Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | Devil’s Gold by Amanda McKinney

 

Devil’s Gold by Amanda McKinney

Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Page Count: 121

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon US


Despite being chronically late, occasionally disheveled and a tad disorganized, Dixie Knight is one of the top private investigators in the country, and when a young woman goes missing in the small, Southern town of Devil’s Den, Dixie takes the case. She expected it to be another ordinary missing person case—until Lizzie Meyers is found naked and beaten to death at a local, seedy motel.

While visiting relatives on his two-week leave, Marine Liam Cash bumps into Dixie at the local bar, and his attraction to her is immediate. When Liam connects Dixie’s current case to two unsolved murders in his hometown, he steps in to help find the killer, and keep her safe, whether Dixie wants him to or not.

After another woman is found brutally beaten, Dixie turns the town upside down trying to solve the mystery—could it be the rumored witch that lives in the mountains; the rich, neurotic doctor’s wife; or the perky, blonde receptionist at the local medical clinic?

Time is running out and Dixie knows she has to put the pieces of the puzzle together before another body turns cold in Devil’s Den.


With high-paced action, steamy romance, a strong female lead, suspenseful twists, and a good dose of mystery, Devil’s Gold is a solid whodunit that will keep you surprised at every turn. It will truly keep you reading throughout the night. Thrillers typically don’t grace my TBR pile, but I want to see what Amanada has in store for this new series.

I need to remind myself that Devil’s Gold is a novella, so don’t expect anything more. But with what’s included drew my attention. It could have quickly been a typical mystery. But Amanada adds suspense to elevate this novella above other thrillers I’ve read. Even though it’s short, it introduces a layered and well-thoughout storyline. And the author quickly starts off with suspense and action. But with this story, the females rule, an they’re fiesty and ready to fight.

The Black Rose Investigation specializes in anything criminal. Three sisters who lost their parents in an accident run this organization. So when Dixie Knight, a PI, is tasked with finding out if a doctor is having an affair, she discovers she’s found a lot more trouble once the woman in question goes missing. I loved reading this spirited character. Dixie doesn’t need anyone to save her, even if her life is scattered all over the place. She’s easily relatable. And I admire her spunk and her determination to make her parents proud.

Sisterhood is at the heart of Devil’s Gold. And I adore how easy the relationship among these sisters has grown to be. The death of their parents hasn’t separated them, and their love is what keeps them together. And while they have opposite personalities, they are a united front. I hope to see more of their relationship in future stories.

Just to add more sizzle, a marine Liam Cash steps up to offer help on the missing case, which reminds him of the murders in his hometown. The instant attraction between Liam and Dixie flows organically, even though the ending is a little corny. But their quick banter makes up for all that though.

I hate when authors incorporate too many perpetrators. They muddy the story and don’t give readers a chance to get to learn more about the characters, even the bad ones. But this story’s length works in Amanada’s favour since the author doesn’t have to introduce more of them, and she only focuses on a select few.

I haven’t heard of this author before, but the Black Rose Mystery series intrigues me, and I’m interested to see what Amanda has in store for her next installments. So if you’re wanting torrid hookups, instant seduction, and a thriller as well, Devil’s Gold might interest you.

 


Author’s Bio

Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, Lethal Legacy, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.

Amanda’s debut novel, Lethal Legacy, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the Berry Springs series, The Woods and The Lake. The third book in the series, The Storm, is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

Author’s website | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Now onto to the contest. Enter to win for $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Devil’s Gold! This contest is international.

 


Blog Tour Schedule

Don’t miss out on this tour! Here’s the schedule:

February 12th
CBY Book Club
Whatever You Can Still Betray
Loves Great Reads

February 13th
Mes Livres
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Writers and Authors

February 14th
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
Booked J >> Review

February 15th
Two Ends of the Pen
Evermore Books

February 16th
La libreria di Beppe
Viviana MacKade

February 19th
A British Bookworm’s Blog
the attic ghost
The Genre Minx Book Reviews
anie’s blog: diary of a wanna be writer

February 20th
Just Books
The Pursuit Of Bookiness
NewbookcatsReads

February 21st
Book Sniffers Anonymous
Novelties

February 22nd
So Few Books
tfaulcbookreviews
For The Love Of The Page

February 23rd
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
E. Lizard Breath Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I’m Not Interested in Reading Anymore

 

Here’s to another Top Ten Tuesday, now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Don’t you just hate getting so excited for a book, then you find reviews that simply change your mind of ever reading it? There are a few books that suffered through bad reviews, and some books that didn’t deserve the bad press. So here’s my list of books I don’t feel completely sold on reading anymore:

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I love the TV show so much that I fear I may actually not love this ragtag gang on paper, and I saw that complaint quite a bit on Goodreads. And I heard the book doesn’t live up to the show (you don’t hear that much, do you?). So as much as I would love to read this series just to see how Q and the rest of the magically obsessed casters live up to my high expectations, I won’t chance my luck. I’ll just keep loving the show and ignoring the books (highly unlikely of me).

 

Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg

I’ve been wanting to branch out more into sci-fi books, and I truly thought Zenith may be the book that started me on that path. But quite a few reviews somewhat persuaded me into not reading it. Several readers felt the book suffered from slow writing that dragged on for many chapters to disappointing characters who had little personality or were dubbed vicious, yet were the exact opposite. I was hoping for a Dark Matter-type story, but it sounds anything but. So I might just skip this altogether.

 

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

I had high hopes for this book. I first heard about it last summer when Goodreads was brimming with comments about it. And just look at the cover. You don’t always see coloured characters on there. It is a gorgeous book, and the synopsis sealed the deal for many readers. But then the reviews started coming in, and I questioned if I should read The Belles. I won’t go into a huge rant about the fact that LGBTQ+ needs more representation. You’ve heard it all before. While some authors excelled with doing so, some have failed, and others did represent these characters, only to ruin the book by doing something drastic to these characters. So I don’t know what to think.

 

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Do you know how long I’ve wanted to read this book? Probably several years. But I haven’t taken the plunge. I wasn’t sure if the subject matter would be too much. But I watched the show and saw how the story has such depth to it. But I question if the book itself glorifies depression and suicide. Perhaps it does (to some readers), but it also shows how easily sexual assault, and depression, is often covered up, and we don’t bother to see how people struggle with their past. A part of me still wants to read it, but unfortunately, the online rumours hit GR, and I wonder if I should bother anymore.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I’ll admit: I love the cover, and I wanted to read this book once it was published. And I’m wondering if I want to put it on this list. Controversy has followed this series though. Some reviewers questioned how Jay problematically represented a racial group in his story. And while reading the reviews and the way he approached this issue on Twitter just turned me off the books. But I want to judge for myself, so I might read it eventually.

Sunshine Blogger Award

 

Eee! I love doing these posts. Laronda @ Flying Paperbacks nominated me for this award. I can’t be more thrilled. Thank you, Laronda!!!

 

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post/or on your blog.

 

Laronda’s Questions

How did you decide the theme for your blog?

I had no clue what I wanted or how I wanted to design my blog, so I picked the Nucleare theme off of WP, then went with the turquoise colour, which came with the theme, then tada! I have my theme.

But I’m hoping to change it soon though!

What’s your favorite animal?

Cats, but wolves are a close second.

How did you find your favorite book?

Ahahahaha, in Grade 8, my English teacher saw I was reading it, then she gave it to me. She forgot it was strictly adult, and I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to read it.  😅

Is there any strategy to the way to organize your shelves?

I—or the organizational freak who inhabits my mind—prefer size, then within that size, I go by preference. If I like book A better than book B, then A goes before B.

Have you met any authors?

Years ago, I met Kelley Armstrong. Last year though, I wanted to meet Sarah J. Maas when she came to Canada, but I doubted I would have gotten to see her. The lineup was insane.

Favorite app on your phone?

Instagram, even though I don’t use it for my blog yet.

If you could have any pet form any book, what would it be?

Bryaxis from ACOWAR. He’s so adorable, and he scares Cassian. 😂

What’s your favorite book in your least favorite color?

I haven’t read it yet, but Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones has a pink cover. I first thought I’d hate the colour, but surprisingly it looks great.

Winter or Summer?

Winter. I can’t stand the heat.

What is a guilty pleasure show you watch?

The Runaways! Unfortunately, the CGI isn’t the greatest, and the writing is a bit cliche, but I love it.

How many times have you moved and which place was your favorite?

I’ve moved only once. Even though I loved my old house, I prefer the one I live in now.


My Questions

  1. What are you hoping authors change or finally include in their books for 2018?
  2. Which trope do you love/hate?
  3. Which OTP is your favourite? Or which OTP are you hoping will sail?
  4. Which book of 2018 has disappointed you?
  5. Which villain would you kiss, marry, or kill?
  6. What would you like to see changed or fixed in the blogging community?
  7. Which character would you want to rewrite?
  8. Which author are you dying to get a signature from?
  9. Do you think you should judge a book without reading it (especially if you’ve heard bad things about it)?
  10. Which books are you anticipating the most for the next few months?
  11. Which characters would you love to see get in a fight? Who do you think would win?

My Nominations

  1. Fizah @ Book Tales by Me
  2. Stephanie@ Between Folded Pages
  3. Nina @ The Cozy Pages
  4. Geybie @ Geybie’s Book Blog
  5. Kathy @ Books and Munches
  6. Elaine @ Howling Books
  7. Danielle @ Life of a Literary Nerd
  8. Judith @ Chain Reaction
  9. Dorottya @ Berries and Books
  10. Amber @ Step into a Book World
  11. Kyra and Nikki @ Book Allure

 

You don’t have to do this award if you’ve already been nominated or are too busy. But you’ve guys have showed me some blogging love and support, so I felt that I should return the favour. And frankly, you deserve the recognition. If you do, have fun!

Blog Tour Review: Romanov by Samaire Provost

Romanov by Samaire Provost

Published by: Black Raven Books

Publication Date: January 24, 2018

Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 268

Rating: 3/5

Source: eARC from Xpresso Book Tours

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


In an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, two enemies battle to the death, while outside, a malevolent entity watches and waits and plots, eager for blood. On an island in the heart of Seattle, an immortal princess struggles to lead a normal life just as a flood of terrifying creatures starts to pour in through a portal that should not be there. A young man meets a classmate while walking home from the college library, and embarks on the most dangerous adventure he’s ever known – will he survive? A deranged madman hunts the girl he’s lusted after for a century, in a relentless pursuit for vengeance. A prehistoric, mythical beast jealously guards a primeval land, which is leaking into present-day Seattle. A sweet, forbidden passion blossoms between two lovers who steal moments whenever they can, while unbeknownst to them, they’re hunted by a deadly creature.

A royal family threatened at its weakest – yet lethal in its own right – is stalked by an ancient evil that will not rest until they are utterly destroyed: a nightmare incarnate that has waited millions of years for revenge threatens the very existence of the young lovers and their family.

Will they prevail?


I’ve received an eARC for an unbiased and honest review. I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours, the author, and the publisher for providing me with this copy.

Time portals, magic, vampires, dragons, Russian lore, love, death, and romance are all in one book? Are you—and I—reading that correctly? Yes. All of that and more. Now buckle in for this paranormal review.

Anna, Alix, and Alexei, 10one-hundred-year-old vampires, come off the heels of a heartbreaking death. Trying to hide from the vampire who killed their matriarch, they find themselves in Seatle, where Anna develops a budding relationship with Eric. What they don’t know is that something has followed them and is looking for revenge, which may put everyone in danger.

So I signed up for this blog tour on a whim. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve put vampires behind and moved onto other genres and am quite happy that I have. Samaire reminds me why sometimes old genres shouldn’t be left forgotten. With some rough patches, Romanov gives you all the good vampy vibes and offers up a cheesy yet cute romance. Phew, this book is a rollercoaster of a read, which I wasn’t expecting for a vampire story.

Even though I found Romanov a fun and easy read, the multiple POVs threw me off, and I felt confused in some areas. Sometimes the writing and the chapters were choppy and felt somewhat disjointed. A little more tightening in places would have made the story transition much better into each chapter. Samaire introduces a new spin by including the Romanovs (yes, those ones) and Rasputin into the storyline. That backstory surprised me the most and actually boosted my rating.

And the family dynamic is what also makes me like the story. It’s natural and loving, which I always look for in a story. Another feature of this book is the romance between Anna and Eric, a human. Both fall hard, fairly quickly. And even though I wish the romance blossomed more organically and slowly, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

What I enjoy the most is the mythology Samaire incorporates into her writing. You can tell she loves writing paranormal stories. And she gives you plenty of beasties to keep you entertained. I thought adding too many may muddy the book. But I liked them, and they keep the story moving along. You feel the threats and the dangers the Romanov family faces throughout each page. This peril adds good tension. But the vampire lore seems boggled down though. The author includes too many different and conflicting folklore.

Family love, threatening creatures, young romance, and interesting lore are what will attract readers to this quick paranormal read. If you’re looking to get back into the vampire genre, Romanov may be your reason to do so.

 


Author’s Bio

Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

 


Giveaway

Interested in this urban fantasy? ENTER HERE to win a paperback copy of Romanov. The contest is open internationally.

 


Blog Tour Schedule

 

Don’t miss out on this tour. You can find other posts here:

February 12th
Mes Livres
Lukten av trykksverte
Indie Wish List
Gwyneiira’s Book Blog
Booked J
anie’s blog: diary of a wanna be writer

February 13th
Reading for the Stars and Moon
To Be Read
Omg Books and More Books
nikkisee
Bookworm for Kids
Book Briefs
Book Addict

February 14th
Fang Freakintastic Reviews
Reviews by Leeve
Novelties
life, books and hidden dis-abilities
Le Petit Photograph
La libreria di Beppe
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
6 Feet Under Books

February 15th
Birdie’s Bibliotheca
Ravenclaw Threadsister
Just Another Rabid Reader
I Love A Good Book
Booker T’s Farm: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales
Alternative-Read.com

February 16th
Abooktropolis
YA/NA Book Divas
The Pursuit Of Bookiness
JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Jazzy Book Reviews
Haddie’s Haven

February 17th
tfaulcbookreviews
I Smell Sheep
Cranky TBC
Am Kinda Busy Reading

 

Top Ten Tuesday | My Most Loved OTPs

Hey, book lovers!

This post is my first Top Ten (Five) Tuesday, which moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t always celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I thought this year I’d make it bookish. So to mark this joyous day, I’ve chosen my top five OTP couples.

 

Feyre and Rhysand (Feysand) from A Court of Thorns and Roses

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have… The wait was worth it. “

Who doesn’t love this couple? Okay, probably several since there are still Feylin shippers. Both Feyre and Rhys give me a reason to find my mate (cheesy, I don’t care). They are why I keep coming back from to this series. Their overall character development just brings shivers to me. She saves the man she loves only to find that he is truly a beast. But another man who tricks the world into believing he is the monster is the one who saves her. This beautiful retelling will be on the top of my reread list. I can’t get enough of them.

 

Nesta and Cassian (Nessian) from A Court of Thorns and Roses

“I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you in the next world—the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.”

I say, IF SARAH DOESN’T SAIL THIS SHIP, I’LL RIOT. I am Nessian trash, and I’ll go down with this ship. I don’t care if I’m irrational. If they aren’t mates, I’ll be equally as salty. You don’t heavily hint at Queen Bitch™ being with glorious Man Bun™ for nothing! Even Feyre ships this couple. Nesta infuriates Cassian, who then settles her down but also accepts, then understands her. I love them, and I called it in ACOMAF.

They truly deserve their time in their own book, and this Nessian’s number one shipper needs that book.

 

Inej and Kaz from Six of Crows

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

At the beginning, I wasn’t sure Kaz was good enough for my knife queen. But then I fell in love with Dirty Hands, and I couldn’t see anyone else with her. The Bastard of the Barrel won me over. He is one character who I adore and cherish. In some cases, he reminds me of me, so I understand his fears and his constant need to show the world he can’t be conquered. And Inej has suffered for years, yet she crawled out of her nightmare to find him. I need more stories about them, Leigh.

 

Laia and Elias from An Ember in the Ashes

“You are my temple,” I murmur as I kneel beside her. “You are my priest. You are my prayer. You are my release.”

Aw, this couple melts my heart. Both of these cinnamon buns live in a cruel and brutal world determined to destroy everything good in their lives. Yet they found, then fought their way back to each other. The ending of A Torch against the Night may put a kink in their potential relationship, so I don’t know what’s in store for them.

 

Farley and Shade from Red Queen

“You’re a special kind of stupid.”

I wish this ship would have matured, but unfortunately, we get only a few snippets of it. And it breaks my damn heart. Shade is one of my favourite characters in the Red Queen series, and his story just gutted me when I finished this book. And Farley surprised me when she finally opens up and lets Shade in. Sometimes some couples aren’t meant to last.

Book Blogger Insider Tag

 

Hey, dearies!

I found this tag when I was browsing through my Reader, and I saw Kayla @ Books and Blends posted it. And I thought it’d be a great post for this dreaded upcoming Monday. I want to do more tags and get myself out there more.

She didn’t tag anyone specifically. Instead, she has let everyone do it. Thank you, Kayla!!! And don’t forget to check out her blog!

 

Rules:
1. Answer the questions below
2. Credit the creator Jamie @ ALittleSliceofJamie
3. Tag at least 5 people
4. Have fun!


1. Where do you typically write your blog posts?

I write them either in my poor beaten up chair, which doesn’t help my lap when my laptop likes to burn me or in the kitchen.

2. How long does it generally take you to write a book review? 

Depending on the book, author, or the emotions I feel while writing, I can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, or even an hour (if I feel rather rantish).

3. When did you start your book blog? 

In July 2016, but I didn’t officially start my blog until July of the same year.

4. What is the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion? 

The unexpected pressure with keeping up with the blogging demands. I sometimes feel like a measly blogger compared to the other bloggers who read 5 books a week, post photos on Instagram, and somehow reach over 1,000 followers in just a few months.

5. What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion? 

I love connecting with the authors who I review. Leigh Bardugo made me sequel for an entire day when she and I discussed her Six of Crows series. Another thing I love about blogging is the unexpected love from the book blogging community. I honestly didn’t think any of you would like me or take the time to come back to my blog.

I LOVE YOU ALL! 😘

6. What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far? 

I loved writing about my old bookish series posts. I’d looked for anything book related and put them in a monthly series. I stopped doing it since I didn’t see a huge turnout for those posts.

7. What is your favorite type of blog post to write? 

Surprisingly, I love these types posts. I get to see what other people think and reach out to more bloggers.

8. When do you typically write? 

The night owl in me loves to piss myself off by pushing back blog posts until late in the evening or early morning (let’s just say around 1 am).

9. Do you review every book you read? 

About 99% of the books I read will be reviewed unless I just forget to do so.

10. How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled with your fur baby? 

Cuddled up? HA. My fur brat loves to walk all over my laptop when he wants his food when I’m busy writing my reviews. Anyways, I like to write down my posts in my journal, then transfer my thoughts into the post itself.

11. When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book? 

I typically want to write them within 24 to 48 hours of reading the book.

12. How often do you post? 

Lately, I suck at keeping consistency, which I hope to rectify this year. So I usually post 2 to 3 times a week, but I definitely need to post more.


Who I tag

  1. Kathy @ Books & Munches (hi, girl!!! 😉)
  2. Ashley @ Thrifty Bibliophile
  3. Poulami @ Day Dreaming Books
  4. Evgnossia @ Through the Chapters
  5. Lena @ The Printed Girl
  6. Jenn @ Bound to Writing
  7. Nina @ The Cozy Pages
  8. Laura @ LFBooks
  9. LARonda @ Flying Paperbacks
  10. Kris @ Boston Book Reader

I hate when I find a great tag I want to do, then discover that it’s a tag-only post. So even if I haven’t tagged you, you are free to do it! I’d love to see your answers and talk with you more.

Monthly Wrap-Up | January 2018

 

Hey book nerds!

As you can tell, I’ve redesigned some of my blog graphics. And I’ve combined the reading round-up and book haul posts into one, which is more easier to handle. I hope to revamp my entire blog, including my name (about time I can do that). Last year I struggled to keep up with some posts and just kept pushing things off, but I want to stay on top of my blog, so I’ll be scheduling much more this year.

Last month wasn’t that eventful, but I had the opportunity to jump on several blog tours and finish a few books that have been waiting on my TBR list. So here they are:

 

I was trying to catch up on my TBR pile since a particularly nasty cold hit me hard in December. So even though I wanted to read more, I could only get to four books in January.

 

 

Warcross by Marie Lu

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I haven’t read any of Marie’s previous work, and right now, I feel like I missed out on great writing. Warcross surprised me, and I instantly fell in love with this virtual reality clashing with reality.

I highly recommend this book.

 

Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

⭐⭐⭐¾

I’m always down for a witch story. For the past couple of years, I’ve steered clear of them because I’ve read too many that just blended in to each other. Just picture the sweetest bakery with a high dose of magic, and you have Deadly Sweet. I’m interested to see what Lola has in store for the sequel(s).

 

Rise by Sierra Cross

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another witch book in one month? Really? Don’t worry. This story didn’t disappoint either. But this adult one has the sexual tension cranked high.

 

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Surprisingly, as a Batman fan, I wasn’t sure how this book might stand up to the other stories and back history of the character, but Marie truly doesn’t disappoint DC fans. There are slow scenes that may detract from the storyline, but just hold on though. You’ll get your action soon enough.

 

You can find my review posts linked in the titles above.


I didn’t buy a huge lot in January. There weren’t many books that interested me. But a few caught my eye, and I couldn’t pass up on snagging them. I’ve already read two, and I can’t wait to read my first Holly Black book.

 

 

 


What caught your eye last month? Why don’t we catch up in the comments’ section!

Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless by Sara Holland

Published by: HarperTeen

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Page Count: 368

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.


What if the person to be feared is me?

 

Sara Holland’s debut novel will transport you to a dark and twisted world where people pay with time. This eloquent and beautiful story enchants, surprises, and shows you that Sara possesses a raw talent YA readers have been waiting for.

Jules Ember, along with her father, left her life in Sempera, a ruthless kingdom where the elites, the Gerlings, extract time from the poor so that they will prolong their own lives. As she discovers her father is dying, she decides to find her way back to this city where she was forced to leave because of a deadly secret. But as time reigns supreme, she uncovers secrets that may threaten her and the people she loves.

Sara has amazed me with her writing, storytelling, and world building. I don’t always find a YA that keeps me hooked and makes me want more once I’ve finished reading. But Everless does just that. I actually need the sequel. She hauntingly portrays how cruel this kingdom is. And the originality of her storytelling impresses me. I rarely say that about a debut author. She sets up Everless as a slow burn with hints of romance and some action injected in periodically. And I must say that Everless reminds me why I love YA.

Sara weaves together the past, present, and future into this spellbinding fantasy filled with political games and deceit. Time is currency, and you will discover that the rich always thrive, and the poor suffer. She brings a realism to her book by introducing a two-tiered society. The poor will give up their remaining years, which is extracted from their blood and turned into currency, so they can feed their families or pay the rent. What strikes me the most is how the aristocrats, who hoard these time coins or devour them to lengthen their lives, are often oblivious to the consequences of this currency. The parallels between this realm and our own society leap off the page.

This atmospheric YA also offers some treats. The mythology is the highlight of the story, as it guides the narrative along. And as the story progresses, I fell in love with these multi-dimensional characters. Poverty has shaped Jules into who she is, yet her quiet demeanor draws you in. I often find the quietest voice to be the loudest. The two Gerlings brothers, Roan and Liam, are polar opposites. I do not trust Roan though. Yet Liam, the brother Jules originally fears, is the hidden gem I surprisingly like. The relationship between Jules and Ina Gold, the Queen’s ward, is outright refreshing. They both love Roan, yet they aren’t fighting each other to win his love.

Everless unsettles yet allures you. Secrets, plot twists, deception, and hidden family history shape this debut novel into a stunning and compelling series. I cannot wait to see how Sara concludes it.

 

It’s possible to feel joy and grief at the same time. It’s possible to look forward to the horizon while mourning what you’ve lost.

Review: Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Superheroes

Page Count: 272

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?


You have a heavy heart, for someone with everything.

Mystery and intrigue? Indeed. Foreshadowing? Mhm. Thrilling suspense that keeps you guessing? Absolutely. Just the right amount of sexual tension? Hell, yes. Did you say Batman? Now you’ve got my attention. I knew I had to read this YA once I heard Marie Lu was writing a Batman origins story.

After being sentenced with community service for interfering with an investigation, Bruce Wayne finds himself an intriguing proposition: help the GCPD learn more of Arkham’s newest killer, Madeleine, a member of the Nightwalkers, who are terrorizing the city’s high society. But she’s the enigma Bruce can’t quite solve. And he’s the only person she’ll talk to. But will he uncover the truth in time to save not only the Gotham elites but also himself?

Marie’s interpretation of this well-told tale of Batman will satisfy dedicated DC fans. And Marie won’t disappoint by introducing twists and surprises that will surely entertain YA lovers. She captures the essence of Batman and Gotham, from the gritty streets to the shadows lingering among and within the people. She reminds me why I love this character and the city.

Batman: Nightwalker is purely a character-driven novel. But the author injects the proper dose of fast-paced action that fans of the Caped Crusader expect and demand. No, any author won’t get every rendition right. It’s the writer’s personal image of the character. However, she does both Batman and Gotham City justice. Marie kept me questioning the motive of every character, and I had to stay on my toes to keep up with the story. But I love getting that feeling from stories though.

Darkness speaks to darkness. Bruce feels a pull toward Madeleine. She’s walked through the dark, and she’s changed into something else, just like him. I feel that she’s a worthy opponent for this bat boy turning into Gotham’s Dark Knight. If a character stumps me, then you’ve created a captivating one. Bruce lives in the shadow of his parent’s deaths. But he also sees how his parents shielded him from the backstreets of this dangerous city. That threat always existed, but now he’s willing to see it.

Nightwalker doesn’t suffer from a lack of world building, which Marie easily creates in this short novel. I was worried she might not accomplish that. But some of the pacing seems too slow for me. Yes, she builds up suspense but doesn’t give long action scenes to make up for that issue. And I first thought the Nightwalkers are your run-of-the-mill, predictable adversary with a dark Robin Hood-esque motive. But Marie changes it up and throws in ample surprises that made me love the story more.

Batman: Nightwalker is a solid supehero read. It keeps just enough suspense to keep this Batman nerd pleased. Marie’s writing keeps you engaged, and the storyline and characters capture you. If you’re a fan of Bruce, you might want to add this addition to your collection.

 

Fear clears the mind. Panic clouds it.

Best Books of 2017

Hey, everyone!

Look at me forgetting to work on this post until the end of January. 😅 I need be a personal assistant to harass me every day. Well, better late than never! I’ve picked my top six reads of 2017. And even though I’d love to add more, these books are my favourites:

 

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh is my queen, and I’ll buy anything and everything she’ll write. She recreates readers’ cherished fairy tales and lore, then puts her own twists onto them. Women are at the forefront of this fairy tale retelling. They don’t need anyone, even a man, to save them. They’ll find their own happy ending. And they’ll save themselves. The illustrations set this book apart from others. I cannot recommend it more!

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Problems aside, this finale is solid. I don’t think anything will top A Court of Mist and Fury, but I love every single character arc, the High Lords’ meeting, and the gut-wrenching page 666 (I still can’t talk about it). The bond among the Archeron sisters will break your heart, then Feysand will shatter it. And I’m down for NESSIAN.

And have you seen the cover for A Court of Frost and Starlight?! Can we fangirl over it, please???

Warcross by Marie Lu

Virtual reality is taken to another level. I read this book earlier this month, but this one is, by far, the best novel I’ve read in a long time. I cannot get enough of this series. And I wish this series wasn’t a duology, but alas, it is. Emi may just steal your heart; she certainly has with mine. Marie makes me want to get back into science fiction books.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Ah! I fell in love with the cover before I even read the blurb. It does the story justice. Flame is a beautifully written and eloquent story. It captured my attention the moment I opened the book. Now Flame is the first book I’ve read from Renée, but she has done a stellar job at creating a culturally rich storyline.

 

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

I didn’t think Kiersten could top And I Darken, but I’ve been wrong before. Ruthless, dark, and deadly, Lada has wormed her way into my heart, that feisty killer. And Radu broke it. The Conqueror’s Saga is a stellar historical YA with a touch of romance. I thoroughly loved this dangerous world.

 

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this fae novel, but Margaret surprised me with her lush and imaginative writing. The characters are unforgettable, and the lore in this book will captivate. And you can’t go wrong with a cover designed by Charlie Bowater.