Review: Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

01 cry This is the third book in the Kanin Chronicles, and I was totally taken in with this series. An epic fantasy with enough action to get your heart racing and enough romance to make your heart happy. I know this is a spin off from the Trylle books, but I haven’t read those yet. But after reading this series, I have to bump them up my tbr list.

SYNOPSIS
Bryn must decide: follow her head or her heart.

Thrown into a world of suspense and intrigue, Bryn has to fight to clear her name. But she’s not alone. With help from the Trylle – including Finn Holmes – she’s on a quest to discover the truth.

With her life and her world on the line, will Bryn be able to risk it all?

Bryn has to make some very difficult choices in this final book. She is an outlaw, and must rely on some unlikely alliances if she wants to clear name and find out who’s behind all this trouble. Her heart was pulled in so many different directions, I felt so bad for her. I wanted her to find happiness, but not at the expense of all that she, and her loved ones, had to endure. Just when things were looking up, the rug was pulled out from underneath her. So many times….

I loved all these characters. Konstantin was so bad, and yet not really. He was a wild card, and I love him. I wanted only good things for him. Ridley was amazing. He endured so much for her. The pain he went through was insane. But for Brynn, he would do that and so much more. I was glad to see many of the Trylle characters in this story. They seem to have a great story to tell. Like I said already, that series is getting bumped up. I need to know how they came to be.

Brynn was so used to doing a job and not thinking of love, that she missed out on so much. She was all about the job and never understood why so many of her friends were choosing love. By then end, she knew. Without feeling love for others, this battle was pointless. But perhaps now, she’ll be able to move on to bigger and better things knowing that there’s more to this life now.

All in all, a fabulous conclusion. Mind you, there were quite a few scenes in which I yelled, “NO!!!” and my heart was crushed and ripped out a few times, but I was left satisfied. The last chapter wrapped everything up, with a nice little bow. I wish we were able to see a wee bit more of Brynn’s future, but perhaps we’ll get a surprise novella later. That would make me happy.

~Melpomene

Release Date: Aug 4, 2015
Buy Crystal Kingdom (The Kanin Chronicles)

First you must get caught up.
Frostfire (The Kanin Chronicles Book 1)

Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles)

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Review – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

11250317Today, we’re going to be travelling back a few thousand years! Don’t worry, you won’t need your passport! Now, we all know, or at least have heard of, the classical Greek stories of Achilles, the Trojan War, Helen of Troy etc etc… However, as with any great myth or story, we rarely hear the precursor; what happened before the events to these people? Particularly, what force, passion, emotion, inspired Achilles to step up and continue fighting (readers of Homer’s Iliad will know that Achilles refused to fight after his slave was taken away)? I don’t want to spoil anything, as even if you already know the whole story of the Iliad, this is a fresh take, so the raw power of the story will take your breath away.
Miller takes us on an adventure (I purposely use that word because that’s exactly how this books reads, as an adventure) exploring the early years of Achilles and his friend, Patroclus. They are brought up together in the same house and received much of the same education and training. Over the years we experience their bond strengthening and later events make much more sense.
Again, I just want to make a point of mentioning that my lexical choice of “experience” and “adventure”, is really not an accident. Miller’s writing allows us to “be in the moment” and to really feel for these characters, because we have been on the same journey as them. We’ve essentially experienced what they’ve experienced. Now, I know that sounds incredibly corny, but it’s the only way I can describe it. Miller’s style of writing is sparse, complex, simple, detailed, lyrical, poignant and mythical. All this coming in a debut novel is extremely rare. I suppose it helps that Miller has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Ancient Greek and Latin languages as well as Classical studies. That urge to know more, and be inspired by the texts in their original languages, and have the academic ability and opportunity to really research your subject, is a real credit to Miller, along with her seemingly innate ability to write a damn good story!
I really cannot recommend this novel enough. A solid read, and for those of you that dislike lengthy novels, one t that packs such a punch in just over 400 pages – got to be worth a read!

Pegasus (and no, I did not consult on this novel!)

The Song of Achilles: A Novel

Review: Thrill Me by Susan Mallery

  
Susan Mallery is a genius! She wrote Thrill Me as part of her long-running Fool’s Gold series, but it’s also part of a mini-series trio.  I love that! If you’re new to Fool’s Gold, or you don’t keep up with series, you can read the Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me trio and be totally satisfied. (You can read any of the Fool’s Gold books as standalones, but they’re much more fun together.)

In Thrill Me, Maya and Del separately return to their hometown to work on a project for Mayor Marsha. Maya works in video editing, and Del is a charmer on camera. Their work chemistry is easy and natural, and even though they had decade-old romantic history together, Del and Maya renew their relationship in the form of friendship. 

Mallery impresses me by coming up with new and exciting professions for her characters. I LOVE the video production descriptions in this book.  Plus, it’s a good backdrop for Del and Maya getting close in the editing room.  😉

Maya and Del are loveable and fun characters, perfect for each other, and perfect for Fool’s Gold. Their romance was mostly in their own minds until they finally admitted feelings for each other and decided on Happily Ever After.  Another Susan Mallery winner! 
-calliope

Buy THRILL ME

Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

17302690I usually don’t pay much attention to reviews. A contradiction, I know, coming from someone who shares my love of great stories by writing reviews. But let me clarify. I don’t pay much attention to reviews unless they come from someone whose opinion I know and trust, someone who enjoys the same types of stories that I do. So I hope that’s how you view us here at the Muses, trusted friends who offer a little bit of something for everyone.

Having cancer sucks, even more so when you’re seventeen years old. That’s just what Richie is facing. And even worse, he’s been moved to hospice. We all know what that means. He’s the youngest person on the hospice ward with the exception of Sylvie. So of course there’s a romance brewing. If the story ran on that alone, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. It’s the cast of supporting characters that adds so much more. There’s Richie’s crazy but fun uncle who manages to sneak him out for a night of fun on Halloween. There’s his grandma who is complicit in helping him sneak around with Sylvie. Sylvie’s dad, by the way is one scary dude. Staying out of his reach becomes a full-time challenge in itself for Richie. And then there are the nurses and staff members, all full of personality and compassion at the same time.

I think it’s unfair to compare this story to The Fault in Our Stars as so many reviews have done. Because let’s be honest, that was a one of a kind, once in a lifetime story. And I don’t say that to take anything away from this book. It’s a different kind of book that just happens to share a few common characteristics with TFIOS. But it’s just as good in its own way.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Somebody Up There Hates You: A Novel

Review (revisited): The Coldest Gril in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630I really enjoyed this book. However, I must warn you, it is predictable….and although I Black has said that this is a stand alone book….well I just don’t see her leaving it as it ended…there is just so much more she can do with the storyline….

This novel centers around a teenager named Tana. She lives in a world were vampires live in walled “Coldtowns”….when Tana wakes up after a party and discovers her and a friend might be infected she ventures into Coldtown, knowing it’s her only chance for survival but also knowing that once you become a resident of Coldtown there is little chance of ever leaving….

This whole vampire/paranormal//teenager/love triangle/save the world thing has been done over so many different ways and times…well it’s hard to get really excited and feel like you’re reading something new and different….

Having said that, I really think Black has taken the best of all of those numerous books out there and meshed them together to form a really enjoyable read. You have bloggers connecting the vampire world with the outside, human world. You have vampire fans that would do anything to be turned into a vampire…you have a love interest….you have revenge….you have betrayal….you have family issues….and Black does an excellent job in laying all those out to make a fast paced read…..

But at the end of the day….you still know what’s gonna happen….so if that doesn’t bother you….well I say read on! If you like a book full of surprises and an ending you can’t imagine….well…..perhaps you should move ahead and skip over this read….it might not be for you….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Review: Ascension Trilogy by Gaelen Foley

01 asc Lately I’ve been feeling kind of blah with my reading. I’ve read so much this summer and most of it is blurring all together, not making an impact on me whatsoever. I was ready to turn in the towel and just swim all day, even though I HATE swimming, I was that fed up. I wanted something new. I wanted something real. Basically I wanted something with emotion, and not all the angst and unrealistic emotions that my recent books have been giving me. I thought I was in the mood for something different, perhaps historical romance, or even pirates. Surely this will help. 01 asc3I could escape in a world of adventure and romance, without the crass language and over the top craziness. So I went to one of my book clubs and asked for some recommendations and someone mentioned Gaelen Foley’s Ascension trilogy. I grabbed my computer and checked my overdrive system and low and behold, they had a million of her books. Well, not a million, but a good chunk. The book gods were smiling on me, because they had most of them ready and waiting for me to check them out. No holds needed. So I grabbed the Ascension trilogy, downloaded them to my kindle and sat down, hoping to be wowed. Well…..I was.

01 asc2This trilogy was just what the doctor ordered. I was in heaven. It had all the action I wanted. Pirates, princesses, kidnappings and sword wielding warriors. And of course, romance. I gotta have my romance. I wanted the epicness of Outlander, but with a quarter of the pages. I love the fact that each book is about the same family. The first, The Pirate Prince, is about the parents. It’s the start of this entire family. It introduces us to one of the main characters in the next book, but we have no idea. The second book, Princess, is about the daughter(obviously) and about her fierce protector. I adored this one!! I love the friends to lovers books. They tend to have so much love already, this would be the next step in their relationship. Book 3, Prince Charming was just right. It takes place almost 10 years after Princess and we get to see how the son gets healed by someone he least expects. That book was perfect.

While I never cried in these books, my heart was still very happy. So if you’re looking for an epic romance, with swoon worthy men and women who know how to fight for what they want, you must try this series!! Now, I’m about to grab another series by Gaelen, and I have high hopes that this will keep the book blahs away from me.

~Melpomene

Buy The Pirate Prince (Ascension Trilogy Book 1)
Princess: (Ascension Trilogy Book 2)
Prince Charming (Ascension Trilogy Book 3)

Review: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

19542831Wow. Can I just leave it at that? Seriously, if I went no further and that compelled you to read this book I think you’d agree completely. But, since that really doesn’t qualify as a review…

Julia and her family have moved to a new town, taken on new identities and histories. They had to after her twin brother committed an unforgivable crime that pushed them to the edges of society. So they’ve started over, and they’ve left the past behind. But it’s not as simple as separating the “before” and the “after”. There isn’t enough time or enough miles to keep the past away.

Julia, or Lucy as she’s now known, finds herself looking over her shoulder. She’s sure that she’s being followed. But what could they want from her? She doesn’t remember what happened during those horrific twenty-two minutes. Or so she says.

This debut novel by Amanda Panitch does not disappoint. It’s full of more twists and turns than you can imagine. Figure it out and then something else happens. From the gripping first pages to the unforgettable conclusion, it’s a book that I’ll be recommending to friends far and wide.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Damage Done