Mar 31, 2012

Recent Reads, Series: The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4)The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: This is the fourth book in the Blue Bloods series and picks up where the last one left off, Rio, the fire, Schuyler’s grandfather dead, Silver Bloods on the verge of attacking the remaining Blue Bloods. So here we are, one year after the accident in Rio and Schuyler and Oliver are on the run from the New York coven, Bliss is dealing with internal demons…actually internal Lucifer, and Mimi is running around doing various things to occupy herself.

Review: I was a little disappointed with this book in the Blue Bloods series, I feel like it was all just filler and the way that it is laid out for the reader is very confusing and a pain to follow. We rotate between the point of views of Schuyler, Bliss, and Mimi, so the second something interesting happens you are swept off to another person and what they are doing. There are a few plot changing events, however none really occur until the last 5 or so chapters, and I feel like all the buildup of the book was not necessary to get there. I really like this series, don’t get me wrong, it is entertaining and suspenseful, however this particular book just wasn’t… the ending is a great set up for another book, yes, but that was it.

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In My Mailbox #3

 In my mailbox is a weekly meme
hosted by Story Siren

Ebooks for Review
Danger Girl: Revolver #1SeraphinaSocialpunk Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories Dollhouse: Epitaphs (Dollhouse, #1)

Danger Girl, Revolver by Andy Hartnell; From Netgalley and IDW Publishing
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, From Netgalley and Random House
Socialpunk, by Monica Leonel, From the author for book blog tour and review
Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories, by Gary Gianni, From Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors/ Dark Horse Comics
Dollhouse Volume #1, by Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, From Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors/ Dark Horse Comics

From the Library

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Mar 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #2

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I am waiting on: 
Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3)
Black Heart by Holly Black, Book 3 in the Curse workers series.  

Goodreads Synopsis: "Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love."

Available: April 3, 2012 

What are you waiting on?

Mar 24, 2012

Early Reader Review: Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics, Vol 2 Special Edition by Ted Naifeh

Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin, #2)Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics, Vol 2, Special Edition* by Ted Naifeh
Available: August 29, 2012
Publisher: Oni Press

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Background: Courtney Crumrin Volume Two the Coven of Mystics, Special Edition follows Courtney though more of the strange life of her anti-social uncle A. Trouble arises and uncle A is always called upon by the coven to go the dirty work, but when something criminal happens they do not listen to anything he has to say. It is up to Courtney and her band of underworld friends to make it all right.

Review: I love this series, the first issue was intriguing but lacked character development, this one really focused on Courtney and the type person she is, creepy, strange, defiant, but also helpful to those she cares for. I really liked the progression of this story; characters from the last issue reappear and are here to help versus scare the crap out of her. Courtney as a character also grows, she is beginning to get the hang of this witch thing and the creatures that come with her new lifestyle. Wonderful read, Beautiful graphics.

*Cover depicted is not the Special Edition cover

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In My Mailbox #2

In my mailbox is a weekly meme
hosted by Story Siren

Ebooks for Review

Tomorrow Land Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin, #2) The Shapeshifter's Secret
Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi from Netgally and NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC
Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics (Volume 2) Special Edition by Ted Naifeh from Netgalley and Oni Press
The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Osler from Netgalley and Cedar Fort 
The Punk Ethic by Timothy Decker from Netgalley and Namelos, Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC

Mar 22, 2012

Early Reader Review: Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

Scarlett DeddScarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett
Available: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Random House, Delacorte BFYR

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: Scarlett Dedd is a teenage girl outcast; she lives in a creepy house, is very pale, and is made fun of for looking dead and being a Dedd. The issue is…now she is dead; she only meant to make herself sick, but instead killed herself and her entire family. What a bummer to be dead but still have parents around to tell you what you can and cannot do, and your annoying brother still lurking about.

Review: This is a very interesting read. I like the concept and it is very well written. You get chapters from Scarlett’s point of view and from her friends’ point of views, which makes it fascinating to read. Along with the different people telling the story, you also get some extra tidbits from Scarlett as she chats online or updates her blog, and there are pictures too… so much fun.

I must say that this read took a little while for me to get into, not really for any particular reason, it was just a little slow at first, and from the cover I was expecting more of a graphic novel type style, which it is not.

If you like graphic novels, I think this book will work for you. Since there are so many different characters and outlets for Scarlett, it seems a little graphic novel-ish…If you like angst-ridden teens, this is DEFINITELY for you, Scarlett is a little down about her new situation, esp. that her parents won’t let her do anything. Being a ghost is no fun when you can’t mess with people, or spook your best friends. But what if you killed them...?

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Mar 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I am waiting on:

The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2)

Expected Publication Date: April 10, 2012

Synopsis: "Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness." From Goodreads

Mar 18, 2012

Early Reader Review: Captain Awesome #1 by Stan Kirby and Heidi Heckelbeck #1 by Wanda Coven

Captain Awesome to the Rescue!Captain Awesome to the Rescue! by Stan Kirby
Illustrations by  George O'Connor 
Available: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Little Simon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: Eugene McGillicudy is actually Captain Awesome! Fighter of the evil super villains, including Queen Stinkypants, hit baby sister. But how is he supposed to do all this when he can’t even find his cape and has just moved to a new place.

Review: Captain Awesome to the Rescue! is a very cute story about a young boy who believes he is a superhero and takes this secret with him everywhere…to fight the evil of his new hometown. It is wonderfully illustrated and imaginative, with Eugene’s superhero presence everywhere, including at his new school. The spacing and pictures make it great for beginning readers, and while the content may make them want to fight crime as well, it is a very captivating story for the young.

Captain Awesome vs. Nacho Cheese ManCaptain Awesome vs. Nacho Cheese Man by Stan Kirby (Teaser)
Illustrations by George O'Connor
Available: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Little Simon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: What do you do when you suspect your best superhero friend is actually a villain? Well this is exactly what Eugene has to figure out. However, first he must deal with Mr. Drools the villain on four legs that lives behind his house.

Review: I only got the first short in this issue (#2) but so far all is well, Eugene and Charles are having a sleepover when the evil Mr. Drools (Eugene’s dog) threatens to drool all over his Super Dude comic. A good start to another adventure with Captain Awesome.

Heidi Heckelbeck Has a SecretHeidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret by Wanda Coven
Illustrations by Priscilla Burris
Available: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Little Simon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: Heidi Heckelbeck is going to school for the first time, before her mother had home-schooled her. She is very upset about the whole idea. Heidi Heckelbeck has a Secret chronicles her first day of school and the interested and annoying people she meets while there…and then we learn her secret.

Review: This was a great read; young girls will love to read this. Heidi is cute and moody but she is a normal girl trying to fit in and her younger brother is encouraging and honest. The illustrations are nicely drawn, very entertaining and go along with the story well; and the writing is easy to follow and spaced nicely for beginning readers. Her secret at the end is wonderful and will keep young people wanting more.

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Mar 17, 2012

In My Mailbox #1

In my mailbox is a weekly meme
hosted by Story Siren

EBooks for Review:

Captain Awesome to the Rescue! Spontaneous Scarlett Dedd Angel In The Shadows (The Angel #1)

Captain Awesome to the Rescue by
Spontaneous by Joe Harris, Brett Weldele From Netgalley and Oni Press
Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett From Netgalley and Random House
Angel In The Shadows by Lisa Grace From a Giveaway

Books for Review:

The Hunt
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda From St. Martin’s Press and Librarything Early Reviewers

Kindle Freebees Downloaded:

The Selkie Spell Airel (The Airel Saga, #1) Thirst (Ava Delaney, #1)
The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss
Airel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White
Thirst by Claire Farrell

Early Reader Review: Spontaneous by Joe Harris

SpontaneousSpontaneous by Joe Harris
Art by Brett Weldele
Available: February 22, 2012
Publisher: Oni Press

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: Melvin was only three when his father died of a horrible combustion, otherwise known to Melvin as Spontaneous Human Combustion. Melvin is now older and trying to place the puzzle pieces together about why his father died and what is going on with the others that have had the same blistering death.

Review: This was an interesting read. It is a graphic novel with beautiful artwork, however the character close ups all look pretty similar so it can get confusing at times. The story line was interesting. Melvin’s character meets up with an aspiring journalist and together they try to solve the mystery of spontaneous human combustion. Melvin is enthusiastic to search because he wants to explain away what happened to his father, so the story jumps right into another person dying of a horrible accident.

The story seems like it would be an interesting one, the main issue I had with it was its terseness, the story doesn’t have time to develop the plot as much as I would have liked it to, and the characters are underdeveloped because of it. The overall idea behind the story is what kept me reading, I think the spontaneous fiery death thing has a lot going for it, however overall it fell a little shorter than I had hoped, the ending was a bit of a cop-out. If it had been a little lengthier, I think the ending would have fit nicer, once we got to know the characters more.

**ARC from Netgalley/Oni Press-- Publication date 2/22/2012**

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Mar 13, 2012

Early Reader Review: Poison Most Vial by Benedict Carey

Poison Most Vial: A MysteryPoison Most Vial: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
Available: April 2, 2010
Publisher: ABRAMS, Amulet Press

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: Ruby Rose is in a bind; her father is the prime suspect in the murder of a very important forensics lab. She and her friend Rex are on the hunt for clues about the murder, which her father did not commit. Ruby and Rex, with the help of a shut-in, Mrs.Whitmore, are trying to re-trace the steps of all of the people that could have been involved with the murder and why they did it.

Review: This was a very quick read, and I am not really sure of what age group it is intended for. The storyline is wonderful, we start right where the action is, Ruby’s father is being accused of murder and Ruby is trying to sleuth her way through the details to find out who-done-it.

My few issues with the book were that, like I said, I am not sure what the target age group is. If is for young readers, some of the information is a little dry and wordy, for example there are places where the author goes into the scientific names and properties of poisonous plants, and how various equipment in the lab is used. I think the best attempt at this making this information more kid friendly was an example of mass, the author conveyed this through blowing beads across a tray, but otherwise the remainder were dense. If it is for an older youth, I think the main characters seem a bit too young for the teen reader, they are 8th graders. (Upon searching around, I have found that it is geared for ages 9-13)

Target audience aside, I am a twenty-something that loved this read. I think that the science inlaid was nice for older readers, and the action and conflict was at the right level throughout. I love a good mystery from time to time and this was a fast paced one. Ruby and Rex were very funny kids, I think that Ruby’s father gave her a little too much leeway as her parent, but I think that her resourcefulness was very Nancy Drew. A fun read.

**ARC from Netgalley/ABRAMS, Amulet Books-- Publication date 4/1/2012**

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Early Reader Review: Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

The PeculiarsThe Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Available: May 1, 2012
Publisher: ABRAMS, Amulet Books

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: Lena is not a normal teenage girl; she is actually quite extraordinary, with large feet and hands. On her 18th birthday she decides to take an adventure to find her father who left her when she was young. She travels to the mysterious Scree, which is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. While on the train to Scree, Lena becomes immersed in an adventure, which is more than what she expected on her quest to find her father.

Review: A friend recently told me that a book is made or broken by the first 20 pages, and The Peculiars is made by them. In the first few chapters we are introduced to Lena, find out that her father is gone, and that she might be part goblin. Then we experience a train heist and learn a criminal has been abducted… I can only say that I wanted to keep reading and never put it down.
The only qualms I had with the beginning of this story were the perceptions of others from Lena’s point of view; she keeps informing the reader that she does not like to be stared at or judged for being different but upon meeting the first person (other than family) on her train ride, she judges him right off from the type of hat he is wearing and continues to do so with others. This also leads into her judgment of others throughout the book which steers the reader into the conflict.

I think that this was a great read, within the steam punk genre it does offer some of the interesting science and steam powered inventions of the era. I think the overall this story was an interesting one, Lena was not really a likable character but the others were and the idea of criminals and Peculiar people being sent to the mysterious Scree was impelling. The Peculiars themselves where scarce, we meet Lena who thinks she is part Goblin and we meet another family that have wings…but other than that there really isn’t much development of these Peculiar races. I would have liked to see more of that, a learned about them, not just that the city people hated them.

If you like adventures of any type, this book fits the build.

**ARC from Netgalley/ ABRAMS, Amulet Books-Publication Date 5/1/2012**

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Mar 12, 2012

Cover Reveal: TASTE by Kate Evangelista

What an awesome cover! I am so thankful to the author for allowing me to do a cover reveal for it! 

Book Info:
Publication Date: TBA, Fall 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.
When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

About the Author:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels. 
For more information, you can visit Kate's website:

Mar 6, 2012

You might not know: The Prophecy Keepers Series

The Prophecy Keepers (The Prophecy Keepers, #1)The Prophecy Keepers by Melaine Bryant

My rating: 3 of 5 stars, Posted January 2010

I received Book 2 of this series through Goodreads book contest. I read this book in order to begin the next and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. There were a few typos which I caught, which is never fun, but that may be because I was reading an electronic copy. (Note: After posting this review on Goodreads January 2010 the author contacted me to tell her where the typos were so they could be fixed. Very nice woman.)
Bryant does a wonderful job setting up her story about Lisandra and Loki and how they are sucked into a world of fairies, prophecies, and dark magic. The characters all seem well rounded and Lisandra grows as an individual which is a nice change to most books for this age group, where the main character stays whiny and immature.
I loved this book and it was a quick read.I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy and young adult novels.

The Charm of Urizen (The Prophecy Keepers, #2)The Charm of Urizen by Melaine Bryant

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Charm of Urizen was another adventurous book, and I enjoyed this as much if not more than the last. The character development is wonderful and the plot line expands so that the story can go in any direction. I like Bryant's use many characters that surround and tie into the plot in different ways.
This young adult adventure may even have slight undertones of a relationship forming, I love it!

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