Review: Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

If you’ve read The Illuminae Files you’ll know that when Jay and Amie get together the reaction is explosive and exciting. And Aurora Rising was no exception. From the very first page I was completely sucked in. I’m chuckling right now cuz I just read the synopsis and it describes these characters to a T.

Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a book with characters like that?! They were all so different but they learned to work together. Misfits finding a family with each other. You will love them.

Even the dedication started it off the right way.

If your squad was hard to find, or you’re still looking, then this one is for you.

You just knew this book would be amazing. And while it has to do with space, it has nothing to do with The Illuminae Files. Jay and Amie just have this space thing down and this is why we love them.

If I was watching this on the big screen, I would’ve been at the edge of my seat, but since I was in bed reading, the best I could do was sit up straighter. 🙂 This book was so much fun! Excitement, antics and emotion. The trifecta if ever I heard of one. Amie and Jay knocked this one out of the park! Can I just say that this book will be SO MUCH FUN in audio‽‽ Seriously. I’m glad I have it preordered. The kiddos loved listening to The Illuminae Files and I know they’ll love this as well. Be sure you have this preordered so you can start reading or listening right away. You don’t wanna hear spoilers!

I cannot wait till the next one!!

~Melpomene

Grab your copy today! Click picture for link.

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Quick Review(again): The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Magical, enchanting and fantastical!

I’ve heard lots of people talking about this book since it released last year, especially Urania. And I know it’s already been reviewed, but I just had to shout it’s praises for myself. To be honest, The Bear and the Nightingale didn’t seem like something I’d like, since I mostly read romance, but it was always in the back of my mind. When I decided to start a book club, this book was one of the books I was hoping we’d get to read this winter. So for our December book we chose this. I just finished reading it and I can’t believe I waited so long. Seriously.

“All my life, I have been told to ‘go’ and ‘come’. I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed to me.”

That quote pretty much sums up the reason I loved Vasya. She is done waiting and sets out to do something for herself.

I can’t put my finger on why I loved this book. Perhaps it’s the Russian folklore aspect. Or maybe the odd characters. Or it may be that I can tell that there’s more epicness coming and that’s what made it such a page turner. Not sure, but this is definitely in my top 10 of this year. I can’t recommend it enough.

And now I need to read book two. I need to know what happens next!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Bear and the Nightingale https://amzn.to/2L6qBbL

Quick Review: The Thief by J.R. Ward


Now THAT’S the way I wanted this book to go. Old friends. New adversaries. Same family feel. I love this world. Don’t mind my scatterbrained quick review. The Black Dagger Brotherhood makes me all a flutter.

In every BDB book there’s more than one storyline happening. And sometimes I don’t care and then find myself skimming through quickly. But in this book, that was not the case. I was fully invested in each story and read at a normal pace, for my speed reader self, and loved every word.

This book had all the spice but without all the emotion. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were lots of feels, but nothing overwhelming that made you wanna fall to the ground in despair.

The Thief brought back a few characters that I think will be fabulous additions to the BDB world. Plus we got a glimpse into who the next book will be about and I can’t wait for that explosive book.

I love this series so much. It’s one I reread each year. Yes, since this world is so huge, and I have the memory of a gnat, I must do that. But it’s definitely no heartache to spend time in this super sexy world.

~Melpomene

Buy The Thief https://amzn.to/2FFKLVT

~~Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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High school can be brutal.  Even more so when you’re the new girl.  Finding new friends can be a lifesaver.  Or not…

Kacey’s only known the dysfunction of life with her mother.  So when she moves in with her dad, things are shockingly normal. Including her stepmother and step siblings.  She even makes new friends, tops among them being Bailey and Jade.  Amazing how quickly they took her in and made her one of their own.  Maybe a bit too quickly?

When Bailey goes missing, all eyes turn to Kacey.  What does she know about Bailey’s disappearance?  And does it have anything to do with the legend of that creepy ghost lady everyone likes to talk about?  Kacey soon finds out that her new friends aren’t at all what they seem to be.

This is mean girls at its finest. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and all that.  The real thrill, though, comes from the many twists and turns along the way.  It’ll keep you guessing up until the very end.  And after you’re done guessing, you’ll just be shocked.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Little Monsters

Review: The Princes of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #1) by Edward Rutherfurd

This is my second Rutherfurd book. I admit that I should bump this and give it 4 stars. The history is there, however, I just didn’t care for any of it…okay…I lied…I loved the start of the book and the Druids…after that I quickly lost interest and although I found a couple of the characters enjoyable, I never really connected or deeply cared about any of them. They were forgotten as soon as Rutherfurd stopped writing their names.

There are some really fantastic historical writers out there that really know how to engage the reader with a mixture of facts and fiction. My favourites that come to (my) mind are, Cornwell, Penman, Follett, and now Rutherfurd. Just because I didn’t care for this book doesn’t mean that I don’t love Rutherfurd.

Reading his novels is both depressing and refreshing. It’s depressing to realise yet again that once we no longer walk the earth that we are soon forgotten. That we can spend our entire life devoted to bettering our world and our family’s fortune (a fortune not always need be counted by gold coins mind you) and as soon as we pass, that family we strove so hard to provide for may not even know our name…

OTOH, it’s refreshing to know that we, as individuals, can make change for future generations…even if they do not know our name or the sacrifices we made for them.

I can’t wait to dive into another Rutherfurd book, even if this one wasn’t to my liking.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd

Review: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

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I can’t remember the last time I read a book with such a fitting title.  I mean, when you’re talking about navigating the world of high school as a confused and misguided teenager,  it truly does become the most dangerous place on earth.

The story really begins a few years before.  Something very tragic happened in middle school.  And while certain people were definitely to blame, very few will admit it.  Fast forward to high school.  Same kids, different problems. Switching back and forth between several characters, we hear it all.  Bullying, both face to face and online.  Drug and alcohol use.  Hooking up.  Hooking up with teachers.  Being ignored by parents.  Just because your parents are loaded doesn’t make these problems, and a myriad of others, any less damaging. Some people are resilient and able to move on.  Some people pretend they’re okay but they aren’t really.  Who you are in high school and what you choose to do can determine the rest of your life.

This story is dark. It’s depressing.  And it leaves little hope for the state of the American teenager in today’s world. But it’s also very realistic as much as parents and other adults might want to think otherwise.  The issues presented are happening.  Maybe not all at the same time and in the same school but still.

I must also caution that, although this is described as a young adult book, I would leave it for older and more mature teens only.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

Audible reads

Lately I have found myself listening to books instead of rereading them. In fact, I have listened to four books this month, when normally it takes me a month to even finish just one! I’ve been getting a start on my holiday crafts, so these have given me a nice distraction and kept me focused. I usually only listen to books I’ve already read, so I don’t get sidetracked and miss something. With kids, that happens quite often. But this month I took a chance on two different books and listened even though I never read them. What an experience!

queenMy first relisten was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. In preparation for the release of Empire of Shadows, I needed to reread QoS in order to remember the finer points. But I’m so glad I decided to listen instead. It was so much more exciting. I was actually able to grab the Throne of Glass coloring book early and I spent a few nights coloring the pictures for the scenes I was listening to. I think I’ll do another relisten of the entire series, next year before the final book releases. Grab Queen of Shadows HERE.

fallen I read the Fallen series a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Super fun and exciting YA series. And after my QoS relisten I wanted another fantasy book to keep me motivated, so I went to my Overdrive system and starting searching for anything that fit the bill. As soon as I saw the cover, I KNEW I needed to grab it. Since it’s been a few years since I read this, I really didn’t remember any of it. I get the gist of it, but not the finer points, so it was sorta like reading it for the first time. And then when the movie trailer released, I was even happier with my decision. Such a romantic story! I highly recommend it. Grab Fallen HERE.

six Next on my listening list is Six of Crows. It’s a spin off of the Grisha series, which I read last year. It’s part of a duology and the second book, Crooked Kingdom, releases today, so I needed to read this book first. This is one I never read before, so I’ll admit I was a bit nervous listening. I was afraid I would get confused with all the many points of views, but it’s told in a way that’s easy to keep up with. In fact, it has seven different narrators! SEVEN! I was completely sucked into this book and then kicked myself for waiting so long. I have a feeling I’ll be grabbing the audible for CK also, even though the DTB is being delivered today. Grab Six of Crows HERE.

every And last but not least, Everything Everything. I actually listened to this in one day. I spent all day Sunday carrying around my phone as I did chores and some crafting. I’ve heard great things about this book and I know it’s getting made into a movie, so I asked my friends if I should read it or just wait for the movie. Well, you can imagine what they said. Lately I’m not one to read straight YA or NA books. I want fantasy. So I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as they did. Honestly. But I found myself giggling and smiling, and a few times gasping. I was hoping my daughter would read this, but there’s so much love I fear the book would get tossed in my face, so I think I’ll wait and convince her to read it when she’s older. But if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It was really sweet. I wish there was just a wee bit more at the end, but all in all, I was happy. Grab Everything Everything HERE.

If you’ve never heard of Overdrive, I hope you look into it. All you need is a library card. In fact, I get many of my books from there and this month made me realize how many audibles they have also. I think I’ll be utilizing them more often. Check it out HERE.

~Melpomene