Book Review: The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) by Cinda Williams Chima

Description: “Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (August 30, 2011)

5 STARS–YOU GOTTA READ THIS!

The last book that’s out! I need the forth!!!!!! NOW!

This book takes place all over at the beginning sense they’re traveling. I’ll try to name all the places best I can, Fells, Tamron, Arden, Delphi, Marisa Pines. That all I can remember, but I’m guessing that is all of the locations.

The main characters, Han Alister and Raisa anna’Marianna are back. Raisa’s main conflict(What I think it is because it’s a conflict all throughout the book) is: Whom can Raisa trust? That is basically the main main conflict all through the book.

I liked the beginning(About 20, maybe 30% in). I can’t tell you why because otherwise it’ll be a spoiler. I ♥ Han’s character and attitude. I was amazed him and Amon got along(Read book 2 to find out why). Cat was awesome with her amazing attitude. Raisa with her mouth, backbone, and arguments were cool.

I didn’t really have any trouble during it, but the locations I always get mixed up because there as many and I can’t really spell them to tell you them.

I was a fan of the ending for a couple of reasons. 1.) It wasn’t a HUGE cliffhanger, but it still was one(Thank you Cinda! I love cliffhangers, but if it’s too big, I go insane waiting for the book!!!). 2.) Raisa was in it. Hehe, I lie Raisa. 3.) IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D☺:D☺:D☺

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

Series order: #1-Demon King, #2-Exiled Queen, #3-Gray Wolf Throne, #4-Crimson Crown

Recommended for readers who enjoyed Harry PotterEragon, and Artemis Fowl Series.  This series has the feel of epic fantasy, but it moves faster than Eragon.  The core of the series is magic.  Despite the title of the 1st book, there are no demons running around, well not at this point anyway.

Grab the Gray Wolf Throne now for under $10 – Kindle Edition!

Book Review: The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)
by Cinda Williams Chima

The Pirate Princess

Description: “You can’t always run from danger… Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen. The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction. EXCERPT: Han slid his fingers inside his shirt and absently touched the serpent amulet that sizzled against the skin of his chest. Power flowed out of him and into the jinxpiece, relieving the magical pressure that had been building all day. It had become a habit, this drawing off of power that might otherwise pinwheel out of control. He needed to constantly reassure himself the amulet was still there. Han had become strangely attached to it since he’d stolen it from Micah Bayar. The magical pendant had once belonged to his ancestor, Alger Waterlow, known by most people as the Demon King. Meanwhile, the Lone Hunter amulet made for him by the Clan Matriarch Elena Demonai languished in his saddlebag. He should hate the Waterlow jinxpiece. He’d paid for it with Mam’s and Mari’s lives. Some said the amulet was a black magic piece—capable of naught but evil. But it was all he had to show for his nearly seventeen years, save Mari’s charred storybook and Mam’s gold locket. It was all that remained of a season of disaster.”

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; 1 edition (September 28, 2010)

5 STARS-YOU GOTTA READ THIS!

I ♥ this book~!

Raisa/Rebecca and Han/Cuffs/Hunts Alone(This guy has too many names) are back in this book! Raisa has run away from the castle to go into hiding from the High Wizard. She is on a journey to Oden’s Ford, where she wants to enroll to a soldier school.
Han Alister(I’m only calling him that now) is on a journey to Oden’s Ford, but for a different reason. He is going to Mystwork House with Fire Dancer to train(I’m not telling you for what, hahaha!!!)

The book takes place in Tamron, Arden, Oden’s Ford, and, err, not sure of the rest. Sorry folks!

Again, there are two conflicts in this book, one for each main character. Raisa’s is; What is happening back in the Fells and should she go back? Han Alister’s is; What are the Bayar’s up to? Both plots are amazing(So are the characters). Raisa’s may sound a bit boring, but I actually found it interesting.

I liked Han and his story a lot. Raisa on her trip to the Ford was awesome too. 😉 Amon…Eh. He just…isn’t my favorite character int he book. I like everyone’s attitude though. Fiona…Is a creep.

In this book I didn’t find many(Try none) typos. I’m now reading the third book in the series(Hehe, I got it straight).

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

Series order: #1-Demon King, #2-Exiled Queen, #3-Gray Wolf Throne, #4-Crimson Crown

Recommended for readers who enjoyed Harry Potter, Eragon, and Artemis Fowl Series.  This series has the feel of epic fantasy, but it moves faster than Eragon.  The core of the series is magic.  Despite the title of the 1st book, there are no demons running around, well not at this point anyway.

Grab it now!  Kindle edition is on sale for $6.99!

Book Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

insurgent review, divergent 3, dystopian ya, Chicago, strong female heroineInsurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Marie’s Review

Description: “One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.”

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 1, 2012)

4 STARS – YOU GOTTA READ THIS!

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent triology by Veronica Roth.  You know how middle books can feel like a bridge to get to the final showdown at the end of the third book in a triology?  Insurgent wasn’t like that.  It stood on it’s own, offering the reader more insight into Tris’ world.

This wasn’t a light happy read.  There was a lot of Tris grappling with her parent’s sacrifice that lead her to be suicidal for a good chunk of the book.  It wasn’t just that she was moving through life as a fearless Dauntless/ Divergent, and the author made that very clear.  For a good portion of the book Tris had a death wish.

There is more death, deciete, and trust issues in Insurgent.  Tris’ problems are growing, partly because she can’t let go of what happened to her in the previous book (and honestly, I wouldn’t expect her to).  Her past is haunting her, altering her actions.  That compenent of the book was well executed.

I have mixed feelings about the bad guy and am interested to see what happens in the next book.  It’ll be a kick in the teeth if Jeanine was really a good guy, and no one could tell because she was heartless.  That’s my prediction.  We’ll see what happens.

I’m a little bipolar when it comes to Four and Tris’ relationship.  I don’t want to like it, but I do.  It seems like she’s screwing it up on purpose, but both of them seem to have trust issues.  While it’s annoying, it’s also more believable.  They’ve both been through a lot and I don’t think we know as much about Tobias to really get a good glimpse into his head.  I was surprised Tris allowed him to kiss her at the end.  I think I would have punched him, if he did that to me.  Major Tobias points lost.  And oddly, I’m starting to route for Peter.  I know I’m not supposed to, and I totally hated him in Divergent, but now he’s all rogue and unpredictable.  But Tobias… Tobias, you poor bastard. Tris is becoming a nutcase, and it seems like you already are.

The reason why I gave Insurgent 4 stars was because it felt like the book didn’t have a powerful climax.  We went through a lot to get to the ending, and that scene felt about as intense as the rest.  It was only the last few pages that really started to build, but the book ends.  Major shocker at the end.

Yes, Insurgent ended on a cliffhanger.  Yes, I like cliffhangers and this one was well done.  It made me a Veronica Roth fan and I can’t wait for the next book.

4 star book review

Recommended for: Hunger Games fans, dystopian fans, Shatter Me fans, readers of dystopian lit, YA survival stories.

The kindle edition of INSURGENT (Divergent #2) is on sale for $9.99 right now, which is great.  Go get it!

Related posts: Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Review: The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles, #3) by Rick Riordan

rick riordan, kane Chronicles, percy jackson, middle grade fiction, books for boys, Egyptian gods, adventure booksThe Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles, #3) by Rick Riordan

A Pirate Princess Review

Description: “He’s b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes’ only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent’s own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld.

Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.”

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)

5 STARS! NOT TO BE MISSED!  I MEAN IT!

Sadie and Carter Kane are back~!

This book is my favorite out of the Kane Chronicles.  Sadie, Cater, Bast, and the rest of the gang are back! This book takes place at a couple of fun places, let’s see if I can name all of them: Dallas, TX, Brooklyn House/21st Nome, 1st Nome, Egypt, and the Daut. 😛 Hey, I did it! Whoo hoo!

Anyway, back to the book. This book has a good plot, but I admit, he hinted at something a little too much. I figured it out almost straight away. I’m not saying exactly what, because I don’t want to spoil it. If you have read Serpent’s Shadow, ain’t that awesome!

The main conflict is: How will the Kanes stop Apophis? Me, I know how because I’ve read it.

The two main characters, Sadie and Carter, I can tell they’ve grown up. Sadie still has her attitude. Carter is still Mr. Wikipedia. Anubis, Walt, and Felix are back also. I like Walt tons! More than Anubis (That’s right! You heard me! {Or at least you saw what I typed} Anubis, sure he’s a god that everyone says is hot, but seriously. I like Walt much better.)

I liked that Rick kept the sarcasm and laughs even with all the conflict. When something shocking happened, he made up for it in some way (I said shocking. I did not cry at all when reading this book. I was close to during one thing though).

I LOVE his chapter titles tons, like these two, Bulls With Freaking Laser Beams…and…Welcome to the Fun House of Evil. LoL.

I did find some areas where I was confused. There were at least a couple of typos, too, but nothing major (I read the hardcover).

I think this book was the best out of the series. The Red Pyramid started the Kane Chronicles off, but it was slow-ish at the beginning and some parts in the middle. The Throne of Fire, the second book in the series…I think was just…Umm, too much conflict. I just…didn’t favor that one very much. This one answer questions I wanted to know, has good conflict, not too much or little, doesn’t really have any slow or boring spots, good humor. You get it now, right?

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

I would recommend SERPENT’S SHADOW to:  middle grade, tween, adventure readers, people who enjoy fun books, Rick Riordan fans, fans of mythology, and Percy Jackson fans of course. If you liked Peter and the Starcatchers, you will also like this series.

This book was the third and final book in the Kane Chronicles trilogy.  It is preceded by The Red Pyramid (#1) and the Throne of Fire (#2).

Grab SERPENT’S SHADOW by Rick Riordan, the final book in the Kane Chronicles now!  The kindle edition is on sale for less than $10!

Related posts: Event: Rick Riordan Q&A

Event: Rick Riordan Reading and Q&A at San Marcos, TX 5/11/2012

Event: RICK RIORDAN Reading + Q&A-SOLD OUT
San Marcos, TX, Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Location: TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY-SAN MARCOS LBJ STUDENT CENTER BALLROOM

Description: Wittliff Collections will host Rick Riordan for this special event to celebrate Rick Riordan’s World of Myth and Mythery, an exhibition showcasing the Wittliff’s major Riordan Collection—to which the author has been generously donating since 2004.

Note from Mrs. Riordan:

As many of Rick’s hosting venues now require a book purchase in the ticket price this event has the opportunity to purchase a ticket for $5 that does not include a book. Great for those of us that read books from the library! Rick will be reading from passages of books yet to be published and do a more lengthy Q&A. This should be a very special event.

Hey Bloggers!

The Pirate Princess, here! Thanks you very much for reading my blog.  Here is some fun news! I just came back from San Marcos, TX–the last stop on the tour of author Rick Riordan.

Rick Riordan has written four series.  His first children’s series was the awesome Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. Rick co-authored a book in The 39 Clues. Another series is titled The Kane Chronicles, which is a trilogy, and the last book was released on May 1st. Sadly (yet awesomely!!!), I had to wait until the 11th to get mine. Why, you ask? Because the 11th of May was his last stop on his tour for The Serpents Shadow.

I got my ticket and went to San Marcos, and had an awesome time!!! Eeep! I was the 8th person in line since we got there extra early.  We were told that the people who sat closer to the front, right next to the camera usually got called on during the Q&A, so that’s right were I sat.

I bought a SIGNED copy of The Serpent’s Shadow that night and got to ask him a question, and was awesome–I always am! 😉

Rick talked about how when he was young (No, it will not be like your grandparents telling you, “When I was young, I didn’t have a bike. Blah, blah, blah.) that he didn’t like reading or writing–until he found a book that he really liked. The first book he read that he enjoyed was Lord of the Rings. He was told it based of Norse gods and goddesses and myths or Norway/Scandinavia, which interested him at the time.

When he was in eighth grade, he sure he wanted to be an author. Rick wrote his  first short story where a guy goes to heaven and has a conversation with an angel. I forgot what he named it (I think it was Conversations with an Archangel).  His teacher told him to send it out to see if he could get it published. And he did.  Rick sent it to a sci-fi magazine that wrote stories like the one he had written and then waited for two months. When he got the letter (It was written with a typewriter), he got rejected.

And guess what? His mom was proud of that rejection letter! She framed it and put it in the hall, where he had to pass it and had to look at it…every. Single. Day. Then, a few years later, the house burned down. The only thing that survived (besides the family)….was that rejection letter. She reframed it and it’s now hanging in Riordan’s mom’s house. That’s the power of rejection for ya’!

Rick told us about how The Lightning Thief came to be:  (If you haven’t you have to read the books! The Lightening Thief is number one in his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.)

When his son was little, they found out that he had ADHD and is dyslexia. It made it so that his son didn’t like reading or writing. Rick asked his son if there was anything he was interested in at school. His son responded he liked the Greek myths they were teaching. Riordan told his son all of the myths. The night he ran out, his son wasn’t too happy. He wanted more.

“Make up another!” his son said.

“Another hasn’t been made in 2000 years,” Rick told him. Then, he decided to make a story. He gave it a shot. Then came Percy Jackson. He told his son Percy Jackson was ADHD and dyslexic, too. So, Percy Jackson started as a bedtime story. Now it’s a bestselling awesome book. (Read it already!)

Rick let his class read it before it was published. They liked it. He had to change the title though.  His class pointed out that he needed a catchier title. After that, he sent his manuscript out.

Disney Hyperion liked it and said, “We want it!” Rick said okay. Then, when they worked on the cover. The first guy….I forgot what happened to him but he got fired. The second guy wanted to monsters to be coming out of the book (see pic on left). Then they made a second edition which is the one we all see today. The Lightening Thief was sold worldwide. Rick was told that in Germany, they needed a strict, striking, dark cover. He prepared to see that. And he got…The Minotaur….In his Fruit of the Loom underpants, aka, tidy widies.

During the Q&A, I got to ask him a question.

I asked, “How do you come up with your stories?”

He replied, “I think of the myths and imagine what they would be like in the real world.”

Apparently, in the 21st century the Minotaur needs undies.

Rick also told us about his adult series(Don’t read it! {Unless you are an adult of course.}) They were killer mysteries. He said, one day in his sixth grade class(He was a teacher), one of his students asked, “Can we read your book?”

“NO!” Was Rick’s response. “It has violence and bad words! Lots of bad words!” He said when he told them that their eyes lit up and they said, “Really?” They all got the book and highlighted the bad words. So much for no.

Rick read the first chapter to a book called, Mark of Athena, the third book in his series Heroes of Olympus. I laughed very hard. You’ll see why when it comes out.

He told us more about his adult books and his children series.

He also said, one day his son came into his writing room and said, “Yeah, so I finished my manuscript.”

Here, *insert shocked expression* “What?” Rick asked.

“Yeah, it’s 600 pages.” Hayley, his son, said.

“That’s more than anything I’ve written,” Rick told his son.

Hayley said, *insert evil smile and nodding* “I knowww.”

That’s a LoL moment!

Another LOL moment.  Rick said, for his book, as I have mentioned many times(The Lightning Thief for those of you who skimmed this) he had a Japanese translator.  She had to translate all the American phrases into Japanese. Every day he got e-mails from her asking about American terms. One day he got one that said this…

Mr. Riordan,

What is a wedgie?

Hahaha! 😛

Here are some more answers to the top questions his readers may be thinking…

  1. Yes! Rick will write a Norse gods series after Heroes of Olympus.
  2. Yes, the Percy Jackson world and Sadie and Carter’s world DO exist side-by-side. So, in the Red Pyramid, Carter did see Blackjack!!!
  3. Rick does not know if he will make a Red Pyramid movie. He said if he’s offered the right amount, maybe, but he hasn’t considered it much.
  4. Rick does not know if he will continue the Percy Jackson world after “Heroes of Olympus”.
  5. No, the Lotus Casino does not exist.
  6. Rick did not see the movie of The Lightning Thief. He had nothing to do with it. He said he didn’t see the movie, because he already has the characters in his head. If he went to movie, it might’ve messed that up, so he avoided it.

And I happened to notice that right now, The Lightening Thief is on sale for Kindle for $4.99, which is awesome!

If you enjoy reading Rick’s books, you will LOVE seeing him speak in person.  If you get the chance to hear him speak, you should totally do it.  We drove over four hours to get there and it was totally worth it.  And in case your parents are wondering: Yes!  There were lots of kids there.  Most were in Middle School, like me.  To see when he’s touring next, watch his website.  We bought tickets within an hour of the event being posted and got in.  They sold out by later that night, so be ready to grab tickets as soon as they go up or you might not get in.

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

That’s all for now Rick Riordan fans! Thank you for reading!!!

Related Reviews: The Lost Hero, The Serpent’s Shadow (Coming soon)

 

Book Review: The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: “When 16-year-old Han Alister and his Clan friend Dancer encounter three underage wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea, he has no idea that this event will precipitate a cascade of disasters that will threaten everything he cares about.

Han takes an amulet from one of the wizards, Micah Bayar, to prevent him from using it against them. Only later does he learn that it has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. And the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back

Han’s life is complicated enough. He’s the former streetlord of the Raggers—a street gang in the city of Fellsmarch. His street name, Cuffs, comes from the mysterious silver bracelets he’s worn all his life—cuffs that are impossible to take off.

Now Han’s working odd jobs, helping to support his family, and doing his best to leave his old life behind. Events conspire against him, however. When members of a rival gang start dying, Han naturally gets the blame.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battles to fight. As heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, she’s just spent three years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai Camp—riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Now court life in Fellsmarch pinches like a pair of too-small shoes.

Wars are raging to the south, and threaten to spread into the high country. After a long period of quiet, the power of the Wizard Council is once again growing. The people of the Fells are starving and close to rebellion. Now more than ever, there’s a need for a strong queen.

But Raisa’s mother Queen Marianna is weak and distracted by the handsome Gavan Bayar, High Wizard of the Fells. Raisa feels like a cage is closing around her—and an arranged marriage and eroded inheritance is the least of it.

Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. With the help of her friend, the cadet Amon Byrne, she navigates the treacherous Gray Wolf Court, hoping she can unravel the conspiracy coalescing around her before it’s too late.”

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; Reprint edition (August 31, 2010)

REVIEW: 5 STARS NOT TO BE MISSED!

This book was very well written. I mean, I barely found any typos. 🙂

This book is the first in a series called “The Seven Realms”. I liked the plot in the book. Usually I can predict what the author will do, but this time…NOPE. It had me second guessing everything. I did assume something was up with Han, but I didn’t know what. Raisa was a good character, and not because she is a princess 😉 It takes place in more than one place.. There are cites like Ragmarket and gangs called the Southies and Raggers. Lands called Arden, Vale, and Fells.

This book compared another I’ve recently, called, Science Fair by Ridley Pearson. I think this book has a better plot and better characters. It had something of a love triangle and romance that Science Fair didn’t and doesn’t have. It has adventure, comedy, and things that had me laughing, even though the situation was sort of…bad. Oops, actually, nah. It made me laugh, so what.

There are, actually, something of two main plots, because the book has two main characters; Han and Raisa. The plot Han is in is; Why do the Bayars have the amulet that belonged the the Demon King? Raisa’s, amazingly, also involves the Bayars; What is going on in the castle and how are the Bayars connected?

I will be reading the second book very soon (Try today :P) and I can’ wait! I’m expecting Han and Raisa to meet again. Haha, hope Amon don’t get too jealous. 😉

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

Series order: #1-Demon King, #2-Exiled Queen, #3-Gray Wolf Throne, #4-Crimson Crown

Recommended for readers who like fantasy, fans of Percy JacksonKane Chronicles, and Kingdom Keepers SeriesHarry PotterEragon, and Artemis Fowl Series.  This series has the feel of epic fantasy, but it moves faster than Eragon.  The core of the series is magic.  Despite the title of this book, there are no demons running around, well not at this point anyway.

Grab it now on Amazon now!

Book Review: Kingdom Keepers V-Shell Game by Ridley Pearson

kingdom keepers V, disney books, childrens books, 5 starsKingdom Keepers V: Shell Game by Riddley Pearson

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: “As the five Kingdom Keepers enter high school, everything is about to change. The Maintenance Base that controls all four parks in Disney World is under attack by the Overtakers, a group determined to change Disneyforever. Relationships between the Keepers are no longer as simple as they once were. In fact, nothing is as simple as it once was.
An after-hours visit to Typhoon Lagoon is a game changer. The Keepers lose one of their most valuable supporters. But there’s work to do . . .

The Disney Dream leaves Port Canaveral on an historic cruise to Los Angeles with a special treat in store for guests: the Disney Host Interactive guides are on board. Finn, Maybeck, Charlene, Willa, and Philby join guests as the DHI experience moves to one of the most advanced cruise ships in the world.

But all is not right below decks. Strange things are happening. Only the Kingdom Keepers know the truth behind their invitation to be in attendance: nearly every Disney villain is aboard the ship, including Maleficent. The Overtakers have infiltrated the cast and crew. And no oneknows what they have planned.

The Dream sets sail filled with enthusiastic guests and crew. But not for long. Maleficent takes over a video screen and warns the guests of trouble to come. With the ship arriving to the beaches of Castaway Cay–its first of many exotic ports of call–the Kingdom Keepers are under attack; back home the Base is threatened and about to fall. The Overtakers have expanded in ways never foreseen, and it’s clear they intend to use this element of surprise to accomplish what has eluded them so far: victory.

But not if Finn Whitman and friends have anything to say about it.”

Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (April 3, 2012)

REVIEW 5 STARS-NOT TO BE MISSED!

Two words(Well four if you count the two before). Awesome. Cliffhanger.

This book is the fourth in the Kingdom Keepers series, written by Ridley Pearson. It takes place on the Disney cruise ship, The Dream and The Fantasy. Kingdom Keepers are now traveling from Orlando, Florida and across the Panama Canal to California.

The Keepers, Finn, Willa, Maybeck, Philby, and Charlene along with their two friend Jes and Amanda, have a new adventure on their hands.

The book had amazing conflict and twists that I didn’t see coming. I couldn’t figure it out except for when the author told me(Haha!) and I can usually see who the culprit or what’s going to happen before the end of the book. The main conflict in this book is hard to place, but you’ll see when you read it it’s this. Why do the Overtakers want a certain item and why are they on the ship? Finn has the most conflict in this book, and you’ll see why.

I’ll compare the first book of this amazing series to this one. I think I like this one better. There’s more conflict, more problems the Keepers have to face, and it has an awesome ending, but the ending also made me go into shock.

Speaking of the ending, I have to say I did enjoy it. True, I did go into shock when I read it and re-read it to make sure I got it right…But it was still good. I thought the series was over then and there, but then I heard two more books are coming and I was jumping up and down like a crazy person(No! I am not crazy!).

I liked the characters in the books, but I found I didn’t like two of them as much any more, and they are not Overtakers. Finn, as always, is awesome, but I found some of his personality changed. Amanda…..Is amazing. That’s all I can say. New characters are introduced in this book to, but I won’t say who.

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I would definitely recommend this book to around 10-Adult. People who enjoyed the previous books of this series should read this one. Tweens and teens will lie it to. Heck! Adults will LOVE it!!!

Grab SHELL GAME now at AMAZON or B&N or WalMart

Book Review: Valefar Vol. 2 (Collin #2) by H.M. Ward

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Valefar Vol. 2 (Collin #2) [Demon Kissed] by H.M. Ward

Marie’s Review

Description:

“The dangerous and beautiful Collin Smith just made the biggest mistake of his life, and there is no way to fix it. In his quest to restore his soul, he destroyed the only person he truly cared about, Ivy Taylor. Collin tries to deny his love for her, but his desire to protect Ivy drives him to do things Valefar shouldn’t do. If Collin exposes his weakness—his affection for Ivy—he endangers them both and risks the wrath of Kreturus.”

The VALEFAR volumes are meant to read in one sitting, and generally takes about an hour. VALEFAR VOL. 2 is a YA Paranormal Romance and has 13,223 words (90 pages).  VALEFAR VOL. 3 will be released Summer 2012.

Ages: 14 & up
Print Length: 90 pages
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press; 2 edition (March 30, 2012)

REVIEW: 5 STARS! NOT TO BE MISSED

This novella picks up right where the last one left off. You’re instantly thrown into Collin’s world as he tries to fight for Ivy, while still trying to remain below the radar. They are written lighter, similar to Demon Kissed (Ivy #1).

I love the way these book go with the main series. Without them, nothing is lacking, but with them – OMG. Is it possible to <3 Collin more? Cuz after reading these I totally do. And at the end of book #5 The 13th Prophecy, I was feeling for Eric.

I can’t wait for the next one. I heard there are going to be several of these. My suggestion is reading Valefar Vol. 1 and Vol 2 AFTER reading Demon Kissed. The great thing about these is that you can read them in any order (Valefar Volumes, then Demon Kissed), but I really like the ah-ha! moments that happen after reading Demon Kissed. And it doen’t spoil anything to read them in that order either.  My understanding is that there is no print edition of this book at this time.  The print edition will appear as Volumes 1-4 when the 4th installment appears.

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This is the second book in the Collin Smith/ Demon Kissed series.  DEMON KISSED is followed by CURSEDTORNSATAN’S STONE, and THE 13th PROPHECY.  Companion DEMON KISSED novellas are THE VALEFAR VOLUMES: VOL. 1. & 2. ASSASSIN: FALL OF THE GOLDEN VALEFAR is Eric’s story and the first book in that related series will be released May 10th, 2012.  Can’t wait!

Recommended for people who like dystopian, paranormal romance, fast pacing, dark YA.  If you liked UNEARTHLY, HOUSE OF NIGHT, and FEVER SERIES, I think you’ll really enjoy the DEMON KISSED series, too.

Related posts: Valefar Vol. 1 & Demon Kissed & 13th Prophecy

Grab Valefar Vol. 2 now via Amazon for Kindle or B&N for Nook.  

FREE Book: Valefar Vol. 1 (Demon Kissed #0.5) by H.M. Ward

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Description: “It’s 369 days before Ivy loses her soul to a demon kiss. And, Collin Smith, the most powerful Valefar this side of Hell, wants his soul back. He thinks he’ll get it too, until a bargain with a powerful demon proves to be more costly than he hoped. As his world shifts, Collin tries to protect Ivy, but he knows he can’t be with her. Torn between his affection for the girl and his loyalty, Collin is forced to be the evil creature he tries so hard to deny – a Valefar.

VALEFAR is the novella prequel to the bestselling YA Paranormal Romance DEMON KISSED. Each VALEFAR volume is meant to read in one sitting. VALEFAR Vol. 1 is a YA Paranormal Romance and has 12,500 words, or 85 pages.”

Ages: 14 & up
Print Length: 85 pages
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press; 2 edition (November 26, 2011)

I haven’t posted my review of this little book yet, but it was awesome!  I read the series in order and so, Valefar Vol. 1 was read after Demon Kissed.  It was like looking at a behind the scenes production.  I got to see exactly what Collin was doing and thinking.  There was lots of action, as well as romantic tension.  This is the Collin that we know and love in Demon Kissed #1, but even more so!  If you love Demon Kissed #1 and the dangerously beautiful Collin Smith, grab this!

The fact that Valefar Vol. 1 is free is icing!

Happy reading!  Grab VALEFAR VOL. 1 now via Amazon.

Book Review: Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

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Marie’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.”

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1ST edition (December 6, 2011)

RATING 3–STARS A GOOD READ

Clockwork Prince is the second book in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.  The story takes place in London, England in the mid 1800’s.  There were many elements that drew me to this series.  I enjoy historical fiction and it’s not a dominant theme in YA.  Tying the two together gives the reader a faster HF read, since YA typically moves at a faster pace than adult novels.  I’ll get more to the pacing later.  I enjoy paranormal, and really like books that cross the paranormal worlds and smash them together.  This was that kind of book.

The characters grew in Clockwork Prince.  Tessa, Jem, and Will are all growing and changing.  Tessa is becoming more sure of herself, even though she isn’t sure what she is. I wish there wasn’t a love triangle, but there is.  The triangle doesn’t seem forced, but I think it portrays Tessa as a weaker character.  I like reading about Jem and Will.  They are both opposites, but that plays off of them nicely.  It makes them seem real, which is awesome.  And Will is such a hot mess, who couldn’t love him?

Tessa is the main character, and she doesn’t know what type of creature she is.  As the novel progresses, she gets more clues as to her heritage, while becoming more bold as the plot unfolds.  The Institute is under attack, and another Shadowhunter is trying to take it from Charlotte.  The world itself it beautifully woven together.  There are demons, ghosts, vampires, nephilim, and more mythical creatures that live together under the noses of the human population.

The steampunk thread that runs through these books is also interesting and well done.  It doesn’t feel out of place or shoved in there.  The mechanisms are an integral part of the story-line.  In short, this makes the series a prime candidate as a paranormal smorgasbord of all-time favorite creatures with mass appeal.  I should have loved it.  I really, really wanted to…

But, there was a major flaw with the pacing of this book (and the previous book). I felt bipolar while I was reading it.  Some days I loved it, and others I hated it.  I finally figured out why. The pacing throughout this novel was erratic.  It felt like the story was stuck in second gear.  The book progressed that way through both novels, without a serious climax.  Don’t get me wrong – the book did climax a little bit, but for the size of this 500+ page book, and the depth of the story, well the climax fell short.  Then the story for the third book started.  I don’t have issues with that.  It creates cliffhangers and I love cliffhanger endings.  It’s just that the characters and the world were so awesome, but the story itself seemed lackluster in comparison, which was disappointing.

The other issue that pulled this down to three stars was the fact-checking.  There were three oopsie facts, back to back toward the end of the  book.  One sentence was a string of words that should have described a gown, but meant nothing.  They strung together words that were meant to sound technical, but they were the wrong words.  The sentences immediately following were about cameras with incorrect period info. It may not bother other people, but having several issues in a row jerked me out of the story.

Clockwork Prince is proceeded by Clockwork Angel.

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This book is recommended for YA Paranormal readers, historical fiction fans, and Cassandra Clare fans.  Younger readers should be aware that this novel has a graphic scene about war spoils that some may find upsetting.

Grab CLOCKWORK PRINCE on Amazon by clicking here.