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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Johannes Cabal: the Fear Institue by Jonathan L. Howard.
Johannes Cabal and his rather inexact powers of necromancy are back once more. This time, his talents are purchased by The Fear Institute as they hunt for the Phobic Animus - the embodiment of fear. The three Institute members, led by Cabal and his Silver Key, enter the Dreamlands and find themselves pursued by walking trees plagued with giant ticks, stone men that patrol the ruins of their castles, cats that feed on human flesh and phobias which torment and devastate. The intrepid explorers are killed off one by one as they traipse through this obfuscating and frustrating world, where history itself appears to alter. Cabal, annoyed that the quest is becoming increasingly heroic, finds himself alone with the Institute's only remaining survivor, and after a shockingly violent experiment, begins to suspect that not everything is quite as it seems...

I really loved the first two books in this series, and I can't wait to find out what happens next with this amazing character.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cover Trends (13)


Cover Trends is a feature here at Braintasia Books where I discuss aspects of book covers that I've seen recently that seem to be popping up in a lot of books. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they aren't, but they're all getting quite common. These book covers tend to only represent YA, UF, and PNR since those are the genres I read, and as such, the covers I see.

This week's trend is REDHEADS. I. LOVE. THIS. TREND. It is so freakin' awesome! I've always thought that red hair is beautiful, and the girls on these covers definitely do it justice! I especially love the cover of Fever by Lauren DeStefano.


What do you think of this trend?

Monday, August 29, 2011

REVIEW: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Book: Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback ARC
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: Hourglass, #1
Obtained: Book trade
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

Hourglass wasn't quite what I'd expected, but in a good way. I loved the twists and turns of the plot, and I didn't guess most of them but they were still believable, which I don't see too often in most of the books I read.

The MC, Emerson, was kind of crazy but also kind of cool. It was interesting, to say the least, reading from her POV, and also kind of irritating at times. She wasn't the greatest viewpoint character, but she definitely wasn't the worst, either.

Everyone's been talking about the swoon-worthiness of Michael, the main love interest, but I much prefer Kaleb, who is I guess the secondary love interest/possible love triangle-maker. He was just awesome and sexiness given human form. Loved him!

I can't really say anything about one of my favorite parts of the book because it's such a huge freakin' spoiler, but holy crap there is some awesomeness in Hourglass. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind a little crazy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

REVIEW: Static by Tawny Stokes

Be careful what you listen to....

During the summer before her senior year, 17 year old band groupie, Salem Vale, has been following her favorite punk rockers, Malice, from gig to gig hoping that one night she might get backstage and meet the sinisterly sexy guys. She’s been saving her virginity for the lead singer Thane. One fateful evening she gets her wish. It’s a dream come true.

Except the dream turns to a nightmare when she wakes up in a dumpster, tossed away like yesterday’s trash, with no memory of what happened the night before. She feels strange, different, as if something is trying to get out. Soon she realizes she’s changing…turning into something not quite human.

Now a hunger deep inside claws at her to feed, to siphon energy from those around her. Before she can do just that, Trevor, the band’s roadie shows up and stops her from killing. With his help she learns to control the hunger inside, because he’s just like her. And in return he wants her help to do one little thing…

Help him kill the members of Malice.

Book: Static by Tawny Stokes
Release Date: December 3, 2010
Format: eBook
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: Standalone
Obtained: As part of a blog tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

When I first started reading Static, I was on the road and about the go to a friend's house for dinner. (Obviously, I was not the one driving.) I only got two percent into the book, and it was not a hugely impressive two percent. Because of this, I didn't read at all the next day. I just wasn't interested in what had happened so far. Then came the next day, and I was sitting in a different car waiting for Jai to get his hair cut, which takes forever. I started reading Static again, and I was hooked by four percent.

While Static and I didn't get off to the best start, we were fast friends once we got to know each other. I loved how the main character, Salem, was quite realistic and flawed, but also strong in her own way despite the torture her mother inflicted on her with that awful name. I can't say much about why without spoiling things, but she's great at adapting to her situation without panicking and having to be rescued. In fact, Salem does more than her fair share of rescuing, herself.

Trevor, the Boy-with-a-capital-B (it is capital, right? Not capitol? LOL) was totally swoon-worthy *insert swoonage here* and complimented Salem's character nicely, despite some slight stalkerish tendencies toward the beginning of the book. He really surprised me as I got to know him, and in the best way possible. There was a lot more to Trevor than I thought at first, and I really enjoyed the process of finding it out over the course of the novel.

Static is fast-paced and I couldn't put it down once I got into the story. I finished it in a matter of several hours! I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone, male or female, book-lover or not, because the sheer awesomeness must be shared with the entire world! How can awesom-ocity of this level not be recognized by everyone on earth? Pick up a copy as soon as you can, and if you don't, then you're seriously missing out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

REVIEW: The Fallen by Celia Thomson

Chloe King was a normal sixteen-year-old girl.

She did her homework and got good grades, but she wasn't afraid to ditch class sometimes to hang out with her best friends. She slept at home, but otherwise avoided all human contact with her mom. The usual stuff.

Then she fell from San Francisco's highest tower, and her life changed. For starters, she died. And then, she woke up.

Now Chloe's life is anything but normal: Suddenly guys are prowling around her, she's growing claws, and someone's trying to kill her.

Luckily for Chloe, she still has eight lives to go.

Book: The Fallen by Celia Thomson
Release Date: May 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: The Nine Lives of Chloe King, #1
Obtained: Library
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

I read this book a few weeks before the show started, but didn't get around to reviewing it until now. I really liked it, even though it was pretty short. It was cute and enjoyable and just plain awesome!

Chloe is a really fun character to read about, and I loved how she could be cute and funky and strong all at the same time, while still remaining believable and down-to-earth. She was just great.

Her friends, Amy and Paul, were also really fun, though they were a bit less believable and overall hugely crazy. They were fun, but a bit weird at times. The love interests, Brian and Alek, were both awesome. I'm seriously having a hard time choosing between the two of them, but the adorable kitty hat is tilting the scale in favor of Brian. So sad that they glossed over that in the show. Not manly enough?

Seriously, if you don't mind a cute, quick read, you have got to pick this book up! It was so much fun to read!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

REVIEW: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

Book: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Format: eGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: The Iron Fey, #3
Obtained: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

 I love love love this series soooooo much it's not even funny, and I'm so sad to see it end, no matter how awesome this (sort of) last book was. I know that there's still Ash's book left, and there's going to be a spin-off staring Ethan, but I was seriously bummed that this was the last book.

Meghan was awesome as always, and I'm also depressed that this was the last book from her POV. I'm going to seriously miss this chick. She is one of the best MCs of YA fiction, and I've loved every page of her witty, intense narrative. *sob*

The side characters were hilarious and amazing in The Iron Queen, and I love every one of them, from Ash to Ethan to Grimalkin. I miss them all already (well, except for Ethan. I'm just looking forward to his books). You guys, the side characters totally make this series. They are great.

If you haven't already read this series, then do it now. This is literally the very best fantasy series I've ever read. Not that I've read much fantasy. But it's seriously awesome.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton.
A power she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to fight.

When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil growing inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to possess.

Desperate to hold on to her humanity and protect her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind games, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special plan for the brooding and sexy Sebastian.

Ari is determined to defeat Athena, but time is running out. With no other options, Ari must unleash the very thing she’s afraid of: herself.

I really loved the first book in this series, and holy crap what a cliffhanger. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

REVIEW: Lure of the Vampire by Bertena Varney

Lure of the Vampire is a pop culture reference book that begins with history and mythology and ends with modern living vampires. The author has provided "fun" lists like the Powers of Dracula, Real Live Vampire Murders, Television Shows and African Americans who have Played Vampires. There are also websites in each section that show the most popular vampire books and even children's shows and books. But, there is a personal twist when it comes to Lure of the Vampire. The author has provided personal essays from national and international vampire authors as well as her own. They range from a personal look at vampires in mythology to the romantic lust filled vampire. There are also interviews with various groups and individuals involved in the vampire community. Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Refence Book of Lists, Websites, and "Very Telling" Personal Essays is a perfect quick to grab reference book for the vampire fan or author. It is concise enough to assist you in finding links to what you are looking for without our being too cumbersome and confusing.

Book: Lure of the Vampire by Bertena Varney
Release Date: June 22, 2011
Format: eBook
Genre: Non-fiction
Series: Standalone
Obtained: As part of a book tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)

There's not much to say about this one. It's a reference book, basically, for anyone who wants to learn about vampires. It's really interesting and extensive and I'm sure that anyone who needs to know about vampires for any reason will find this book to be an awesome resource. I especially like how internet-oriented it was.

I don't recommend Lure of the Vampire for a pleasure read, but if you need a lot of information on anything to do with vampires, as well as links to more info, then Lure is definitely the book for you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

REVIEW: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Book: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: Shade, #1
Obtained: Won
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

This book was a lot better than I expected it to be from the summary, and I flew through it because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. It was a great intro to the world and characters of this series, and I'm really looking forward to reading the second book.

Aura (seriously, worst. name. ever.) was a cool character, though she could get on my nerves at times, and I enjoyed reading about the events of the book from her POV. I'm not really into characters who are hugely special, which Aura is (she's the first born before the Shift), but I didn't mind too much in Shade.

The two love interests, Zachary and Logan, weren't too amazing. At first, I really liked Logan, but then he started getting kind of creepy and I sort of changed my mind, but Zachary didn't impress me either, so I'm not going to pick a team.

The best part of Shade was the mystery and the action in the plot. It was very well done and exciting to read, which offset the somewhat mediocre characters for me. If you want something plot-fueled and fast-paced, Shade is a good, quick read.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back to School Read-a-Thon: Day 1 Updates

Back to School Read-a-Thon

Static by Tawny Stokes (5 zombies!!)
  • Started reading at noon-ish.
  • Currently 4% into the book (Kindle copy).
  •  50% at 2-ish. This book is kind of awesome.
  • 75% at 3:39pm. I'm so in love. I don't want this book to end, except that I'm doing a read-a-thon, so at the same time, I can't wait for it to end. That didn't make sense. 
  • Finished at 4:41pm. That book was freaking awesome!

The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels
  • Started at 5pm.

    REVIEW: Silver Moon by Stacey Thompson-Geer

    After 130 years, you'd think I would know better than to go looking for trouble, but I just can't seem to help myself. The council wants me to catch a werewolf. I just want to paint my nails. Rose is a bitchy sarcastic vampire that ends up hunting a werewolf in, of all places, Las Vegas. She finds very quickly that things are not going to go as planned.

    Book: Silver Moon by Stacey Thompson-Geer
    Release Date: December 3, 2010
    Format: eBook
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Series: Standalone short story
    Obtained: As part of a blog tour
    Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)

    Since this is a short story, this will also be a short review. Silver Moon mostly lost the two zombies because the main character, Rose, spent the majority of her time mooning over every single man in the book, including the bad guys, which was seriously annoying. Also because of the grammatical and spelling errors littered throughout the 39-page story.

    Rose herself, other than the constant drooling over random guys, was a decent character. She was tough and smart, although it was kind of odd that she couldn't seem to stop mentioning her "bone-straight red hair." Yeah. Bone-straight. But she was cool enough.

    The actual plot of the story is fast-paced and easy to dive into if the 100000 hot guys don't bother you too much. If you're looking for an hour of simple entertainment, Silver Moon isn't a bad choice.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Back to School Read-a-Thon

    Back to School Read-a-Thon

    I'm going to be doing a little read-a-thon this weekend with Jai from Bored Books so that we can get a few more books in before school starts, which is Monday for him and next week for me. It's not a huge deal if we don't end up doing a lot of reading, but there's some stuff I'd really like to get in before I return to the land of homework and late night cramming. I don't dislike school, but two English classes in one semester (yay for college!) is going to mean a lot of non-pleasure reading, so I won't have as much time to read from my TBR pile.

    I may continue my part of the read-a-thon through the next week since I don't have any obligations before school starts on the 29th.

    If anyone else wants to join in, you're all welcome to post what you plan on reading in the comments or on your own blog and give us as many updates as you want! Updates give us an excuse to stop reading for a few minutes XD I love books, but my attention span is not what it could be.
    So, here are a few of the books I'm hoping to read between whenever I wake up on Saturday morning through whenever I go to sleep on Sunday night/Monday morning:

    1. Finish Static by Tawney Stokes (5 zombies)
    I already started reading this one on Friday night (unless you count the two percent I read on Thursday), but I'd like to finish it as part of the read-a-thon.

    2. Finish Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn
    I started this one about two weeks ago, but then I had to read a bunch of tour books, so it kind of got abandoned.

    3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
    This one has been staring at me from the bookshelf for a while now, and I can't wait to start reading it!

    4. Between by Jessica Warman
    Haven't heard much about this, but I got an ARC and it looks cool, so what the hell.

    On the slim chance that I get past four, these are a few other books I'd like to read in the near future:

    5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

    6. Crushed by K. C. Blake

    7. Thin Air by Lynn Seresin

    8. The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels (I can't believe I still haven't read this! I bought a signed copy at the OC Children's Book Festival last October, and then it got lost on my TBR pile.)

    I'd love to hear what you guys are planning on reading soon, even if it isn't for my little weekend read-a-thon!