Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

*TOP 10 OF 2012*

Marie’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011)

RATING 4 STARS

I read Legend right after reading The Grey Wolf Throne.  The two books complimented each other.  It was really interesting, because I really like Han in the other series.  Day is a similar character. He’s poor with a tormented past.  He’s on his own and will do anything to survive.  One difference is that Han seems to be a bit of an egoist while Day is still trying to act within his own moral code.  Day hasn’t killed anyone.

And that’s what spurs this book.  Although he’s caused the Republic lots of problems, he hasn’t killed anyone.  Then one night things go horribly wrong and he’s accused of killing June’s brother.  The story unfolds beautifully, not too fast, not too slow.  We learn what happened to June’s family and the clues her brother left for her.  June hunts Day with the intention of killing him.  She’s the Republic’s golden child.  She’s smart, cunning, and merciless.  She’s the youngest solider and the smartest.

I LOVED this book.  It was dark and intense, with reasons that resonated with the reader.  You were routing for June and then hoping she’d fail, because you are routing for Day, too. Their two worlds collide and the story is just awesome!  I can’t say enough about this book.  It wasn’t on my short list of books because I hate the cover.  Yeah, I’m a girl and it’s an ugly cover.  Anyway, Legend is in my top 10 books read in 2012.  So why’d I give it 4 stars?

Lemme explain.  There is only one reason why I didn’t give it 5 fricken fab stars – the formatting.  Printing things in bold, weird colors was a gimmick that this book did NOT need.  Instead of lending to the book, these issues made Legend difficult to read from major headaches and eyestrain.  Publisher of Legend, I have one thing to say to you: I hope you print the next book normal so I can read it.  I completely hated the publisher’s guts while I was reading this book.  Doing anything that makes it more difficult for a reader to read a book is STUPID.  You might as well be shooting Chinese stars out of the pages at my eyeballs.  Majorly annoyed about that.

To the author: Your book was so good, I endured the migraines to finish it.

4 star book review

If you liked DIVERGENT, SHATTER ME, or 7 REALMS SERIES then you’ll like this.  Weird cross over on that last one, but I stand by it.  Han and Day are both awesome.  <3 <3 <3

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Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.”

Paperback: 320 pages
Recommended Age: Older Teen
Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)

RATING 4 STARS 

I almost walked away from this one a few times… But, I kept picking it up anyway and, eventually, it was worth it.

Anna Dressed in Blood has a great premise – and that’s what kept me from giving up on it. It’s not vampires, love triangles, and teenage angst (at least not entirely.) It’s a ghost story. A really creepy ghost story at times.

The problem, at least for me, was how slow it was to take full advantage of the premise. I was almost half-way through the book before the plot itself was gripping enough to keep me turning the pages. In and of itself, that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. But, during that down time there wasn’t anything to balance out the lack of excitement. Every time it felt like it was about to kick into gear, it still managed to meander of pretty quickly.

I would really have liked to see more character depth from the beginning. More relationships. More conflict. More to keep me reading, and building the suspense, while waiting for the “ghosty” parts. Heck, I really wouldn’t have been upset to see any of the characters suffer a horrible death for the better part of half the book. That’s a problem.

As the story goes on, I never really fell for the protagonist, Cas, but there was still enough there to keep me hooked. Maybe that was the problem – the bulk of the beginning was supposed to be introducing Cas… and I just never really grew to like him during that time. At times I actually disliked him. If nothing else, how do you have a “ghost hunter” who seems so weak at times.

I normally would have rated this around three stars. But, my rule is that if I’ll pick up the next book in the series it’s worth 4. And, I just may grab the next one. Maybe. This book actually ended on a note that strongly reminded me of Demon Kissed – and that’s a great series.

***Although YA, my twelve year old will have to wait for this one… Otherwise I foresee a lot of nightmares in the near future. Just an FYI – maybe your kid is made of stronger stuff. But, I was creeped out at times, and I’m old enough to know the bogeyman isn’t under the bed.

4 star book review

Recommended for people who read YA Horror, Ghost Stories, and like a good creep-out.  Need a spooky read for Halloween?  This is it.  Anna Dressed in Blood is followed by Girl of Nightmares (release date Aug 7, 2012).

Grab Anna Dressed in Blood on Amazon now. It was only $2.99 when I grabbed it!

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Book Review: Valkyrie Rising by Eric C. Currie

Valkyrie Rising (Warriors Wings #2) by Eric C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: Two years after the initial invasion of Hayden’s World, the newly reinforced Hayden Militia is in a state of stalemate with the remaining enemy forces but neither side is content to leave things at that.

The alien alliance has dispatched their varsity to clean up the resistance on Hayden while the USF has officially activated Task Force V, the latest and most advanced combat ships built by humans.

In the end there are some things you decide in the skies, but some can only be settled in the mud.

Print Length: 255 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services

RATING – 4 STARS

This is the sequel to “On Silver Wings,” and from the author of “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” If you’ve read my reviews of those, you’ll know that I’m already a big fan.

With “Valkyrie Rising” we get the return of our protagonist. Sergeant Aida is back. But, this time she’s in her element as part of a larger force. And as readers, we’re no longer just focused on the conflict evolving on a lone world, but we’re also exposed to a much larger epic. So while keeping tabs on Aida, we’re also able to see the greater story unfold where she plays but a small role. It’s a great way to keep the comforting intimacy of the characters we know, while expanding the scope of the story into something bigger – bigger conflict, bigger stakes, bigger cast, bigger!

Somehow, Currie has managed to keep each book intense, and full of conflict – but still end on a really satisfying, fulfilling note. Instead of following the “Star Wars” formula (introduce the conflict, dark episode, vindication of the good guys), he’s made each book a complete story arc. Personally, I find that a much funner and more satisfying way to read a series.

Looking forward to the next book…

4 star book review

Recommended to Sci-Fi readers.

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Book Review: The Selection by Keria Cass

The Selection by Keira Cass

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 24, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS OF AWESOMENESS!

AWE-SOME! It’s not even just some part awesome, it’s all awesome!!! 😀

♥♥♥ed it!!! America Singer is the main character int his book and is-may I say?-AMAZING! The other main character is Prince Maxon, whom America meets when she ends up in the Selected 35 girls that the Prince will meet and converse with to see which one he will marry.

I had covered my mouth to keep from yelling, “I knew it!” when she ended up a Selected. The main conflict in this book is something like this: America thought what she wanted, but now she’s having second thought. I know it’s not a question, but that’s the main conflict, at least how I see it.

The book was a fun mix of competition, questions, and excitement! I love excitement!!! The book is not dystopian, of course, unless you count attacks (I don’t count that.). The book had lots of laughs that I loved and parts that made me go, “Oh no she didn’t!”. The moment I read about Aspen and America together, I loved it. I wanted them together. But then I met Prince Maxon and I knew they would be together a lot. When Aspen did what he did, I called him a jerk.I officially don’t like Aspen. Hmph.

The end of the book was very good (I want mooooore!!!). I. Can’t believe how long I have to wait for the next book!!!

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

Recommended for readers who enjoyed Matched, Shiver, YA, Paranormal, and lighter dystopian books. Related posts: MATCHED SHIVER reviews.

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Book Review: Bane (Vampire Apocalypse #1) by H.M. Ward

Bane (Vampire Apocalypse #1) by H.M. Ward

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: The world as we know it is gone. The ice caps have melted and shifted south, devastating the northern territories and eradicating major cities such as New York and London, which are now under water and frozen.

Humans died off during an epidemic prior to the ice disaster, and many more died during the floods at the start of this new ice age. These events have forced vampires out of hiding. In order to ensure that their food source wouldn’t completely die off, the vampires have sequestered the remaining humans into farms and taken control of all that remains of civilization. Over time, the humans breeding on these farms became anemic. Their blood no longer sustains the master race.

But not all of the humans were captured and sent to the farms. Some of the humans evaded the hunters, hiding in safe houses across the frozen tundra. As decades passed, the free humans disappeared, died, or were captured, until all that remains is one.

Kahli is the last wild human. BANE is her story.

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 306 pages
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press (June 14, 2012)

RATING – 5 STARS OF AWESOMENESS!

I GOT TO GET AN ARC {Advanced Reserved Copy} AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D:D

Bane is the most awesome vampire book I’ve read. The main character is Kahli, a six-teen-year old girl who is wicked awesome and is super cool!!!!!!!

This book’s main conflict is; How will Kahli escape? (Hehe, doesn’t make sense to you guys huh? Well….READ THE BOOK!)

The story line is amazing, I love the character (*cough, cough* KAHLI!). I like the action in the book and, again, I ♥ Kahli. 😉 There’s a character named Will, where at first I would like to punch him….Well, read the book.

The ending was a cliffhanger, a good one. That’s why I WANT THE SECOND BOOK TO BE FREAKING OUT NOW!!!!!!!! Hehe, uhhh, sorry about that outburst.

Anyways, it takes place in the world, but the whole things is covered in snow. Some cities are buried under ice, impossible to get to.

This book is on my ‘Awesomest Books Ever Read’ shelf because it truly is an awesome book. I love the characters (Except for some), the plot, the conflicts, all of it basically. Hehe 😀

ME WANT BOOK 2!!!!!!!!!!! (I sound like Cookie Monster when I’m really excited!!!! :D)

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

Recommended for readers who like vampires, action/ adventure books, Twilight, Hunger Games, romance, and edgy paranormal stories with kickin’ heroines.

Get BANE: VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE #1 now:

Book Review: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (September 20, 2011)

RATING – 3 STARS – I ENJOYED THIS BOOK

This book was a good one. It’s dystopian and I still liked it. I don’t usually like dystopian books….at all.  (If you are looking for dystopian reads, check out Marie’s reviews.  She <3s that kinda thing).

Matched takes place in a province that part of something bigger. The Society. Cassia, Ky, and Xander are all main characters in this book, but the main main one is Cassia, a 16-year-old girl.

The main conflict in this book is something like this: Should Cassia trust the Society? Was it really a glitch was happened when she saw Ky’s face flash across the screen for a moment?(Yes, I know that’s two questions, but they’re to give you an idea of what the book is driven by.)

This book is relationship driven and it’s not fully dystopian. It’s like a dystopian/romance. Never read one of those before. The book was good enough for me to keep reading it. The ending was something of a cliffhanger. Not a real one, but it made you want more.

The book itself was good. Good job Ally! I liked Ky, I think he’s my favorite character in this book. I thought that at some parts is slow, but Ally made up for that. At the end there was some action brewing and I love action (I mostly read plot/action driven books.). However, I’m not sure it’s good enough for me to buy the next book. I bought this book because of the cover, which is AMAZING btw, but it’s still not exactly my type of book.

The last book I read was also a romance, but not fully dystopian. It’s called The Selection. I think the two books are very similar, but The Selection is more exciting and fun because of it’s main character, America (Not the country. The main character is actually called America.). In Matched there wasn’t a lot of laughs….Barely any. That made me sad. 🙁 It had some action, which was okay with me! The Selection had similar action-not exactly the same, but similar-but more of it.

pirate princess book reviews 3 stars

Recommended for dystopian fans of books like HUNGER GAMES, MAZE RUNNER, and DIVERGENT.  MATCHED is the first book in the trilogy, followed by CROSSED, and then REACHED.

Get MATCHED #1 by Ally Condie via Amazon:

Related posts: DIVERGENT & THE SELECTION Reviews

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

Valefar Vol. 2, HM ward, demon kissed, paranormal romance, 5 star book reviews, YA

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.

BOOKS are better than icecream, 5 stars, awesome books

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.  

Book Review: The 13th Prophecy (Demon Kissed #5) by H.M. Ward

demon kissed #5, paranormal romance, fallen angel book, best YA booksTHE 13th PROPHECY (Demon Kissed #5) by H.M. Ward

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “The time has come for Ivy to face her dark fate.

There are no other options—she must destroy Kreterus. Failure to destroy him will result in the annihilation of the world we know and Ivy being doomed to reside in the Underworld for eternity.”

Reading level: Ages 16 & up
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press (March 5, 2011)
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/demonkissed

REVIEW: 5 STARS–NOT TO BE MISSED

This series started out as solid Young Adult reading. I devoured them alongside my daughter… But, with this concluding volume the series has really graduated into a full-fledged adult paranormal romance – and it’s stronger for it.

All along we’ve seen Ivy Taylor struggle with the reality of who she believes herself to be versus who she is fated to become. With this book, the underlying theme that has been alluded to all along becomes much clearer – life comes in shades of gray. Good and evil, right and wrong, aren’t always clear cut. That’s what made me appreciate this series so much for younger readers. Can a likable, lovable, relatable character really by damned? Can true love be deeper than mere swooning, and complicated by less admirable feelings? Does someone always have to win?

This was a really great, satisfying, conclusion that avoided the typical Disneyification that we expect in modern stories. And, that’s also why my twelve year old won’t be reading this last book for a while… The sexual tension in the past books is ratcheted way up and allowed to play out more than it has before. The relationships are more complex – and at times twisted – than a young kid could be expected to follow. And, the ending leaves readers feeling as though the author was true to the story and characters, even if it meant taking us all on a wild ride and a very dark roller coaster.

If you’re an adult reader who hasn’t picked up this series yet, the Ivy-Eric relationship alone will be enough to keep you turning pages.

THE 13th PROPHECY is the 5th and final book in the Ivy Taylor/ Demon Kissed story.  H.M. Ward has announced that Demon Kissed will continue under a new series name FALL OF THE GOLDEN VALEFAR, and follow Eric’s story.  Anticipated release is Summer 2012.  See author’s website for more information.

BOOKS are better than icecream, 5 stars, awesome books

*Recommended book club read.  Due to the nature of this series, it is an easy book to discuss, with many talking points.

I would also recommend this series for teen or adult paranormal romance readers, dark paranormal readers, vampire fans, and readers who enjoy lots of fast-paced action.

The 13th Prophecy is the fifth book in the bestselling Demon Kissed series by H.M. Ward.

Grab THE 13th PROPHECY (Demon Kissed #5) on Amazon by clicking here.

Related Reviews: Demon Kissed, Stone Prison

Book Review: Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1) by H.M. Ward


Demon Kissed, HM Ward, YA Paranormal Romance, dark dystopianDemon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)
by H.M. Ward

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: “The Valefar boy tricked Ivy Taylor into kissing him, but he took much more than a kiss – he stole her soul and left her within inches of death. By surviving, Ivy is drawn into the conflict between the Martis and the Valefar. The war between these two immortal forces has raged for millennia without distraction. Until now.

Ivy is an anomaly-she is the only person who has ever walked away from a demon kiss alive. Her survival gives her unique and deadly abilities. Too powerful to ignore, Ivy is a threat to both armies. These two ancient enemies will stop at nothing to kill the seventeen-year-old.

Surviving is nothing new for headstrong Ivy, but her survival has never depended on another person before. This time it does. And if she misplaces her trust, she’s dead. To her horror, she starts falling in love at the worst possible time-with the enemy. He appears to be protecting her. But she can’t be certain if he is trying to help her, or help himself to her power. For Ivy, trusting the right person is the difference between love and survival, or a deadly demon kiss.”

Reading level: Ages 14 & up
Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press (March 27, 2011)
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/demonkissed

REVIEW: 5 STARS–NOT TO BE MISSED!

Demon Kissed = the best book EVER!!!!!!! It is more than a exiting thriller, this book is so good you won’t know how to describe it!!!!  When Ivy’s hair was in purple flames that was so good. I felt like I there watching it happen like I was in the book–seeing and feeling it all. It was the most amazing super duper exciting wild book I’ve ever read.

The bad people/ villains in DEMON KISSED are called Valefars.  They were humans that had their souls sucked out by demons.  They are immortal and super bad.  Martis are humans that were given angel blood to help them kill off all the Valefar.  Ivy gets into a weird spot because she’s both.  That makes everyone want to kill her.  She doesn’t know who to trust.

It was a great story that had a fast pace. It was like a thriller, adventure, & romance mix. It’s a good combination. I can relate to Ivy in some ways.  She’s like a real person.  GO H.M. WARD!!!! U ROCK!!!!!!!! I WANT MY BEDROOM TO BE THEMED DEMON KISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pirate princess book review 5 stars

This is the first book in the Ivy Taylor/ Demon Kissed series.  DEMON KISSED is followed by CURSED, TORN, SATAN’S STONE, and THE 13th PROPHECY (release date March 6, 2012.  Companion DEMON KISSED novellas are THE VALEFAR VOLUMES: VOL. 1.  I also heard that there is gonna be a spin off series called ASSASSIN: FALL OF THE GOLDEN VALEFAR that will be out later this summer!

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.

Get DEMON KISSED now on Amazon.  The Kindle edition is on sale for only $4.99!