Cora, and the ending. The way I see it, Avalon is extremely forgettable. There are strong parts in the novel--again, the beginning, Cora, the ending (in some ways)--but I feel as though the weak parts outweigh the strong. 

Right off the bat, Jeth is thrown into action and being forced to make difficult decisions. The setback in starting a novel right off the bat is that none of the characters' decisions make sense to the reader, because they haven't connected with any of the characters yet. This was Avalon's biggest flaw to me: I didn't relate to any of the characters whatsoever. I could've cared less whether or not Jeth and his crew died, which is sad. 

A really strong part of this book, as I mentioned above, is Cora, a little girl who escaped the ITA's clutches with the help of Sierra, a daring AWOL ITA officer, and the assistance of another AWOL ITA officer. Without spoiling the novel, I'll say that Cora's background made Avalon what it is right now. 

The world-building is lacking immensely. As a reader, I never learned how this futuristic world came to be. These characters are in this universe with spaceships that can travel at the speed of light and practically jump themselves anywhere in space, and yet I'm never told how this was achievable. 

In conclusion, I think hardcore science fiction lovers should stay away from this novel, but newbies or casual readers could pick this up and enjoy the adventure. Although the world was interesting and the plot was definitely adventurous, I don't think this book has what it takes to stick in my mind, considering I've already forgotten half the characters' names. 

(Shame on me. I read a lot.)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tori's Review: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Book Four in The Iron Fey Series
Published on October 26, 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Fantasy | Young Adult | Romance
399 Pages
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
My name - my True Name - is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase - a half human, half fey slip of a girl - smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end - a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
NOTE: This is the fourth book in a series. There will be spoilers for the first three books.

I wish The Iron Queen was the last book in the series. Although The Iron Knight wasn't bad and I did happen to enjoy parts of it, that's all that I enjoyed--parts of it. I didn't enjoy the entire book, which I wanted to so badly.

The Iron Knight is in Ash's point of view, and it starts off right where The Iron Queen left off. Ash is searching for a soul so he can go into the Iron Realm to be with Meghan. If you've read my review for The Iron Queen, then you'd know that I'm on Ash's side now. Before you freak out, yes, I was on Ash's side for this book. I don't know how to explain it other than this book was boring. 

The majority of this book is a gigantic filler. It would've made a better novella, in my opinion, not mentioning the weird point of view switch at the end of the series. The only reason I didn't completely write this book off as one that was alright is Puck and Ash's friendship. I ship them. They are awesome together. 

Oh, yes. And Grim and the Wolf. Those two jokers. 

In all honesty, I feel like this book was irrelevant. I get that Ash and Meghan needed a happy ending, but I was totally okay with the ending of The Iron Queen. Ash and Meghan knew that they couldn't see each other because of the lack of Ash's soul. There was closure, and as a reader, I knew very well that those two just couldn't catch a break. I was okay with that. 

I don't have much to say about this book, and for that I'm sorry, but The Iron Knight just didn't do it for me. It wasn't terrible, because I did enjoy the dialog and how it turned out in the end, but pace-wise and relevance-wise, I don't think The Iron Knight was a needed addition. 

If you're not completely dead set on this series and immersing yourself into Faery, I'd suggest skipping this. 

(NOTE: I haven't read the spin-off series, therefore I'm not sure if reading The Iron Knight is imperative if you would like to read The Call of the Forgotten. I'm assuming you do.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Lindsay's Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Book One in the Gemma Doyle Series
Published on December 9th, 2003 by Simon and Schuster
Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
403 Pages
A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique.

Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a sucker for cute, cheesy romance books without a whole lot of substance. I thought it would be hard to read this book because romance was not the main plot, but I was pleasantly surprised.

A long time ago I remember reading one of the books in the series that my older sister let me borrow. I'm not quite sure which one it was, but even though I don't remember much, I'm left with fond memories of the beautiful place where the girls go. Something about it kept drawing me to this book so I finally picked it up.

Gemma is a wonderful main character. In the times where she's meant to be a proper lady who never speaks her mind, she struggles with keeping her opinions to herself and acting the way she's supposed to. On top of that she's very cunning, making the exchanges with the other girls very interesting and exciting to read because of how the pages turn with her choices.

Her friends, who you dislike at the start of the novel, become very real when you get to know them as Gemma's friends later on. They have valid reasons for the things they do, and even though sometimes they say things that are blatantly uncalled for, you get where they're coming from because of the lives they lived.

Even though the characters were very realistic and relatable, I felt like parts of the world were missing. I couldn't imagine the clothes they wore in that time, what the places in London were like. Maybe it's just me, but I had trouble putting images around the characters because of so.

One problem I had, and I'll try to be vague to keep from spoiling, was what happened at the end. I felt like the chapter touching on it should have been longer and more in-depth for such a big twist, but instead it kind of rushed by. When something big happens you want to know the details, to read what's happening to other characters, but it was over in a few measly pages and then shortly after the book ended. It might be the writer in me overreacting, but I really wanted more.

A Great and Terrible Beauty sucked me right in, making it nearly impossible for me to put down. Even though there was a romance only as a minor sub plot, I hardly noticed it. The book kept me flipping pages to find out what happens after each twist and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next one.