Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

In preparation for Apollycon this month, I was trying to read as many signing authors as I could beforehand. I’ve had it on my shelf for way too long so it was way past due. As soon as I finished, I was immediately kicking myself for waiting as long as I did.

I will say, I did have an ulterior motive for having this on my shelf. I read it for my teens. As you know, I am always on the look out for things that they will read. They are quite picky, so I find myself reading YA books with them in mind, every single time. I’m happy to say that I think they’ll like it. Only one scene that’ll make my anti-romance daughter cringe but I’m okay with that.

SYNOPSIS
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

Because this is listed as a #1 in a series, many people, including myself are leery about starting an unfinished series. But fear not, these books are interconnected standalones. Which basically is another reason I’m a dummy for waiting so long. I went in thinking I needed to wait til closer to book two since it was gonna be a cliffy. I was wrong. If you, or someone you know, enjoy action packed fantasy YA books, then grab a copy and pull up a chair.

Very exciting and adventurous. I thoroughly enjoyed all the banter. Some parts had me outright giggling. The friendship bond these characters had was so refreshing. They were a family. I wanted to be a part of it. This ragtag group of fugitives will have your emotions all over the place and loving every moment of it.

At some point during this haphazard journey, she’d fallen in love with a bespectacled kleptomaniac, a star-crossed seducer and his displaced princess, and, most of all, an infuriating blue blood who used to call her Rattail. She learned that home was a fluid thing, and whether on a planet, on a satellite, or on a rusted bucket of a ship, this crew was her home.

~Melpomene

Buy Starflight HERE

Review: Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

01-a The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone.

It has taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts on this book. I’m still reeling. Let me start out by saying that this isn’t the final book in the Fever series, but the final one in the Mac/Barrons story line. So savor it and read it slowly. Trust me.

When we left Feverborn, we left screaming. Mac opened herself up to the Sinsar Dubh and we weren’t sure how, or if, she would be able to get out. In Feversong, Mac must take back control and destroy the book, find the Song of Making to also destroy these black holes that seem to be slowly eating up our world, and do all this without getting lost inside herself again. It is an ongoing battle that only she can do. She must forget about her past actions and focus on the future with a clear head.

In the midst of Mac’s issues we have Dani and her quest to find a balance between Jada and Dani. She is there to help destroy the book, of course, but the five year she spent alone in the silvers has changed her, and not for the better. On the outside Dani is hard and uncaring, but if you chip away her layers, you see that she is soft and just wants love. She will fight to the death for it. Watching her grow into herself was beautiful, devastatingly so. I can’t remember watching a character go through so much and come out stronger for it. I am looking forward to see what happens to her. She has had enough heartache to choke on and I know she deserves a happily ever after.

“I love you more eternal than pi.”

As I said this is the final book about Mac and Barrons. Their story comes full circle and it’s crazy when I look back at when they first met. She was so sad and naive, but by the end she knew who she was and was stronger for it. They had their battles but, through it all, their love was the stuff faerie tales. Truly.

“Fire to his ice.
Frost to my flame.
Forever.”

I spent the final 25% of this book with tears in my eyes. Some scenes had them flowing nonstop, while others had me chocking to hold them in. This book was an epic edition to this series. A full range of emotions. You won’t leave untouched. She makes us work for this ending. Grab a comfy blanket, perhaps a box of tissues and leave the world behind as you escape into the world of the fae. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

Buy Feversong HERE

Review: Gregor the Underland Chronicles

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As a teacher, I’m often asked for kids’ book recommendations.  And I’m always looking for great books to offer to kids.  One series that always gets top mention is the Gregor Chronicles.

Written by Suzanne Collins of The Hunger Games fame, this is a milder, gentler series for younger readers not quite ready for that world.  With Gregor as our hero, we are taken to a world hidden deep beneath the streets of New York City.  His adventures bring him into contact with giant rats, bats, and roaches among others.  There are legends to be followed, and destinies to be realized.

It’s not without violence, however, as there are deaths along the way.  However, I was able to read and recommend this series to second graders with no hesitation. And older readers have no fear. This is still one of my favorites to read MYSELF.

The boxed set makes an excellent gift and truly should only be bought that way as eager eyes are sure to zip through the first volume and immediately look for the next.  Happy reading!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Gregor the Underland Chronicles

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Illustrated Edition

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Even in this age of ebooks, even with my dedication to my Kindle, there’s a place for real, actual books. And this is one of those places.

Simply beautiful.  That’s the only way to describe this newish addition to the Harry Potter family.  I say newish because this first one came out last year with the second volume available now.

Some people will say that an illustrated version of these timeless stories messes it up by putting another person’s visions in our heads.  I disagree. Because chances are, if you are buying these hardcover books for yourself or for a loved one, you’ve already read the original stories multiple times.  And you’ve seen the movies. So for me, these books are just another take on a much loved story.  And they absolutely do justice to the originals.

So grab these amazing books.  They make great gifts. And it’s okay to gift yourself from time to time!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

Review: The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

codex I can’t believe this series is over. I just can’t. I’ve enjoyed watching these characters for so long and it’s very bittersweet to realize there’s no more to come. I may wallow in the depths of despair for a while.

There will be no spoilers in this review, so don’t worry. But make sure you’ve read the first three books before you read this.

The Lost Codex takes place immediately after The Forgotten Mountain. And we all remember how that one ended, right? It ended with lots of screaming and gasping and yelling. Or maybe that was just me. Well, anyways, I was anxious to start this book. My heart was racing and I could barely sit still. I needed Alice’s world put back the way it was. But in order to do that, she needed to take control and decide what’s best for her.

Without saying spoilers, all I will tell you is that this book caused tears, tears and more tears. I actually had to read a few scenes over and over again just to make myself comprehend what I just read. I couldn’t believe what happened. If I was Wonderlandian, my shirt would’ve been stained red from my broken heart.

The Collectors’ Society is in the battle of its life. This is what they’ve trained for. This final battle will ask more from them than ever before. Some lives will be lost while others will be changed forever.

Can Alice and Finn’s love hold them together? Will there ever be peace? Who is that blasted Librarian? So many questions will be answered, even if not in the way we want, they will be answered.

~Melpomene

Buy The Lost Codex HERE.

Purchase previous books in this series:
The Collectors’ Society
The Hidden Library
The Forgotten Mountian

Review: Lost Gods by Brom

28819821Wow…what a wild ride. Parts of this I never saw coming and I have to say they had me all up in arms and twitchy with nerves! Parts of it were downright scary to me!

This book blinded me with parts that were filled with brilliance. Other parts were just so outside the normal acceptable realm of imagination that I had a hard time wrapping my head around it.

That is entirely my fault, and of no fault of Brom.

Do you want to know how I know it was my fault and not Brom’s? Because as I read it, I had no problem believing that the characters he dreamed up were real…as my mind was almost stretched beyond belief, I kept thinking, does Brom really expect me to believe that was not freaking out whilst this happened? No doubt of the character…just the crazy circumstances that they were having to endure…

I can’t say I was 100% sure about this book as I read it. The Child Thief is an all time favourite of mine…From the first page to the last I loved every word. I loved this one as well, I just wasn’t sure I could accept it. I wasn’t sure I could believe it. I wasn’t sure if I would be glad I read this at the end of the day or feel like it was a wasted read…it started out just so wonderful and then I kind of stalled…again, simply because it was so far out there….

However, once I finished the last page (and I was reading at a mad pace to see what happened the last few chapters). I was very sad to see it end. Hell was a small price to pay to spend time with all of these wonderful characters Brom created….I knew as soon as I finished it that any doubts I had were unfounded…I loved this novel….even if it did seem almost impossible at times…

I’m still thinking about some of these characters long after I finished the last page…

Finally…the artwork! Hey, it’s Brom and you should expect nothing less…except expectations often fall flat…but Brom’s artwork ALWAYS blows me away…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy your copy here Lost Gods by Brom

Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

empire Well, now…where to begin…I have so many feelings all jumbled up in my head. But, here goes.

This is the first book that I actually read with my children. My daughter read the first five books, including the prequels, last year, and my son was sucked into them after we went on vacation and we listened to the first one on our trip. So it was kinda fun reading along. It was crazy to be able to scream and yell and vent together.

Being that this is the 5th book in a series, you should be all ready to handle the amount of emotions that Sarah’s books will pull out of you. But this one was different. This book seemed more epic, if that’s even possible. So many storylines were going on at the same time, it was stressful. I kept waiting for the massive explosion from when they all crashed together. And let me tell you, explosion was exactly what we got. There were alliances made. Deals drawn. And that ending…my heart was messed up. My kids were NOT happy with that ending. They were yelling at me. I was laughing at them. I’m used to this kinds of devastation, but they are not.

While I was enjoying myself, this book seemed to take a turn for the NA world. Just a heads up there. This series, up til now, was pretty YA and the sexy scenes were fade to black. Not so with this one. It was quite descriptive and I had to block off a few spots for my teens. Now don’t get all huffy. I’m not about censorship, but I will do that for my kids. I like the sexy parts, but not for my kids. I won’t go into more about that, but I will say this, those scenes are the reason I gave this a 4 instead of a 5.

Besides all that, I will recommend this series if you like fantasy. Sarah creates worlds that are so unbelievable and yet they sound so real. I haven’t heard the audible for this one, but I did use it for my reread/relisten and the stories are even better when you hear them.

~Melpomene

Buy Empire of Storms HERE