Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting On.... Some Kickass Heroines!

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)


Author: Jay Kristoff
Release Date: 1st September 2012
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Add it: Goodreads
A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium is verging on the brink of environmental collapse; decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, land choked with toxic pollution, wildlife ravaged by mass extinctions.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of the imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary beast, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows thunder tigers have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a hidden gift that would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.



Author: Elsie Chapman
Release Date: 26th February 2013
Publisher: Random House
Add it: Goodreads

Would you live through the ultimate test of survival?

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her

Stormdancer: I think every mother and her illegitimate son are excited for this book. It screams READ ME!! As most of you know, the US cover was recently released, but I'm featuring the UK cover because it's the same that will be used by Australia! YES. Australia is publishing this too... cue the SQUEE! Our cover has both elegance and an undertone that whispers, 'One step closer and I'll extract your kidneys with my super scary katana.' I am predicting awesome on an EPIC scale from Stormdancer.

Dualed: Heroine has been trained throughout her short 15 years of life to kill her "genetic Alternate" aka twin version of herself in order to prove she's a worthy citizen? If that doesn't suggest TWISTED SOCIETY (but secretly, between you and me... kinda freaking AWESOME), I don't know what does. What's more twisted is we have to wait until 2013 to get this deadly book in our hands.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
And which kickbutt heroines (and heroes) are you frothing at the mouth to finally meet?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: The Masque of the Red Death

Author: Bethany Griffin
Release Date: US: Already out | UK & AUS: 2nd August 2012
Publisher: US: HarperCollins | UK & AUS: Orion/Indigo
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

After hearing a serious amount of praise from Kathy at A Glass of Wine, I knew I desperately needed to get my hands on The Masque of the Red Death. I'm glad I listened to her, because when the amazing Hachette surprised me with a copy sporting a creepy (but fitting!) cover, I eagerly dove into this and discovered a haunting, yet fascinating tale that I could not put down.

Bethany Griffin's world building is fantastic. The air clogged thick with despair and suffering, this crumbled society is not a place one dreams of living in. But certainly one that you morbidly want to uncover every layer of. The only offering of hope comes in the form of a face mask, used to reduce the risk of contagion so you don't become another nameless corpse. Araby's world is in a bleak, dangerous and volatile state. And it's about to get worse. As if people hadn't suffered long enough living in fear of contracting the deadly virus that decimated their population, another is rearing it's scary tentacles, more awful than the last. Rebellions are forming and some who are seeking leadership may not be any better than the cruel Prince already in power. So when the mysterious nephew of aforementioned Prince seeks Araby's help in his plans to overthrow his Uncle, can they succeed before more sinister players catch hold of her? Or before they're just another count to the death tally?

I actually didn't feel 100% connected with Araby, which is usually a huge issue and detracts me from the story, but surprisingly it didn't this time. I absolutely understand her character, the pain of losing her twin brother at such a young age has had a profoundly damaging effect on her. She shuts herself off from emotion with the use of drugs and alcohol. The highlight of her days is the promise of visiting the Debauchery Club again and losing herself in a numbing oblivion. Her only passion is in her refusal to truly live - why should she when such a gift was stolen from her brother? It's a sad belief that she has carried with her since his death. But she slowly begins to find herself again, ignited with a purpose and aided by two equally fascinating boys. I think both Will and Elliot helped in coaxing Araby to shed her mask, figuratively and literally. Will, especially. Despite all this, I never really felt an intense emotional connection to her. She's a character whose motivations and heartache I can acknowledge, but I wasn't invested in her enough to share her pain. I would like to see her become stronger in the sequel and show some inner fire to truly make the reader jump up and cheer for her. I think she has potential to do that. A minor flaw though, for it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the novel.

Yes, a love triangle has sketched itself within Masque's pages. No, it's not insufferable, nor is there really a clearly defined winner, which I liked. I think both boys have an equal chance of rising as victor to Araby's heart. Will and Elliot are very different in comparison, but each has their own tragic story. Elliot is more the... bad boy with surprisingly hidden heart. The one who's endured a sad and cruel childhood, and is a little hardened, a little twisted and a whole lot more mysterious because of it. I can't deny he was endearing (though if I were Araby, any guy who did that to me while in the middle of the ocean would be crawling off the boat with his hands between his legs), but it's Will who demanded my loyalty. With his tortured soul and beautifully soft heart heart. And did I mention he sports some sexy body art? I found his love and devotion to his two younger siblings really touching and his sweet personality is near impossible to resist. Each boy has his own faults and do things that are not always admirable, but both can offer Araby something unique and exciting.

I flew through Masque's easy and addictive pages, wanting to taste more and more of Bethany's haunting creation. Her beautiful writing is a compliment to the horrific world it paints. Admittedly, I wasn't blown away, but as you can clearly see, I definitely enjoyed this! The Masque of the Red Death is a solid debut, captivating in it's rich atmosphere and complex male leads, whose motives you are never truly sure of, which only fuels your need to turn those pages faster and faster.

4/5 Golden Apples

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Owl Post #3

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows me to excitedly share all the yummy books I get in the mail each week! Owl's are much faster and more reliable than sneaky postmen, and the common way for magical folk to send and receive letters and parcels. Yes. I went to Hogwarts. Be jealous.


I'm not entirely sure who sent How To Keep A Boy As A Pet, or why, but it does sound like a rather informative guide, doesn't it? muahahaha *prepares lavish dungeon with ridiculously large and fluffy bed* Hachette sent me an awesome goodie bag featuring the swag shown above and an ARC of Masque of the Red Death, which I finished reading today and really enjoyed! The Bitterblue bookmarks are gorgeous and make me want to hurry through my review books so I can read Fire already.

Rapture looks so gorgeous in person! And it's huge. In size and thickness, though the writing is fairly large. I started reading this today and I have a theory developing, which I'm almost certain is 85% correct! I like being able to jab my finger at a book and scream, 'I TOLD YOU SO!' despite that I always say I prefer to be taken by surprise. I also like to contradict myself. Very eager to see how this series ends!

Sooo excited to read Partials! I love me some dystopian and hello, there's GENETICALLY ENGINEERED HUMANS. Genetically engineered humans are scary awesome. As are historicals... and I've heard a lot of people love Philippa Gregory's adult books, so I hope Changeling hooks me in. We end this commentary with a murder mystery, because I like to leave a taste of creepy in the air and have you all too afraid to go to sleep in fear of the local psychopath lurking under your bed in hopes of eating you. Or stealing your soul. Dead Time has some lower rated-reviews on Goodreads, but I hope it proves to be an exception for me!

I also received four signed copies of ARTICLE 5 from the incredible Kristen Simmons! Not all for me, of course :) 3 are being sent to the below giveaway winners and she was so nice as to send me my own signed copy! I LOVED this book, such an incredible dystopian. If you haven't read it, why are you still on the internet? Go! Buy! Now!

Because I am obviously too lazy to make a new post... I have some winners! Who I will email in a minute. Congratulations!!
3 signed copies of ARTICLE 5:
Becca Merrick
Chandra V.
Romi F.

The Immortal Rules:
Heather S.
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What did the owls bring you this week?

They COULD bring you a copy of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, along with a themed party prize pack... that is, if you enter my giveaway before Monday 4th June ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Night Circus Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!

Author: Erin Morgenstern
Release Date: Already out
Publisher: Random House / Vintage Books
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Random House AU | Amazon | Book Depository
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

In the most simplest of explanations; this is a story of how a magical circus came to be and the deadly game that inspired it. But you soon discover it is so, so much more than that. It is not just a love story or a few magical tents to marvel at. It is not just the unfair competition Celia and Marco have been trained for their whole life, bound together at childhood. It's all of these and more, wound together to form something more breathtaking and complex than I first imagined. And it is nothing that I can adequately describe or give justice to in these few paragraphs.

While we're given multiple perspectives than span across a thirty year period, Celia and Marco are more the main characters. The two at the heart and soul of this tale. Unwilling competitors, but with no choice in the matter, they partake in a game unaware of the rules or what will determine a winner. The circus acts as their venue - though it becomes more tangled in their game than they initially realised - where each must continually make their move, constructing pieces of magic and art more breathtaking than the last. But this act has an air intimacy to it, as each revel in the other's creations, taking joy in their next awe-inspiring discovery of one another. It really is quite a beautiful thing -  a subtle, yet powerful connection forms between the two of them without them even physically touching. Though I became invested in their romance, Marco did leave a sour taste in my mouth over Isobel. I felt she deserved much better treatment.

I was most taken by Bailey and the Morgan twins. I connected with Bailey the most, I understood his enrapture with the circus and admired his personality. He first encountered the circus when he was a small boy; and on something as simple as a dare, he shared a brief encounter with a pretty red-headed girl who would stay in his heart for years to come. It wasn't until he was 16, facing a difficult decision and longing to escape the restrictions of his life, did the circus return and he saw that shock of red hair once again. It was a sweet and heartwarming bond that formed between him and the twins, and Bailey himself proved to be an extraordinarily vital element to the story.

The night circus itself is a character, perhaps the most important and breathtaking of all (and for the first time, a circus that this animal-loving vegan wholeheartedly approves of). Morgenstern submerges you into this otherworldly and mysterious event, bringing to life each magical tent with a new and delightfully unexpected surprise hiding within each. She plays on your every sense, drawing you in so completely to the story that you can almost taste the caramel on the apples, feel the heat of the ever-blazing bonfire, the dazzling white chill of the Ice Garden or you find yourself secretly long to drop a stone in the Pool of Tears. You're right there alongside every other wide-eyed spectator, overwhelmed and unsure what to see first, where to go next; wanting to absorb it all in at once, but willing yourself to take it slow so you can savour every moment.

The circus may appear black and white to the untrained eye, but as you explore deeper into it's heart, nothing is as simple or easily defined. Each character is fleshed out in an array of murky and colourful shades. Morgenstern build a history, a foundation for these characters, tangling their lives together quietly, often without you fully understanding how they will cross paths later. She builds and builds and builds, subtly forcing you to care. Nobody is of little significance. Everyone plays a role, everyone is affected by the magic at play, for better or worse. It's a slow moving tale, but where every word is an important element to the finished masterpiece.

The Night Circus is an experience. A magical, romantic, dark and glittering experience, astounding in it's imagination. The story grows darker and more complex as cracks begin to show, and the game between Celia and Marco becomes clearer and more dangerous. But by the end, just as Bailey, Herr Thiessen and the many reveurs of the circus, you'll be wishing desperately to see the black and white striped tent greet you the next time you leave the house.

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

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GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the release of THE NIGHT CIRCUS in paperback, the beautiful team at Vintage Books are hosting an 11 day blog tour to share this captivating novel with you all. Thanks to them I have TWO Night Circus party prize packs to giveaway, which are sure to spell a magical night for you and your friends!

Each pack includes: 
 A paperback copy of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, reading guide, author interview, balloons, sweets and a Night Circus themed recipe! 

To enter:
Simply fill out the form below and answer the following question in the comment section of this post (extra entries can be gained for advertising):

What would you find inside your own magical tent?

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
Open to UK and Commonwealth (full list of countries eligible can be found HERE)
Giveaway ends Monday June 4th 2012
 
Let your imagination go wild with your tent! Anything you could possibly dream - from the mundane to the impossible, whatever your heart desires. Personally, I'd like mine to recreate the walls of Hogwarts ;) Though I would love to visit the Bedtime Stories tent in the book, which features jars and bottles of all different sizes, each holding the essence of a memory that plays on your senses so deeply, you feel as if you're experiencing it in that very moment. It's truly amazing, which you'll see when you read for yourself!

If you'd like an idea of the other kinds of tents to help inspire your own, check out the extracts released so far at:  Book Passion For LifeDaisy Chain Book reviews, Wondrous Reads, Book Chick City


Be sure to check out the next fantastic stops on the tour!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Of Poseidon

Author: Anna Banks
Release Date: May 22nd 212 [US] | June 1st 2012 [AUS]
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends [US] | Hardie Grant Egmont [AUS]
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.



Anna Banks has shown this clumsy, two-legged human that mermaids are COOL. Except when they spear me with their tails for calling them mermaids. Apologies, Syrena. Of Poseidon opens with a manly-chested, melodramatic scene, that sets the tone of the book and instantly gives you a feel for Emma's highly infectious voice. That one day on the beach changed so much for her.  Where she lost one important element in her life, she gained another in the form of Galen and his fiery sister, Rayna. Galen is a Syrena and he senses something similar in Emma, he just can't figure out how or why. He's determined to find out, because if she is what who he thinks, she will play a vital role in uniting the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. But Galen is not exactly adept in human relations.... that boy does not understand the rules of socialising, despite the fact that he acts as 'human ambassador' for the syrena. It makes it all the more entertaining to read as he makes himself present in Emma's life.

I like that we got to read from Emma and Galen's perspective, both with entirely different attitudes toward life. Their chapters compliment each other and allowed us a more thorough knowledge of their respective worlds. Their banter was a breath of fresh air when compared to those many YA relationships where everyone is so serious and fighting to maintain their tortured, secretly-pooping-my-pants expressions. Galen is not used to a girl who will stand up to him - a Syrena Prince! - of all people, and it both frustrated and deeply intrigued him. The more she pushed, the harder he fell for her. And the more she had to battle her growing attraction to this strange and pretty mereboy... attractive water critter.... sexy syrena. They teased, they argued, they charmed the fins off each other. Most importantly, they challenged one another and that's what made their relationship exciting.

Galen did have me flapping the pages in annoyance a few times, urging him to freaking move it already! Do't just watch, you idiot! (yes, shark scene and girl fight!). But despite my growls of frustration, I could understand his reasons for not intervening. He is not me. He thinks differently. He is different. He's not human, and I had to adjust to a few of their differences. As soon as I did, I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the addictive and undeniably enjoyable novel. It's fun and light, but that doesn't make it vapid. It's a book that knows how to enjoy life, but when the stakes are raised and smiles shift to frowns, you're just as captivated and even more so invested in what happens because you've grown to adore the characters.

Rayna and Toraf are secondary characters, but just as integral to the story. As is there ever complicated and woefully entertaining relationship. Toraf makes it boldly obvious that he's in love with Rayna and his attempts at trying to get on a base warmer than the bottom of the arctic are adorable. Rayna is clearly in denial mode. It's obvious she has feelings for him, but I absolutely understand why she kept pushing him away and goddamn, I would too! Sort of. Maybe. A little. If I could ignore his charming personality. She wants a choice, something syrena women are rarely entitled to and be damned if she's going to let some man take it away from her. I loved her girl power and that soft, kitten centre that pawed behind her walls of fire and steel.

I was fascinated to learn more about the Syrena history, their laws, tradition and hierarchy.  Every time we learnt one thing, I was immediately waiting for the next nugget of information to be revealed. Of Poseidon is a grin-worthy, enchanting swim through the deep blue sea. It's cheeky and romantic, while still maintaining an engaging plotline that offers plenty of fodder for fishy drama and exciting revelations. Definitely pop this one on your wishlist!

4/5 Golden Apples!

Monday, May 21, 2012

30 Days of Daemon Tour: Couples Questions! Part 1/4


You have heard of the 30 Days of Daemon Tour, right? If you haven't, I highly suggest you RUN over to Entangled's blog and check out the full schedule of events before Daemon blasts you into the next solar system. You back yet? Awesome. SO! 30 Days of Daemon is exactly what the title suggests.... Daemon Black: alien sex god (slight exaggeration, although I'm sure he doesn't think so) from Jennifer L. Armentrout's YA novel OBSIDIAN, is travelling around the blogosophere for 30 days offering interviews, teasers, giveaweays, exclusive material and lots of shirtless action.

Today, I have the pleasure in sharing the first in a 4 part "Couples Questions" post, where Daemon and Katy are both quizzed on each other. Read on and then hop over to The Fairytale Nerd where she's showcasing her favourite Daemon moments and quotes! *fans self*

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Hello and welcome to another edition of ‘Couples Questions’! I’m your host, Carl Blackwood. Now, for those of you tuning in for the first time; let me tell you a bit about our show. Every week we showcase one couple, who are asked questions about each other separately. We then bring them both back together, to find out all their answers and see which one of them knows the other best!

This week I’d like to welcome Katy Swartz and Daemon Black from West Virginia!

So, how did you two meet?

“I stopped by his house to ask for directions,” “It was pretty legendary.”
“Because I am a legend.”
Katy rolls her eyes. “More like a legend in your own mind.”

And have you decided who’s going first…? Daemon? Okay then, Katy, if you could leave the room for us?

So Daemon, here are your 5 questions about Katy:

What is Katy’s favourite thing to do? -  a) Reading b) Swimming c) School or d) Other

None of the above. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with me.

If Katy’s house was on fire, and she could only save one thing, what would that be?
Her laptop.

If Katy were to describe you in 3 words, what would those words be?
Incredibly sexy & awesome.

What is Katy’s favourite food?
Anything meat related.

And finally, if Katy could design her own prom dress, how would she make it look?
I don’t think Kat would ever think of doing that. She’s a go and buy it off the rack type of girl.

Thanks for your answers Daemon! Let’s bring Katy back and find out how well you did. 

Stop by Avery’s Book Nook tomorrow to see how Katy answers!
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Disharmony

Author: Leah Giarratano
Release Date: May 23rd 2012
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Fishpond | Booktopia
A psychopath... an empath... a genius.


Three siblings who will save the world – or destroy it.
They know nothing of each other. They know nothing of the Telling.
But they’ll need to learn fast if they’re going to survive...

A gripping new series about a collision of worlds, the power of destiny, and the darkness in us all...


With a synopsis like the above, Disharmony had me frothing at the mouth in anticipation. I admit, psychopath was immediately my trigger word.... it offers so much deliciously creepy potential! Unfortunately, Disharmony didn't entirely live up to my initial excitement. But don't despair: it's still an engaging start to what can grow into a compelling new series.

We're offered a few different POV's throughout the book, but the primary narrations are from siblings, Samantha and Luke. Twins, in fact. They just don't know it. Abandoned at birth, they were raised in two very different environments, oceans separate from one another. Sam was taken in by Roma gypsies who taught her their ways in fortune-telling, charms and schemes. I particularly liked the air of magic and sense of community, of home, that existed at the heart of her camp. A camp which housed an eclectic group of characters, including a horse-whispering boy who's long caught Sam's attention. She's also beginning to recognise that there's something much more special about her than just telling people their future... she just doesn't fully understand it yet. She's growing into her powers, which prove to be both scary and exhilarating for her.

Luke, on the other hand, was placed through the foster care system in Australia. He's gone from home to home, until eventually finding himself in a juvenile detention centre. And it's here where his story begins.... with a fist in his face. He hasn't exactly had it easy. But when one of the newer boys at the centre, Zac, takes an interest in Luke, his life is about to reach new levels of crazy... especially when Zac - a year younger than him and skinny as a rake - shows he can fight like a god. Luke and Zac develop an amusing sort of friendship, their banter providing some of the more funnier moments. A few times, Luke hinted he could be a mix of two roles in the prophecy. Although his label is soon made clear, I liked that he wasn't exactly stereotyped into the one role of either genius or psychopath, yet at the same time I wasn't always satisfied with how his lack of emotions came across.

A mysterious user known only as "Intellicide" begins the story, introducing us to the prophecy, sharing history on the siblings origins and the secret world that exists beyond human knowledge. While this helped give the reader a greater understanding of what's going on, since Sam and Luke aren't yet privy to this information, the problem is that the rest of the novel then feels like more of a set up. It's important to understand the lives Sam and Luke have lived and how they come together, but I was hoping this would only last for around half of the novel and then have us venture into new territory outside of what we already know. I still enjoyed their journey, I was just expecting something of a more epic proportion.

While they may be living on separate continents, one thing rings true for both siblings.... they're in danger. Facing persistent threats that are hell bent on taking them in, no matter the body count, will Samantha and Luke survive long enough to find each other? And where.... who, is the third sibling The Telling speaks of? Prophecies, danger and a hint of the otherworldly, Disharmony has enough appeal to cater to all YA readers; not dark enough to shun younger teens, but still enough edge to pull in the older audience. While it lacked a little to completely wow me, it still kept me turning the pages and has me intrigued enough to come back for the next installment.

3/5 Golden Apples!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Julie Kagawa!


Thanks to the amazing people at HarlequinTeen, Morey Media and genius writer Julie Kagawa, I am squeefully excited to share an AWESOME interview from one of the hottest YA authors at the moment. Following in the steps of her highly successful series, THE IRON FEY, Julie's newest release, THE IMMORTAL RULES, appears to be met with the same level of love. Because hello, there's blood and brutality and one badass heroine!

I SO love Julie's answers and hope you guys will too. Also, if you're Aussie, stick around at the end to win a copy of The Immortal Rules!


If you were in Allie's position (when she chose the badass katana), which weapon would you have chosen? Or which would have 'called' to you?
Once upon a time, I would have said a katana, hands-down. Now, I'm a little less sure. In my kali classes, I've discovered a certain joy in fighting with sticks and knives, so maybe I would have gone for paired knives and swords. How can a girl choose? :)

I've noticed quite a few readers have taken to Kanin, Allie's vampire sire, as a possible love interest *coughmeincludedcough*. Were you expecting that kind of reaction?
Not exactly. For Allie, he's a little more of a father figure than a love interest, so my mind wasn't really working in that place when I was writing him. At the same time, he's the kind of character (*coughguycough*) I like: stoic, dangerous, and an all-around bad ass, so I guess I maybe should have expected the reaction.

Which scene/chapter of The Immortal Rules are you most proud of or enjoyed writing the most?
The scenes I enjoy writing the most are anytime Allie is slicing through something with her katana, be it rabids, vampires, or evil humans. I love me a good bloody sword fight. Other fun scenes to write are the times she gets snarky or is a smart-ass to someone who deserves it. My other protagonist, Meghan of the Iron fey series, might ignore a slight or an insult, but Allie is far less likely to let anything slide, and that can get her into trouble sometimes.

What's your favourite vampire novel or film?
I don't know if this counts, but the entire Buffy-verse. I own all the seasons of Buffy and Angel, and I love the combination of off-beat humor, pop-culture (well, it was pop-culture in the 90s, anyway), and high emotion that the series draws out of me. One of the few series that can make me laugh and cry in the same episode.

If Kanin (The Immortal Rules) and Ash (The Iron Fey) were to ever cross paths in some unexplainable reality-hop, who would win in a fight?
Razor's edge... it would depend on the reality. Are they fighting at high-noon on an open plain? If so, I think Ash has an edge. Are they fighting in the black of night, far removed from the glamour that Ash can draw on? Edge, Kanin. Both are master swordsmen. Both have several mortal lifetimes of experience. Kanin has the edge in speed, but Ash has magic. I think the much more fun fight would be the pair of them against a horde of rabids!

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
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  GIVEAWAY! 
You may have noticed that HarlequinTeen Australia are awesome? Well just to prove this fact, they're offering one lucky Aussie the chance to win a copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES!

Australia only
Ends 25th May 2012
 Extra entries for commenting and advertising

CLICK HERE TO ENTER 

Chapter Excerpt from SPARK by Brigid Kemmerer!

 You know that series by that crazy talented author I've been gushing about? Yeah, don't play games with me. YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. With the sexy guys, awesome heroine, delicious mystery and pow-pow action? (STORM by Brigid Kemmerer, for those living under a storm cloud).

Well.

Guess what?

Brigid's awesome publisher, KTeen, have posted a freaking AMAZING chapter preview of the sequel, SPARK. You know, the one with the brother who just oozes sex appeal - GABRIEL MERRICK? Wait, don't faint on me yet! You have to go read the chapter and see for yourself just why August is going to be the hottest book month of the year.


Gabriel Merrick. You kill me.

I DIE WITH THE WANT. Accio Spark!!

Edited to add: I FORGOT TO MENTION. Did you guys see that Chris and Gabriel joined twitter? It seems Brigid finally managed to coerce them.. or bribe.... or force... oh who cares, they're ONLINE. A extra avenue for stalking!

@merrick_chris
@GabrielMerrick

Monday, May 14, 2012

Enchanted Blog Tour: Video Excerpt read by Alethea Kontis!


Alethea Kontis has been making a splash around the blogosphere the past few months, on a blog tour to promote her new YA release, ENCHANTED. There's character interviews, author interviews, guest psts and a few hot giveaways! You can find a full schedule of these amazing posts from March 22nd to June 25th HERE.

And now for my stop on the tour, I'm so excited to be sharing an exclusive Youtube excerpt from Enchanted, read by the beautiful Princess Alethea! :)


What did you think? Intrigued? Can't wait to get your hands on a copy of Enchanted? The teaser has definitely made me more excited to learn more. Poor Sunday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Owl Post #2

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows me to excitedly share all the yummy books I get in the mail each week! Owl's are much faster and more reliable than sneaky postmen, and the common way for magical folk to send and receive letters and parcels. Yes. I went to Hogwarts. Be jealous.


These three were all unexpected review copies, but a nice surprise, nonetheless!  I've seen quite a few mixed ratings on Goodreads for Burn Mark- some seem to love it, others not so much - so I really have no idea how I'll go with it. But hello, it features both WITCHES and FAE. Colour me intrigued!

I hadn't heard of Everything Left Unsaid until this week. From the synopsis, it sounds like it will be an emotional read and as much as I want to throw a book that breaks my heart, I secretly LOVE when it can reduce me to a blubbering mess. Also, it's Aussie YA!

Whisper is the 4th book in the Riley Bloom series.... of which I've read none. And I'm not a huuuge MG reader, so I'm not entirely sure if I'll ever get around to reading this. If not, I'll likely pass it onto someone else or give it to my library.

So! That's all for me this week. I'm happy it's not a massive pile because I am slowly, but surely, getting through my TBR (yay!). One book I am DYING to have come soaring from the skies by the owls is THE GOLDEN LILY!! Gah! Everyone's reviews are killing me. Adrian Ivashkov is calling my name. One month, people, one month!! #wecansurvive #ifnotletsturnstrigoiandkilleveryonewhohasacopy #imkiddingimkidding #notreally #sorryiforgotthisisnotwitter #ithinkillstopnow

What have the owls delivered to you this week?

If you're Aussie and you know it.... go enter to win one of 3 SIGNED copies of ARTICLE 5!!! I also revealed the super awesome title to the sequel!

Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful mothers out there today! I love my mummy <3

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Insignia

Author: S.J Kincaid
Release Date: July 10th [US] | August 2nd 2012 [UK]
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books [US] | Hot Key Books [UK]
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Book Depository | Amazon
More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?

Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.

I was sending some serious gushy love toward Steph at Poetry to Prose while I read Insignia, because it was thanks to her amazing review that initially had me excited. I had to see what the fuss was about, what made her liken the characters to those I love so dearly in Harry Potter. And what I found? Was EVERY bit the masterpiece that she boomed it up to be!
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Tom's never really had the chance to make friends, to live a life of routine or attend a proper school. He and his father are constantly on the move, town after town, feeding his father's gambling addiction. Waiting for that 'big break' that will set them up for good. The break that never comes. But then Tom's incredible gaming talent is noticed by the military, who manage to track him down and offer a once in a life time opportunity. The chance to train at the exclusive Pentagonal Spire to become a future combatant, a soldier in World War Three. A war like none before it, fought by teenagers through virtual-simulation, with real-life effects. Kincaid has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into crafting this world and making it feel 100% completely believable given our current scientific and political status. While it all could be information overload for the reader, she manages to lay it all out for us to easily follow along and become just as swept up in this fascinating way of life as Tom does.

The technology is seriously so freaking COOL. It's been years since I've played a video game, but Insignia? It made me want to find the nearest port, grab a virtual-sword and jump into the fray. VR simulations allow students to plug into a port (through a handy chip implanted in their brains) and literally find themselves in a 3D gaming landscape, all as part of their training for the simulations that actually play a part in the future of our world. Fly a spaceship to Mars? Battle in the Trojan War? Find yourself in a woman's body (er.. avatar) when you're actually a guy in reality? (OH MY GOD I JUST REMEMBERED A SCENE. Pause review while I giggle. Giggle some more. And a little more. Okay, we're good to continue). Psh. Easy as plug-and-play. With such a creative tool in providing a varied landscape, Kincaid never fails to make her action scenes exciting, fresh and exhilarating. And the technology is not just limited to gaming-simulations - the ways in which Kincaid has adapted it into their everyday lives will tickle your awesome-o-meter.

Tom is a brilliant main character. He's not perfect. He's far from being a genius, but he's smart in a different kind of way. Thanks to years spent having to fend for both himself and his father, hustling the unwary out of their money, he's developed a talent in observing. He picks up on things that others don't. Tom knows how to play the game and loves every minute on it, thriving on the action and desire for victory, to be seen, to be known, to be important for once in his life. He can be a sneaky little bastard at times and I love him all the more for it. He has his moments of sweetness, moments of zero-tact and sometimes there's a downright devilish glee in his eyes (Tom + Vik = bad, BUT OH SO GOOD), but his heart is truly in the right place. From the loner kid who considered himself a loser, to a boy who shone in a beautifully rebellious light, Tom has definitely made it onto my Favourite Character List.

Insignia is nothing like Harry Potter in plot, but what it does share is that essence of friendship, wit and sense of growing up. Behind the awesome technology and corrupt politics, this book has spirit, thanks to its outstanding characters. Tom, Vik, Wyatt and Yuri are all so different, a band of misfits who slowly come together to form fiction's newest Awesome Foursome. I LOVE THESE GUYS (and girl) so much. I kid you not, they had me CRYING tears of laughter at times. And the best part was, some of those weren't even intentional on the characters part, they were just total screw up moments that blossomed into some of my most memorable scenes of the book. Tom and Vik are like Harry and Ron 2.0 with a healthy dosage of Weasley twin mischief. If they don't have you cheering, "Doctors of Doom!" by the end of the book, then you have no sense of humour.  I am beyond excited to continue reading this series to watch as all their friendships strengthen, alive with insults and banter, arguments, respect and secrets. 

There wasn't one thing alone that I made me love this book, it was a multitude of AWESOME, all blended together to form one of my new favourite reads. The action and imagination, war and cleverness, comedy and personality; it will appeal to boys and girls, reluctant readers and those with too many books on their to-be-read pile. It has something to suck everyone in. If you're tired of the same old stories, if you want something new and innovative, a book that POPS out amongst others in it's genre, a book that will make you think as much as it has you snorting laughter, or sitting wide-eyed and attentive, then INSIGNIA is for YOU! And you! And yes, YOU YOU YOU! Go! Order it! Now!

5/5 Spicy Indian Golden Apples!
(you will understand this if you read the book. So I suggest YOU GO PREORDER THE BOOK).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday #48

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)


Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: August 28th 2012
Publisher: KTeen
Add it: Goodreads
Being a force of nature doesn’t keep you safe.

Hunter Garrity is used to watching his back. The kids at school sense something different about him. And they’re right.

Hunter has powers that have nothing to do with how hard he can throw a punch.

Maybe that’s what Clare Kasten is picking up. She’s shy, quiet, and intense, but she’s sought him out. There’s no telling what she wants from him.

But Hunter knows enough to sense a secret when it’s close. And getting close to Clare is a danger he’s ready to face…

 
Author: K.W Jeter
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Add it: Goodreads
Forget about Once Upon a Time . . .

Built on top of the gates of Hell, Grimm City is the Devil’s capital on earth. A place where every coffee shop, nightclub and shopping mall is the potential hunting ground for a ghost, a demon, or any of the other supernatural entities that inhabit the Grimm City world.

Death’s seventeen-year-old apprentice, Nathaniel, comes into his own as he leads an uprising against the Devil with the help of a half-dead wraith and a giant hit-man. What results is a bloody, brutal revolt that calls upon the loyalties of both the living and the dead.

Based not only upon the Brothers Grimm well-known fairy tales, but also upon their “unknown” sagas and essays, Death's Apprentice is the first novel to be based upon the entire Grimm canon. Such a comprehensive, in-depth adaptation of the works of the Brothers Grimm has never been published before!

Fearless (Elemental #1.5): Why? Because I loved Storm. I loved Storm. I loved Storm. I loved Storm. Oh, hi there. Brain glitch. Sorry. I loved Storm! I feel hard for the characters and story Brigid brought to life and now I want more, damnit! Fearless is a novella set between Storm and Spark, focusing this time on Hunter. Who I am REALLY interested in probing even further. Who is Clare? Why isn't it August yet? And do you see his hand totally beckoning me closer on the cover?

Death's Apprentice: Every supernatural nasty from the deepest pits of Hell with VIP access to the city? COUNT. ME. IN. This sounds SO good! I love that it will draw heavily from the Brothers Grimm and well, who DOESN'T want to read about an apprentice of Death? Okay, maybe you to the left and you in the back corner hiding under a chair, but everyone else... sounds awesome, right? I want!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Storm Blog Tour: Giveaway Winners!


Did you enjoy the 9 day sneak peek at one of the HOTTEST new series to rock the YA world? Officially convinced to go grab yourself a copy? No? Oh please. You're such a liar. You're just holding out for me to hand over those Merrick brothers (I would, but I can't just force their hand. They don't want to leave me). You know you want to read this book!

We had such an amazing time throughout the blog tour and I hope you all did aswell! To the 8 other book bloggers: you know I hardcore love you. Thanks for one of the most fun and enthusiastic tours I've been apart of! And a ridiculously huge and affectionate THANKS to the incredible Brigid Kemmerer, who really made this all happen with the amazing posts she offered. I will NEVER grow tired of reading her character interviews! And I so loved learning the juicy secrets of Storm :) Brigid: you. are. awesome. Thank you! <3

And thanks to YOU for reading, commenting, entering and spread the word! We hope you had fun. I know you're all waiting for the winners, so without further ado.... dun dun dun da!

 GIVEAWAY WINNERS

International Prize Packs:
Elemental (ebook) + Storm + Spark preorder
Winner: Sarah Jane

Elemental (ebook) + Storm + Spark ARC
Winner: Cassie Frye

Copy of Storm + Spark Pre-order
Winner: Joanne S.

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND Prize Packs:
Storm ARC + Spark preorder
Winner: Gabriella

Each receive a copy of Storm:
Thanks to Allen and Unwin!
Emma
Teresa L.
Stephanie P.
Alexandra
Michelle A
Mary Preston
Kate
Mary Perez
Taneika
Keely 

All winners have now been contacted. Once we've received replies, we'll pass on your details to the appropriate people to have your prizes shipped out. Congrats!

If you weren't lucky enough to win, run run run as fast as you can to your nearest bookstore, because Storm is a MUST READ. Seriously. Do you want to be the only person in the blogosphere not caught in a torrential downpour?

  

Owl Post #1

Originally, I wasn't planning on changing In My Mailbox. In no way do I support plagiarism, but I'm comfortable and familiar with IMM and wasn't really feeling the other alternatives out there. Plus, I just don't want to get involved in all the blogger drama. But I've noticed nearly every other person I follow has switched and sticking with it sort of IS getting involved in some way, right? So I figured the best way is for me to just do my own thing. SO.

Introducing... OWL POST! Bear with me, it's the best I could think up haha. And as many of you know, I'm a Harry Potter freak so it's the perfect fit for me. And I'm not a muggle, so why pretend I get my books the same way as the rest of you? Big thanks to the amazing, wonderful, gorgeous photoshop pro Lisa for putting text on this image for me! <3
_________________

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows me to excitedly share all the yummy books I get in the mail each week! Owl's are the normal way for magical folk to send letters and parcels within the wizarding world. They're much faster and more reliable than sneaky postmen and can even deliver to a person without an address. They're also kind of badass.


The Night Circus - Bestseller lists + every blogger and their fictional boyfriend's sister have been gushing about this book. I need to see WHY! I'm participating in a blog tour for it later this month, so I'll likely read/review it around that date.

Disharmony! This is by an Aussie author and sounds FREAKING AWESOME. A psychopath... an empath... a genius. Three siblings who will save the world... or destroy it. If that doesn't hook you in, what planet are you from? I plan to read this next!

I read and loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, also by Morgan Matson, so without even knowing what Second Chance Summer is about, I'M EXCITED. Poor book suffered damage to the top left corner by an overeager owl on it's first delivery.

I got The Sweetest Dark (looking all purdy on my Kobo, which I named Merrick in honour of those smexy boys from Storm) off Edelweiss, it sounds like a fantastic read! And thanks to the amazing folk at Entangled for sending me Onyx through NetGalley to review. I LOVED Obsidian, so I'm dying for more of that sexy, sexy ass Daemon.

I know I'm behind on reading/commenting many of your FABULOUS posts, but I hope to rectify this tomorrow! If I can tear myself away from reading Insignia, because GUYS. THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKING GOOD! Lovelovelovelovelove.

What have the owls delivered to you this week? 
I'm not racist against muggles, it's okay if you get yours the 'normal' way. I'll still come visit your post! :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Holier Than Thou

Author: Laura Buzo
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Fishpond | Booktopia | The Nile
Holly Yarkov has a boyfriend who is a gift from the universe. She has a job that fulfils her even as it wears her down. She has a dangerously appealing co-worker, who literally plays with fire. And she has a layer of steel around her heart that is beginning to tarnish. 

Just as she is reaching for a future she can't quite see, Holly finds her present invaded by the past, by memories of her father's death and of her once best friend, the boy-who-never-was.

Grief and longing run like veins of quicksilver through this beautiful novel, at once gloriously funny and achingly sad.

Having fallen in love with Laura's debut novel, Good Oil,  I've been eagerly anticipating word on another book (or sequel!!!). So when I first heard of Holier Than Thou, I was bouncing. in. delight. And I'm so excited to say, Laura once again does NOT disappoint! While our main character, Holly Yarkov, is a 24 year old social worker, Holier Than Thou can easily slip into the older YA market, while still firmly securing a spot amongst New Adult titles. I think older teens can relate to Holly because she's still trying to find where she fits into the vast jigsaw of life. She clings onto the past, onto the familiar, in fear of losing it. She's afraid of change, afraid of becoming something outside of her own firm idea of who she thinks she should be. But no matter how strong her grip, she can't keep things in perfect alignment. I think that's something we can all relate to, all struggle with at some point in our lives. It's hard to look at Holly and not find a part of yourself staring back at you. Whether it's her empathy, her humour, her strength or in the people and relationships she's encountered. Laura Buzo excels at crafting an amazingly flawed, lovable, believable protagonist.

Each turn of the page is a beautiful thing to witness, because the changes in Holly are so distinct as she evolves. She's growing up and so is everyone else around her. Her once inseparable group of High School friends are becoming increasingly more difficult to bring together, each branching off into a new direction. New jobs, new friends, new schedules. I think everyone over high school age can relate to that, and all those nearing that life-changing moment, fear it. As the past rears it's head, we see how the tragic death of Holly's father has shaped her into woman she is today and how the boy from her teens - who never was, who might have been, who could have been, who just disappeared from her life and never returned - still plays heavily on her mind and heart. Each thread of Holly's life is weaved, snipped and retied with such a caring hand, it's impossible to remain untouched by her journey.

More often that not, what I see explored in the books I read is the beginning of love, all bright and sparkly with new-couple shine. Holly's been with Tim for a few years now and some of that shine has faded. It's still strong with love and affection, but their life is settling into a monotony. They're not always as open with one another, nor are they sharing the same deep and exciting conversations. You see how it weighs on Holly, how it subconsciously pushes her to pay more attention to other areas in her life. Or other people. Nick. Funny, inspiring, charming Nick. Her constant companion at work, who understands the daily demands and emotional impact of their job. Nick, who may not be perfect, with his own messed up life hiding behind closed doors. Nick, who Holly is realising she'd be lost without. I loved how their relationship was so easy - the banter, the affection, how they knew what to say and when. You grow to suspect that Nick has feelings for her, but she's either oblivious or just not willing to acknowledge them at first. What they have is a strong friendship and it was both beautiful and heartbreaking to see potential for something more, given everything that stands between them. Realisations are made, as are choices, some frustratingly stupid, others more admirable, but each I felt to be a true reflection of the characters.

Holier Than Thou is a messy web of beautiful chaos. It's life. Perfect in it's ability to frustrate the hell out of you, make you smile, make you cry and twist your heart in pain and pleasure. Life is a constant state of motion, nobody has a 'happily ever after' because tomorrow is never certain, only in it's promise of eternal change. That's why I love how Laura ends this book. Was I left shaking my head in denial? Yes. Was I left frantically checking to see if my copy was missing pages? YES. But it felt real, it left me wondering. There is never a final dot point in life, not until you die, and I thought this was demonstrated really well. Even if I do still feel an ache in my heart, a desperate need to know MORE.

Holier Than Thou is a hilarious, poignant, inspiring snapshot of life, written by a rising Australian talent that everyone ought to clear a space for in their bookshelves!

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

Two infinitely more AMAZING reviews that go into further depth:
Vegan YA Nerds
Alpha Reader

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ARTICLE 5 Sequel Title Reveal + Giveaways!


If you were a stalker of my blog back in February, you may have seen that I freaking loved debut novel, ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons. As a lover of dystopian, this had everything I could ask for. An amazing heroine, a complicated and heartbreaking romance and an incredibly well crafted, brutal world. Kristen holds nothing back and more than once she left me gasping for air!!

So it's with great fangirlish delight that I have the honour of helping announce the title to ARTICLE 5's much anticipated sequel! Wanna hear it? It's good, I promise ;)

BREAKING POINT

Do you love it?! Does it excite you? Scare you? Make you 150 times more DESPERATE to get your hands on it?!
________________________________________________________________________

WANT TO WIN ARTICLE 5?!

That crazy-haired Aussie chick you may know as Lisa from Badass Bookie is also helping Kristen unveil her super awesome new title. And what good is a title reveal without some goodies to accompany it?! Kristen will be offering up signed books and audiobooks HERE. Lisa will giving away signed copies of ARTICLE 5 to both international and Australian residents HERE. And moi?

I have THREE copies (plus bookmarks) of the super hot Australian paperback of ARTICLE 5 SIGNED by the goddess author herself! Whether you're keen to read ARTICLE 5 or just want a copy with Kristen's beautiful signature, here's your chance!
Rules:
Australian residents only 
(sorry international readers! But DO check out Kristen and Lisa's giveaways!).  
Extra entries for adding Article 5 to Goodreads and for advertising this giveaway
 Ends May 16th 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review: Fury by Rebecca Lim

Author: Rebecca Lim
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Fishpond / Book Depository
Heartbreak. Vengeance. Fury.

Mercy is an exiled angel cast down to earth and forced to live out thousands of different lives for her own protection. Betrayed by her eternal love, Luc, Mercy burns with fury. The time of reckoning is here and now she must wage open war with Luc and his demons. Ryan’s love for Mercy is more powerful than ever, but loving an angel is mortally dangerous. As their two worlds collide, Mercy approaches her ultimate breathtaking choice.

Hell hath no fury like Mercy ...

Mercy has finally broken free from the curse that's trapped her for thousands of years. She's grown a lot of the course of this series and it was nice to see her finally come into power, filled with the knowledge of who she is, where she's come from and how things have shifted since the day she fell from heaven. She's a girl, an angel, with a purpose; fueled by a need for vengeance, making a stand against a man she once trusted and fighting for her own right to live and love.

Although she is selfish in her want to stay on earth. Luc's reign of horror may end if she just returned to Heaven. Is her love for one human boy really worth the lives of scores of humans? I suppose it shows how... human she's become. We don't always see the bigger picture when we're consumed by what's in front of us, especially when it's love. Yes, the consequences are on a much grander scale, but she's had her life dictated to her by so many, for so long and now she's finally taken back her choice. I can grant her understanding that she wants love, wants to think of herself rather than the world. But even so, I find it hard to believe Luc would lay down and stop being an ass just because Mercy is locked away safely in Heaven. I'd bet my out-of-shape wings that he'd be hunting down Ryan and his family to use as bait. So either way, returning to Heaven or staying on earth, I felt as though both options have the potential for d-o-o-m.

Those who were swept up in Mercy and Ryan's complicated romance will be pleased to know Ryan features heavily this time around. We haven't seen him this much since the first book, only catching teasing glimmers of him in Exile and Muse. While it was nice to finally see some progression and one-on-one time between him and Mercy, even if it was marred by that potential end-of-the-world problem (as if having your girlfriend body hop wasn't enough, the devil has to add his own drama to the relationship), I do wish there was just a little less angst between them. I totally understand it, I'm just saying I got the point loud and clear with the, "You can't help me, you're just human." and  "I'm just human, I'm not as awesome as you." conversations (I'm paraphrasing, can you tell?).  At times I think it would have been better for him to just stay behind, because Luc is raging war on the WORLD, wiping out entire cities, Ryan doesn't really stand much of a chance going against him or his minions in his squishy mortal body. But his humanity and simple logic do prove useful among some high-and-mighty unearthly beings.

I had so much trouble writing this review, because when I set the book down, I really enjoyed the ride it took me on. Had this been just a middle book, I'd be quite happy to rate it 4 shiny golden apples, but it's the finale of a series that I've become invested in and so I expected more. There was a huge build up to the conclusion, but it didn't fulfill on it's promise. I was anticipating a climax akin to what we saw in Muse. Unfortunately, Fury went out on a much quieter note, rather than an apocalyptic-bang. Some will like it, for sure, but those who thrive on action and war will be disappointed. I did like how things ended for Mercy, though, she deserved the fate awarded to her and I like the way in which she received it. I was also hoping for some big surprise as to why Luc and Ryan look so alike. But aside from a comment Mercy makes on her own twin-like appearance to Uriel, we get nothing. I really wish I hadn't built that up to be more important than it actually was.

I do love how the series covers such a global backdrop - from California to Australia to Milan, and now in Fury, we trek across more foreign land, made easy by Mercy's wings and the awesome man-made invention of the 'plane', which spares Ryan from holy-crap-my-girlfriend-is-an-angel-and-she-is-flying-me-across-a-freaking-continent Motion Sickness. As I said above, while this wasn't my favourite installment, I still enjoyed the novel and would definitely recommend this series to others. Rebecca has beautiful writing, she's brought a really fresh edge to the angel genre in YA and I love how she's slowly unveiled the unique mythology. I look forward to seeing whatever stories she has in store for readers next, because she is definitely the kind of talent I want to add further to my shelves!

3.5 Golden Apples!
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