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.

Review: Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre

When I first read the synopsis of this, I was intrigued. Can you imagine waking up in someone else’s body? I would flip out. That’s exactly what happens to Liv when her and Morgan and their boyfriends get into a car accident. Liv seems to have died, while Morgan survived. Except she didn’t, sorta.

But it’s not just the new body that would freak me out. It’s the mysterious texts. The boyfriend that should be mine, if she were really Morgan, and the general sense that nothing is as it should be.

When Liv finds a file in Morgan’s room, a whole new world opens up for her. There is more going on around her than she ever knew. Scary and horrifying, if I’m being honest. She must try and put the pieces of her past together and see why this has tampered with her future.

My heart was racing a quite a few times as I was reading. I wanted to read faster just to get to the end. When it was over, I sat back and wondered what in the world just happened. There’s a bit of mystery, romance and sci-fi working here. While it was good, I’m having a hard time figuring out how I feel about the end. For some reason I didn’t expect it to happen this way, and yet my head can’t wrap around any other way it could’ve happened. What a ride!

~Melpomene
Buy Like Never and Always https://amzn.to/2JDe2Cq

Review: Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

I adore fairy tale retellings and Kiss of the Spindle fit the bill. This had everything that made me happy. Witches, shifters, curses and swoony men. Can’t go wrong with that.

Isla Cooper has been put under a spell and she must do everything in her power to find the witch that cast it, even if it means blackmailing her way onto an airship. She basically sleeps like the dead every night. She’s running out of time. Soon the curse will be permanent. Her calling as a shifter empath has put her in the sights of a few who would like her to fail in her endeavor. So she must call upon her fellow airship occupants to help her, even though she’s used to doing things alone.

Captain Daniel Pickett was mot amused into being blackmailed. He’s a mission and he doesn’t have time to be messed around with. He has no idea what’s in store for him. Just when he’s content with his life, Isla brings a spark into it and draws him into her. He falls hard. But when he find out what’s happening to her each night, he does everything in his power to help her.

I love the slow burn of this romance. It kept me turning the pages. I was so excited to see where this was headed. I’m glad we got to see Daniel’s story. We met him in the previous story, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. But this is a standalone, so don’t worry about missing anything.

I’m still fairly new to the world of steampunk. I’ve read less than a handful of them. But I gotta admit, they intrigue me. They’re like historical, and yet not. Kiss was no exception. I just have to reset my mind and jump into a world of gadgets and gizmos. I hope we get more in this series.

~Melpomene
Buy Kiss of the Spindle https://amzn.to/2tt4mUW

Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

I have read all of the Psy-Changelings books, including the first in the spin off Trinity series, Silver Silence. These books have so many characters and side stories going on, I love it. Since I have the memory of a gnat, I was worried, since I couldn’t remember who Bo was exactly. I have a vague memory of him, but I can’t remember specifics. But that did not deter me from reading or enjoying this story. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. There was something about Bo and Kaia that grabbed me. I couldn’t look away.

After being injured Bo is taken in by the BlackSea for his recovery. Unfortunately there are some that don’t want him there, because of his relationship with the Human Alliance. But there is more to him than people know. Because of the chip inside his head, he may only have two weeks to show them this.

Kaia has lost everyone she’s ever loved. The BlackSea has given her a place of comfort and safety after all that’s lost. She is content here and doesn’t like the fact that she feels a connection to this human. But changelings can’t stop the bond when it finds it’s mate. So while she’s trying to keep Bo alive, she discovers that her heart is willing to take another chance, even if it means she has to face her greatest fear.

I loved how Bo reacted to Kaia and her clanmates. He’s in security, so he’s used to keeping people safe, but this time, since he’s human, he’s limited in what he can do, both in time and body. Since he’s human, he can’t protect her from the sea and all it’s dangers. But he’ll do anything in his power, even if it means opening himself up to his personal nightmares and allowing someone inside his head.

I like the way Nalini writes these books as if they’re interconnected standalones. There is no cliffhanger, but there is an aspect that will keep you wanting more. In fact, I can’t wait to see where the next one will go. To be honest, after reading this one, I’m dying to start the series over. I miss all the characters. Perhaps during Christmas Break will be the perfect time to dive back into the Psy-Changelings world.

~Melpomene

Grab
Silver Silence~ https://amzn.to/2sqmjDt
Ocean Light~ https://amzn.to/2slzIMK

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

01 ill This book is the epitome of roller coaster. I have no words. When I first heard about this book, I was doubting all these people who said it was the best book they’ve read in a long time. I mean, c’mon, how can a book, with not a single “real” page, be the best book?? Well, I stand corrected.

Illuminae is not like anything I’ve ever read before. The pages are amazing. At first I wasn’t sure if I could understand it, but it took just a few minutes to get the hang of it and to realize what was going on. Then I was instantly sucked into the story. The interactions between all the characters completely sucks you in. Kady and Ezra especially, had my heart tugging. Here’s a pair of teenagers thrown into a war with nothing but their brains to keep them alive. They desperately want to find each other and are doing everything they can to stay alive until that happens. With the plague all around them, they must make decisions that will affect not only them, but the 1000s of others who’s lives are at stake as well.

To be honest, I almost didn’t finish it. I was so angry. Like legit furious and book burning angry. But again, roller coaster. My friends talked me down and back into my seat. I buckled down and held on tight. So many ups and downs. One minute my heart was racing with nerves and the next I was tearing up. Lots of love and loss.

I tried listening to the audible but, one, there are no chapters to tell where you are, so it’s hard to find where you left off, and two, so many pages get lost in translation. To fully enjoy this unique story, you must read the DTB. (DTB=dead tree book=”real” book) That being said. the audible is FANTASTIC. I mean, the talent of the three narrators is amazing. You felt like you were right in the action. You could feel all the emotions and that made this book even better. I was reading along with them, because I wanted to experience it fully. I can’t wait until it’s on the big screen. To see the full action will be almost as good as what I just experienced.

I am quite looking forward to the next book. If it has half of the emotion and excitement as this one did, I think I may need to take a chill pill beforehand. WHOA.

~Melpomene

Buy Illuminae (The Illuminae Files)

Review: Darken the Stars by Amy Bartol

01 dark Oh.my.gosh……I can’t…..my heart…..oh man….what do I do now?? This book has left me devastated. Amy Bartol tugs at your heartstrings with this epic and very emotional conclusion. I was in a constant state of nervousness the entire book. I had no idea this ending would leave me feeling like this. I can’t even put it in words.

This book takes place immediately after Sea of Stars and now Kyon has Kricket. He’s never going to let her go. He’s wanted her for so long and he’s not taking any chances. He’ll do anything to protect her. I was happy with this storyline, because I love Kyon. But at the same time, I’m so mad because I hate him also. He’s evil and bad, but Kricket was growing to love him, the more time she’s with him. That was a hard pill to swallow. I didn’t want to see her get closer to him.

The more I think about the story, the more my heart hurt for Kricket. She just wants to go home to Earth and get her life back. She doesn’t want to be the answer to everyone’s problems. She wants to stop feeling things for these men in her life and she wants them to stop feeling for her too. It would make her leaving that much easier on everyone. But most of all, she wants to be free. Watching her struggle, with these burdens, hurt me.

And let’s not bring up the scenes with Trey. Oh my word. Every time Trey’s emotions got the better of him, I cried. I mean, tears falling down my cheeks. He loves her so much and is doing everything in his power to get her free from Kyon and all those who would use her for their own good.

Without giving away spoilers, I will say that the ending is not what I expected, but it was needed. There’s so much more that could’ve happened. There’s so much more that I wanted to happen. I hope she surprises us with another one. I think we need it. I understand the way she ended it. I get it. I won’t say that I was cheering at the end, but I get it. I really do…

~Melpomene

Buy
Under Different Stars (The Kricket Series Book 1)
Sea of Stars (The Kricket Series Book 2)
Darken the Stars (The Kricket Series Book 3)

Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

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I absolutely loved this book. I love dystopian/apocalyptic stories and went through a phase when that’s all I would read. I’ve read almost every angle that’s been covered. Cyborgs, utopian societies, altered life forms, walled-off cities, rampant viruses, mutant beings, total environmental destruction…I’ve sampled them all. And then along comes this little gem that doesn’t fall into any of those categories and really isn’t very dystopian at all.

Meet Ella, or so she’s been named by her new owners. She’s one of a new breed, humans genetically engineered to be pets. These are the new status symbols for the rich and famous. And Ella comes from the best of the best, Greenwich Kennels, where young girls are taught how to walk, talk, smile, and perform on command for their wealthy owners. When Ella is purchased by Congressman Kimball and his family, she encounters a world she didn’t know existed. The family is both rich and powerful, and Ella is brought home to live in the lap of luxury. All she has to do is entertain young Ruby Kimball and smile prettily for the Congressman and his friends.

But her training didn’t teach her how to deal with her more human emotions. Emotions like sadness when hearing beautiful music, amazement when tasting candy for the first time, and passion when she falls for the Congressman’s son, Penn. She knows she’s been given a good life and lives in fear of being sent back to the kennel for doing something wrong. But beneath all the glamour lies an undercurrent of trouble. What happened to the family’s last pet and why was she returned to the kennel? And then there’s the Congressman’s creepy hands becoming ever more familiar day by day.

The correlations between human pets and animal pets are eerily accurate. Ella has her own special diet and isn’t allowed to eat with her owners. She’s told what to wear, what to do, and where to go. She has a “collar” with her name and address engraved on it. She’s even been microchipped in case she gets lost. And when she misbehaves, she’s put on a chain. She’s not expected to have an opinion, just to please the family.

This was one of those can’t-put-down books for me. Once I started it, I just had to find out what happens to Ella. She’s such a likable character, an innocent at the hands of people who just want a pretty plaything to show off. I loved her innocence and amazement at experiencing things for the first time-a banana split, a butterscotch candy, a midnight swim, a first kiss. Kate Jarvik Burch has crafted an amazingly engaging story that had me from the first page, the first line even. Grab this one, and be prepared for a marathon reading session!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Perfected (Entangled Teen)