Book Review: Catalyst by H.M. Ward

Catalyst (Vampire Apocalypse #2) by H.M. Ward

Pirate Princess’s Review

DESCRIPTION: ”

Blood is power. Since the world froze and the humans died off, blood has become scarce. There’s barely enough to sustain the vampire population, even though their masses have dwindled. Many vampires are reduced to the measly few drops of blood rationed to them by the Regent, which is enough to keep them alive, barely. It’s survival; an undesirable existence.

Before the world froze, before the humans slaughtered each other in their wars, blood was ample and rich. The odds of feeding from an infected human, one with weakened blood, was rare, but now it is normal. Every human within the palace walls is anemic. Though they tried, the Regent was not able to curb the severity of the disease. Their humans became sickly, growing weaker and weaker until they were so fragile that a single scrape could kill them.

The weakened blood means an unstable source of food, but there have been other repercussions—things no one saw coming. As time passed, fangs retreated, reflections appeared, and light was no longer destructive. Vampires can now walk in the full sunlight without turning to ash. Too many generations have passed. Many vampires cannot remember a time when blood flowed richly, when vampires did not have to abstain and endure a slow starvation.

One human can change everything. One human can restore the old ways and return vampires to their former glory—Kahli—but the girl escaped. Blood is power, and the vampire who finds Kahli first will have all the power.

2nd book in the Vampire Apocalypse Series by H.M. Ward”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Printed Version: 319 pages
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press

RATING ~ 5 STARS OF AWESOMENESS!

A.R.C. I’m the queen of them. ;D

Kahli, the kick-butt redhead, returns in book #2 of the Vampire Apocalypse series by H.M. Ward. :)

The main conflict in this book is an amusing, dangerous one. Everyone either wants to kill Kahli or capture her. Sounds like fun right? ‘Yay! I get to run for my life! Later suckers!’

Kahli was kick-butt in this book. She ticked a lot of people off, gave awesome retorts, and -Well- was Kahli. ;D There were hilarious parts in this book, romance parts, and action scenes that I adored. :)

The ending was wicked cool. I can’t say much since it’s not out yet, but it was FREAKING AWESOME! Though now I’m a bit mad at one character. >:(  You’ll figure out who when you read it.

There was this one part..It. Was. FREAKING. HIL-AR-I-OUS! I was laughing so hard I started coughing and tearing up. You’ll LOVE it. If you don’t, you don’t have a sense of humor. -_- You know what? I’m going to give you a line from that scene. Why? Because I’m that nice. ;)

“The guards are going to be all sorts of pissed when they find out they’ve been following a bunny rabbit.”

:D :D :D Lol! :D That’s pretty much all I can give you from the book without going into ‘spoiler mode’. Overall, 5 stars! Amazing book! Can’t wait for the last book in this series. :)

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I recommend to pre-teens, teens, and girl and boys alike. Ages 11-19 will enjoy this action and humor packed vampire book. :) And, of course, people who have read the first book in this series: Bane (Vampire Apocalypse #1)

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Book Review: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

 

Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon Hale

Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen’s Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. Picking up where Princess Academy left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (August 21, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS

This book is going to be memorable. Very memorable. 🙂

Miri is back and awesome as eva’!!!! 😀 The book takes place in Asland, has more humor, and awesome action.

Miri arrives in Asland with her other Princess Academy friends. Britta is getting ready to marry Steffen, the prince. Book = Awesome. :P:D

I can’t really describe the main conflict, but let me try. There are plans brewing among the people of Asland. And they aren’t good for the palace. -_- Uh oh.

I loved Miri. She was funny, exciting, and an awesome main character. I loved following her through the story. What’s fun about her is, she does things I don’t expect.
Peder was also a favorite. He was a awesome guy. THE awesome guy. 😉

The ending was happy. But it was also sad. You know why it was sad? Because now I’m stuck wondering what happens next! :O Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I liked the action parts of the book. There were enough that it wasn’t just Miri wandering around and talking. I liked the parts where they were partly sad, but then something funny, awesome, or someone got mad happened. Yes, someone getting mad in a sad scene can make it better for me. Why? It takes your mind off of the sad scene. 🙂

I loved Miri in this story, and I hope you do too! 🙂

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If you liked you’ll like this. Princess Academy is on sale right now for under $5! Go get it! I recommed to 10-Adult. Adult readers will like this if they like Shannon Hale. Anyone who loved Miri before, will love her even more. If you liked The Gray Wolf Throne(Seven Realms #3), you’ll love this one. 🙂

Pre-Order Palace of Stone now on Amazon:

Sneak Peek: Crimson Crown (7 Realms Series) by Cinda Chima

OMG.  I cannot wait for this book!  <3 Han!

The chapter 1 sneak peek went up yesterday.  Click here to read.

Eeep!  Can’t wait!!!!

 

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: On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION “In the future, mankind has colonized other worlds, mined asteroid belts, and sent ships so far into the blackness of space that light from their drives won’t reach Earth for centuries. Through it all, life has been found in almost every system we visited and yet we’ve never encountered another intelligent species.

Until now. When the Colony on the planet known as Hayden’s World stops transmitting on their CASIMIR FTL system, a Solari Fleet Task Force is sent to investigate. When they arrive there are enough oddities in the situation that they in turn send in a special operations unit to contact the colonists and determine what happened. Only one of those operators survives to make planet fall. Sergeant Sorilla Aida finds herself against an alien force of unknown power and capability. Her only assets?

A depleted suit of power armor, her rifle, basic kit, and a few hundred Hayden born civilians looking to take back their home. Just what she was trained for.”

RATING 4 STARS

I picked this up after reading Currie’s “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” That was a great read, and I was anxious to see what else he’d done. I wasn’t disappointed.

As opposed to a lot of science fiction, here we’re given a great female protagonist. And instead of a utopian future and amazing tech, you’ll find a universe that you can easily relate to. Humanity is still the same. And so, when the protagonist is dropped into truly alien experiences, you’re along for a great ride.

The pace is quick. But character development and relationships aren’t sacrificed for plot. I wish my daughter read more action/adventure and sci-fi, because there are so few great female characters out there. Here’s one where the fact that the story centers on a female marine is simply taken for granted. It’s a non-issue, there’s no pandering, and the story tears along dragging the reader with it.

Since this isn’t a space epic, the scale is much more local – and it works. That alone would be a nice change of pace, but the fullness of the story and the great characters make it a 5-star book.

4 star book review

Recommended for Sci-fi readers and anyone who likes a solid cheap kindle book.

Grab On Silver Wings now on Amazon!  It’s only $3.99!

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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!!!

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

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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.

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Related posts: DIVERGENT & THE SELECTION Reviews

Book Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Redshirtsby John Scalzi

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION:

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship “Intrepid,” flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy belowdecks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what thestarship “Intrepid” really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives

Print Length: 318 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
Sold by: Macmillan

RATING: 2 STARS – WISHED IT WAS BETTER

I love John Scalzi… Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars, Old Man’s War, Ghost Brigade, and more are all awesome reads.

That said, I was incredibly disappointed by Redshirts. The idea was brilliant – and it starts out with great potential. But, it quickly drifts from being a great parody into murky meta territory.

Maybe I was the problem… I couldn’t quite follow when I was supposed to be taking the story seriously. Maybe there were some transitions in there that I missed. But, I think it’s more likely that I just can’t bring myself to appreciate what Scalzi was trying to do.

If you’re just discovering Scalzi, pick up any of his older works first. You won’t be disappointed. Once you’re a fan, maybe you’ll want to give Redshirts a chance. Go into it with an open mind, no preconceived notions, and see what you think. It’s original. It’s fresh. It just wasn’t for me.

Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, general adult fiction, and Scalzi fans.

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Book Review: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jessica #2, middle grade vampire storiesJessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica #2) by Beth Fantaskey

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION:

“The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?”

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books; 1 edition (January 10, 2012)

REVIEW: 5 STARS–NOT TO BE MISSED!

In this book Jessica and Lucius are married and living in his family’s castle.  Then stuff goes wrong.  Lucius is accused of murdering one of his uncles, and is put on trial for his life.  Jessica has to figure out things fast, including who to trust, so she can save him.

In Jessica Rules the Dark Side, I liked that she became more powerful and took her place as princess.  When the crisis had arisen, Jessica took charge. I loved the conflict with her and her family.

Go Antanasia!! Or Jessica!! Whatever her name is, go her!!!

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This book is proceeded by Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side.  You can read my review of that book over here.

I recommend this book to middle school readers, to people who like vampire stories, love stories, and fans of the first book!

Grab Jessica Rules the Dark Side now!  The hardcover is half price, too!  Bonus!