Stephanie's books

Clockwork Angel
City of Bones
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Golden Compass
Night World, No. 2
Thirst No. 2: Phantom, Evil Thirst, and Creatures of Forever
Thirst No. 3: The Eternal Dawn
The Iron Daughter
The Iron King
A Discovery of Witches
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Hunger Games
The Host
City of Glass
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Stephanie's favorite books »

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Review- Born To Fight (Born 2)

Title: Born To Fight 
Author: Tara Brown
Series: Born book 2
Rating: 4/5

When Emma wakes strapped to a cold metal table she has only one name on her lips, "Marshall!" What she doesn't expect is discovering that he is only one of the disturbing people in her small world who deserves to die in a fiery death. 

Twenty years ago scientists made some remarkable discoveries with genetics and the ability to perfect the babies we gave birth to.

Ten years ago the governments of the world made a hard choice, earth or people.

Nine weeks ago the choices they made came full circle.

Fourteen days ago the truth of their mutations leaked out into the borderlands and other areas.

Yesterday the worst thing they ever made learned about what she was.

Today she's coming for them and she knows about the strengths they gave her.

Tomorrow she plans on destroying everything.

She plans on starting with her her own creator. Her own father.
Mature Content Warning

My Review
Book 1 had a crazy cliffhanger and since I had this one I moved one right away, now I did not love this one as much as the first but it is a very solid sequel and I am very happy to continue on and see where things go from here. I found a much deeper connection with Emma in this book and I believe it's because I feel like I understand her a lot better after so many secrets were revealed right off the bat, I do also have an issue with so much being let out all at once, it felt like it started off really strong and then it plateaued for a bit, all of the action and gore was still there but it felt like a lot of the drama was removed and only fighting remained.
There were times that the act of killing comes so easy for them and I have to remind myself that they are at war and when Anna and Emma talk about it and say that the people they kill just chose the wrong side, it made it less of an issue because war has casualties and they are the price that must be paid. I love the action and the gore in this series, the world they live in is brutal and it shows but sometimes I felt like the plot got scattered and some things just happen for the sake of action and it makes it feel a little forced.
The love triangle is still a sore spot for me I feel like I know who she will choose and so does she but it is being dragged out but I also get that Emma is very lost in the relationship department so I can understand her confusion and unease.
I am excited to finish the series and I will read the next one soon.

Review- Born (Born 1)

Title: Born
Author: Tara Brown
Series: Born book 1
Rating: 5/5

Emma ran when her daddy told her to. She hid like he said she should. He was the first person she turned her back on. The first one she let die.
Ten years has gone by and she still lives by the simple rules he taught her when she was nine years old.

"Don't help anyone. Don't go where other people are unless you have to. Trust no one. Always pull the trigger."

Until one night she hears the worst sound in the world, a knock. A simple, timid knock, on the door to her cabin.
Only the voice of the brave little girl, ready to die for her brother, persuades Emma to open the door.
As her fingers turn the lock, she has a terrible feeling she will regret her decision.
But even as regret fills her world, so do love and companionship. Things she never imagined she would ever have again.

Everything comes at a cost, you decide what you'll pay.

My Review
I won this book (and the other 2 in trilogy) at a facebook party and when I was gong through my kindle I spotted it and decided it was time to pick it up and I am so glad I did cause I enjoyed this book fully and flew through wanting so much more. I love the world that was built and the characters trying to survive in it. Emma was very complex, alone for 10 years with only her wolf Leo for company was not good for her social skills but very good for her survival skills, she kept the world out until one day when someone knocks on the door and for Emma once she opens that door it opens so much more in her and she finds things she has been missing being so isolated but it also made things a lot harder for her. I find her very interesting because she is so naive in so many ways but she is a killing machine trained by a paranoid Father, it was a weird mix but also it worked.
I'm not sure how I feel about the love triangle, I sort of like what it does for the story overall but I get so frustrated with Emma and Will and then I just feel bad for Jake I just hope it is resolved soon and not dragged out the entire series.
There was lots of action and a very interesting back story to the collapse of the world and the terrors that hide in plain sight once everything changed, I am so excited for book 2 and after the cliffhanger at the end I am moving on quickly.

Review-The Scorpio Races

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 4/5

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My Review
This book was extremely different and very exciting, I was not really sure about it at first and it took me a while to get attached, but once I was I was really hooked, I could not give it 5 stars and let me tell you why, the ending sort of left me unsatisfied, it was very beautiful and poetic I will give it that I just really did not like to abruptness and the hole it left and also because I had a slow start with the book and other than those two things I really did enjoy this book.
This is the second book of Stiefvater's I have read and I love the way her characters speak, they are all so different but I can see her stamp on them. I did enjoy the relationship between Puck and Sean but with them both being so stand offish there were times that it got a little boring and frustrating. 
I love horses and it has been a long time since I read a book centered around them and I was glad that the one I picked was about water horses rising from the sea and being raced down the beach, oh and I forgot to mention the water horses are savage and they kill people well yeah that's the truth, so basically they are racing tigers or bears with the beauty of a horse and yes it is as interesting and intense as it sounds.
This has sealed it for me and I will be reading more books by the great Maggie Stiefvater

Review- Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga 4)

Title: Redemption
Author: H.D. Gordon
Series: The Alexa Montgomery Saga 4
Rating: 5/5

The final test is here. The war is no longer a worry of tomorrow, but a reality of today. Turning back is no longer an option. Maybe it never was. It is time for Alexa Montgomery to look fate in the eyes. Death waits there for certain. The only question is... for who?

My Review
DAMN this book made me feel soooo much!!
This is by far my favorite series and as heartbreaking as it was for the series to have to end and the book itself was one of the saddest endings I have ever read, this is my favorite book of the four. I absolutely love Gordon's writing she has a way with words and a way of making you feel so many things all at once, my favorite thing about this book is that the theme of this book is very dark and both Alexa and Nelly carry a dark side that they can't control and yet this story is full of so much beautiful pure love and devotion that it shines a light through the darkness, giving the whole thing a haunting beauty.
The ending was so sad but as I think about it I know it could not have gone any other way and I will grieve the loss but rejoice in the series overall. I know all of this sounds cheesy and that's why I will keep this review brief all I want is for this book to be as well known as the likes of Twilight cause it is so much better than that and it needs worldwide love.
I don't have much to say that wont spoil things so read this book and then look me up cause I can talk Alexa Montgomery and friends all night long :)

Review- The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns 1)

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Author: Rae Carson

Series: Fire and Thorns 1

Rating: 3.5/5


Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

My Review
I have had this book on my kobo for a long time and when it was book of the month for a group I thought it must be a sign and I started reading. I almost stopped this one and picked up another one, but I am glad I pushed on cause things did pick up and get a little more exciting.
I felt a little bit odd about the amount of religous talk in this book, I completly understand the need for it and it was for sure part of the story, but I found it very hard to connect to that part of the story and that side of Elisa.
There were a few things different about this book I liked, the main thing being that the book was not so focussed on the romance and more on the war and Elisa's struggle to understand why she has the Godstone , and since she was married off in the first chapter and then stolen away from him quickly it left little room for love, although it was there but it was a backround tale.
The second half was much better than the first and it has some very interesting twists, I was very very shocked at one point and I think the ending was very intense. But I am not sure I am rushing out to get the next book, I think I will finish the series someday but not in the near future.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Review- Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles 2

Rating: 5/5

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

My Review
Once I finished Cinder I had to move on th Scarlet and if I had Cress available I would be all over that but sadly I will have to wait, but for now let's talk Scarlet. If you have not read Cinder this will contain spoilers for that and I can not grantee that this will not contain spoilers for Scarlet. It took me a little bit to get into this one and I am not sure why cause as you can tell I loved it (5 stars) I think maybe I just had to get used to the new characters, and once I did I really really loved Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne (pretty sure he is my new favorite). Cinder just got better and better and I continue to love her a lot, the poor girl has so much going on but she is doing her best to survive and I was extremely glad to see her make her brave stand against Levana, I am so ready for her to kick some Queen ass, also her new cyborg parts and Luna powers have made things that much more interesting. So can we just talk about Thorne for a second, I love him, he has a hilarious swagger that is irresistible, I am so glad Cinder made an error and ended up in his cell, not only is it fun to see him interact with Cinder and everyone else for that matter, he has also proven useful. I can not wait for more CAPTAIN Thorne!
So since the book is called Scarlet lets get to the new addition. I liked her but I did not insta love her like with Cinder, she for sure grew on me and after they all finally met and things started taking shape I was glad for her spunk and frank personality, it helped in so many ways and her journey to Cinder was entertaining indeed. As a werewolf lover, having wolf in the story made me leery, mostly because they are not werewolves really but something much different, but I must admit I enjoyed how he and the others fit into the overall conflict and I am eager to find out more about Wolf and maybe forgive his HUGE betrayal, I am not so quick to forgive like Scarlet he has a bit to prove first.
I am loving this new group of misfits from all over the world coming together and I can not wait to watch them prevail over evil. Love this series and I can't wait to read on.

Review- Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles 1

Rating: 5/5

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review
Wow so much of this book was different, fresh, and new and all in the best possible ways helping me fall in love with this unexpected Gem. The fact that Cinder is a cyborg and most of the story is told from her point of view was very neat, I do not recall reading anything like it in the past, I have also not read a Cinderella retelling (I don't think lol) and I loved trying to pick out the similarities as I was reading, best of all was Prince Kia finding her broken foot I mean it was a terrible part of the story but I loved how it was the cyborg version of the glass slipper.
Cinder simply stole mt heart, for all the crap she put up with she still managed to hold her head high most of the time, and in the face of her downfall and rejection she took a stand and with her newfound reslove I can't wait to see where it takes her next. I was also very very fond of Prince Kia, he and even his government truly just wanted the best for their people and it was refreshing to see a futuristic world with a compassionate leader and the enemy is not the government but instead a race of people on the Moon called Lunars, lead by a tyrant Queen hell bent on the Earths destruction.
I want to see more of Cinder and Kia they were very cute together and I can't believe he is just going to throw her aside, and once he hears the whole truth and the Doctor finds a cure for that awful plauge they will make their way back to eachother and fix all the wrongs, these are fairy tale retellings so I hope I get the happy ending that this implies but I may just have to wait a little longer

First Reads Review- The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1)

Title: The Mark of the Tala
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Series: The Twelve Kingdoms
Rating: 4/5

In this romantic fantasy trilogy, Jeffe Kennedy brings to life the Twelve Kingdoms, a world of beauty, darkness, strength and danger, and the three sisters who must oncover their destinies.

My Review
I won a paperback copy of this book on Goodreads first reads and I was very excited to read it so as soon as it arrived I got to reading, Now I am not sure why but I thought this was young adult fantasy but I realized it was not when the very graphic and very intense sex scenes started, and I am not sure why it matters but it threw me for a bit of a loop.
The tale of three sisters trying to find their way in a kingdom ruled by their tyrant and distant father captured me right away, and I was a big fan of Andromenda quickly, I really enjoyed watching her story unfold and see her discover her place in the world that she so long felt invisible in, and only to find that she has a bigger purpose than she could have ever imagined.
The world Kennedy created was a place I would want to see one day, the magic and beauty drew me in and I am ready for book two to find out more about not only the land but the other sisters as well.
I must say for being the terrible enemy I sure liked Rayfe, he was handsome, strong, and despite his tactics I think he really loved Andi and I can see them being happy together.
Overall I found this book enjoyable, there were times that I felt it was a little drawn out and slow and it took me a little longer to get through than I would have liked but I enjoyed it just the same and I would really like to read book 2.

Blog Tour Review- She Who Hunts

Title: She Who Hunts
Author: C.L. Parks
Rating: 4/5

Tenna Massey's past is about to catch up with her. For eighteen years she’s carefully crafted a normal life. When an assassination attempt shatters that illusion, she’s forced to accept her true identity. As the prophesied demon huntress, she may be the only one powerful enough to stop a recent string of murders.

Tenna has two choices--kill or be killed. She must conjure the courage to kill someone she’s loved for so long to save thousands of innocent humans.

Will Tenna choose to embrace her fate as The Huntress or condemn humanity to an eternity of Hell on Earth?

My Review
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review and as part of a blog tour. The fact that this book is based on demon hunting was the thing that first drew me to it, I love supernatural so the word "Hunters" has a certain pull for me. I enjoyed the differences in the Deomons and Hunters in this book as opposed to other books and shows I have watched/read, especially the blessed sword disguised as a tattoo, giving easy access to it without having to carry it around all the time and getting strange looks for everyone (or arrested lol). I did not really like the no female hunters thing it was sex est and did not make a lot of sense what happens to all the girls born to hunters, they just make more hunters and thats it, well thank goodness for Tenna she is breaking the mold like her mother, being the only female hunter like her mother...or is she?
Not only were there hunters which excited me but then along comes Jason, first I thought he was just a huge sexy hunter sent to protect Tenna form the evil demon out for her death, but he was so much more than that and I wont spoil his secret but I will say it made me love him and this book so much more, and while we are talking about Jason I have to mention the intensely sexy love scene filled with primal instinct and passion it is definitely worth a mention.
The roller coaster of emotions Tenna was put through in a short amount of time was a very insane ride, just when I thought she was finding her place the evil haunting her life would strike again, it was heartbreaking to watch but I liked how she handled herself, yes she iced her heart for protection but not forever she was aware of the hardening and she kept it in check as best she could, I also think having Russell back in her life and Jason added to it, helped keep her grounded.
This was a fun, quick read but I felt like the action in some scenes was rushed and my copy had all the L's in double L words missing, but if you take those things out it was great and I am glad I read it and I hope to read more soon.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Read to Review- The Lost Kingdom

Title: The Lost Kingdom
Author: Stephanie Beerden
Series: The Elements Series book 1
Rating: 4/5

A Prophecy made long ago, announced the arrival of the new Ladies of Elements.

And now almost a millennia later, it finally came true …

All her life Arima thought she knew who and what she was. That is until the day of her sixteenth birthday came and her world is turned upside down, when she’s told she’s not a White Witch but Lady Spirit. And that she is the one that has been foretold, will unite the Five Ladies of Elements once again and save Ilendia and the Other Lands from Ahriman, the Demon King.

At first Arima refuses to accept her new fate, but when Shanums come and destroy her village and kill her loved ones, she has no choice but to flee and fall right into the destiny she never wanted.

As she grudgingly starts her journey into the unknown, she is accompanied by her unicorn familiar Sirrim, Blythe, a Vampire with a dark past and Myrddin, a mysterious Ljosalfar.

And the longer her journey lasts, the more Arima begins to realise that she can’t escape her own destiny and she must learn to control her powers and learn to be a Lady for the sake of the Sisters she doesn’t know and the people of Ilendia and the Other Lands.

However, things get more complicated when Arima comes into the possession of a key. Her instincts compel her to go towards danger when she discovers that the key she holds, can unlock the legendary kingdom of El├ęssima, the home of the Ladies of Elements.

She will have to make the choice to follow her instincts …

…or stay on the path that has been laid out for her.

My Review
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I am really glad I did because this book was a fun fantasy Gem. This book was a long journey and at times I would have to admit it was a bit slow but I pressed on and I'm very glad I did because it was worth all the description and world building because it all came together in the final half with not just one epic battle but a few and it laid the framework for an epic series.
When Arima learned of her fate and set off on her journey I was worried she would be alone but along came the stoic and handsome Blythe and to top it off he is a vampire with a crazy past that brought him to Lady Spirit. Not only does she have Blythe but she has her Unicorn as well so I guess she was never really alone but even with the bond she shared with her Unicorn it was nice for her to have other people to talk to and to protect her from all the evil that surrounded her, and she also meets some vey interesting allies and enemies along her way and I really enjoyed the lore on each one, it was fun to see how many of the creatures were familiar but had such a new and interesting take on them.
I wish there had been more on the other Ladies but I know that is yet to come but I really want to know who they are and how they will find each other and how each one will contribute to the upcoming war.
There were many spelling mistakes and they threw me off a lot, in a book this intense that requires full focus I was bummed that there were so many scattered through out the book. 

I think this is an excellent start to an epic fantasy series, the world is beautiful and the characters are enchanting and love able, for all those who love a great fantasy read this book is for them.

Read to Review- Turning Curse

Title: Turning Curse
Author: A.C. Harrah
Rating: 3/5

Irresponsible was one word used to describe Prince Liam. Liam preferred fun-loving. After years of pulling pranks on his fellow nobles and ruining balls, Liam’s prospects for a bride are looking dim. At his wits’ end, Liam’s father arranges a marriage between Liam and his best friend Cordelia. She is the last person in the world Liam wants to marry. When Liam confesses this to her, she transforms Liam with a curse.

Now Liam must escape her clutches while breaking her spell, but he is trapped in her castle with no way to escape. His only hope is to persuade Cordelia’s servant Gabrielle to help him. However, Gabrielle has a secret of her own, and helping Liam is something she cannot do

My Review
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This was a new concept for me, a princess and the frog retelling with a twist, and it was a very quick read and overall pretty enjoyable.
Although Liam grew over the course of the story I could not get over what a spoiled brat he acted like so much of the time, even as a frog he was selfish and I never really connected with him or his struggle, to be honest I kinda thought he deserved the curse and maybe it was for the best cause I think he learned a lot of very valuable life lessons. I think Riona and Liam's father were the only two people I liked, they both tried so hard and tried to find the good in everyone, I was glad they were around. I felt like there were a few things that happened after the news of Liam's condition was public that I thought were a little unnecessary and dragged the book on a little long and I think that was due in large part to the fact that it was a little predictable at the end. I hope it does not look like I am bashing this book cause that was not my intention I liked the book as a whole and I think it is for a specific group of people to love and I jusr might not be it,
I would like to read the next book because it is based more on Liam's brother Alan and I think it would be fun to be back in this world but to get a different view on it and a whole new adventure.