Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Forgotten + Some Quiet Place


Hi guys! I completely went off the grid these past few days. My last semester at the Uni just started and again, I find myself knee deep in readings and books. This week, I have two 2013 books to feature:

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

The Forgotten by Suruuh Kelsey
Publication Date: July 30, 2013

Good and goodness will prevail.

Honour and Horatia Frie are twins living in a world of wreck and ruin. 

Forgotten London is a dismal place of containment, rationing, and a four-family-per-house regulation. Twenty five years ago the world was set ablaze when solar flares obliterated three quarters of the Earth’s population and wiped out whole continents in one blow. The flares brought with them The Sixteen Strains: agonizing and fatal diseases that plague each of the forty one zones of Forgotten London and the rest of the world. The only places that escaped fatal damage were two countries now known as The Cities – States and Bharat. The rest of the world – The Forgotten Lands – is contained within borders for the people’s protection against even deadlier Strains outside the barrier. But fifteen year old Honour thinks differently. He thinks that they’re kept inside the fence for other, more menacing reasons. He thinks that States are planning to kill them. 

Branwell and Bennet Ravel are twins living in a world of danger and secrecy.

In Victorian London, years before the solar flares hit, the Ravels’ world has just been turned upside down. Their father, poisoned by something even genius Branwell can’t determine, has passed away. His dying words were unnerving orders to keep each other safe no matter the cost, and to hide everything he has ever invented. When one of his creations goes missing – a device named The Lux that can generate unlimited energy – the twins are shocked to discover that their very own government has stolen it and, according to their father’s journals, are planning to use it to create unfathomable explosions to destroy their world.

The Ravel twins will have to find and reclaim The Lux if they are to stop their world’s planned destruction, but when they’re transported to an unfamiliar, derelict world, the search for the device will become harder than ever. Honour and Horatia, against all odds, will have to find a way to stop States before the remainder of Earth is eradicated and their world is lost for good, or somehow get every single citizen of Forgotten London outside of the fence.

Why I Chose this:

You all know that I love futuristic and doom and gloom YA. I’m all for post-apocalyptic novels, too. The thing is, I don’t really read ALL post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels. I’m on the lookout for something new, too. I have a feeling that this might be ‘it.’

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Published by: Flux

Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel. Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.

And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. 

But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth. Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself. And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Why I Chose this:

I remember a Kelsey Sutton! One of the heads of the official fan site of Hush, Hush. But I’m not sure if this is her…

Anyway! The first thing that I noticed was this: recurring dreams. Yes, it’s been done over and over again but I really do LOVE them! The next thing I noticed was this: mystery of her past. Does this mean she can’t remember her past or a part of her past? I am crazy about novels that deal with memory! Can’t wait for this.

What about you? What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Leave your links below so I can visit you, too!




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 516 pages
October 18, 2011, Little, Brown and Company

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

Source: Bought

Warning: Might be slightly spoilery for those who haven’t read the first two books of the series.

Note: This is the kind of book that is hard to forget. It is strong, emotional and unputdownable just like its predecessors but even more. This is memorable not only because I read it on my birthday but also because I cried so many times while reading it.

My Thoughts:

The love triangle of Ethan, Lena and Liv still entertained me. But this time, I got to see not only the tension between Liv and Lena but also Lena’s emotions and thoughts about the other girl and Ethan. It was great for Lena to show her jealousy, insecurity and pain. I loved seeing how human she could be despite her unparalleled powers. This was once of the reasons why I got attached to her. She was not as open as Ethan when it came to showing emotions but when she shed her Caster skin and I got a glimpse of the true, vulnerable Lena underneath, it was unforgettable.

Ethan grew up as a character. Lena wasn’t the only one who needed to choose. Ethan would, too. I enjoyed seeing Ethan take on the supernatural Caster world and all the obstacles that stand in his and Lena’s way. But the journey that he endured in Beautiful Chaos was probably too much for a mortal. I admired his perseverance, courage and good heart. I believe that Ethan became a man in this installment.

Aside from Ethan and Lena, another character took center stage: John Breed. To be honest, I hated him pre-Beautiful Chaos but once I got to know more about him, I actually liked him. I think I might have even liked him more than Ethan. I got to know his softer, more vulnerable side – the real John and not the John that Abraham created. I really enjoyed reading about him and Liv. Their relationship was an unexpected one. That made it all the more exciting and sweet, because I never would have thought that Liv would go for someone like John Breed or that John could fall in love with our resident nerdy girl and treat her like a princess.

At this point in the series, I find it so wonderful that Stohl and Garcia still manage to spin twist after twist. I couldn’t even imagine how the beginning of the book ended with that heart-wrenching ending! I bawled my eyes out after reading this. I was so attached with the characters, especially to Ethan and Amma. Their pain and suffering became my own.

Heart-wrenching, gut-twistingly painful and bittersweet, Beautiful Chaos will captivate readers with its emotional impact and superb world building. This has everything I wanted in a novel: action, suspense, romance, tear-inducing scenes and sweetness. I highly recommend this series to all fantasy, paranormal and romance readers. Be prepared to be swept off your feet!

Rating:

5 Cupids = Eternal book love. 
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!




Thursday, November 08, 2012

Guest Post by Kassy Tayler + Giveaway: Signed Copy of Ashes of Twilight

Today I have Cindy Holby aka Kassy Tayler for a guest post. Read on and I find out why she wrote a dystopian story! Stick around for a giveaway later.


Why Dystopian?  I didn’t set out to write a dystopian novel.  I just knew I had a story to tell.  A lot of it had to do with my family history. You see I come from a long line of coal miners.  My roots are in West Virginia and both my grandfather’s worked in the mines.  I remember my mother’s father telling me about my Uncle.  He came home from the service and tried to find a job.  My grandfather said they went everywhere within an hour driving distance, trying to find him a job.  There was none to be had except in the mines.  My Uncle knew, in his heart, that if he went into the mines he would die.  Still he had a wife and child to support and another baby on the way so he took the job.  And he was killed in a mining accident just a few months later. 

For my Uncle, the coal mine was a world without hope.  A bleak future.  Dystopia.  My grandfather’s story about him always stuck with me and I wanted to convey his desperation and thus the world of the dome, and Wren MacAvoy came to life.

The fact is we live in a wonderful world. But a lot of us wonder if it came down to live or die, would we be able to survive?  Are we strong enough to make it?  Would we make the right decisions to keep on living?  Escaping to a dystopian world gives us a chance to imagine what we would do were we in the same situation.  It gives us a chance to save the world.  

About the Author:

Cindy Holby first became published in 2002 with her historical western Chase The Wind.  Since that time she has written eleven historicals, three sci/fi romances, one time travel,  four young adult novels and two short stories. Some have even won awards.  Her latest release is Angels End, from Berkley, the first book in a new historical western series.  This November, Ashes Of Twilight, the first book in her highly anticipated steampunk dystopian series will be released from SMP under the pen name Kassy Tayler.  Cindy lives in NC with her husband Rob, her doxie Cody and two cats, Cisco and Dax.  She also works with the humane society and has a blog about rescue titled Authors For Animals. 

Follow Cindy: Website1 | Website2 | Twitter

Giveaway: Signed Copy of Ashes of Twilight

Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out.  Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.”  What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.

Rules:

Follow Fragments of Life
Open to US residents.
Ends on Nov 30, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, November 02, 2012

Review: Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard


Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 339 pages
November 6, 2012, Strange Chemistry

The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career.

There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

Source: Strange Chemistry (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

Oh, wow. I didn’t expect THIS when I picked up Katya’s World. I sat at the edge of my seat ad tore through the pages, absorbing every little detail of this novel into my head. I was engrossed and amazed at the superb world-building that Howard did.

Russalka was 100% aquatic. Above the water, violent storms thrived but underneath the surface lay the home of the Russalkin. After many generations of living in their distant planet, the Russalkin coped and embraced Russalka. They engaged in a war to defend their planet against the Earth army. The first few pages were dedicated to Russalka’s history. It captured my attention and helped me understand the entire story. Howard’s world-building was one of the best I’ve ever encountered. It was well-done, detailed and colorful. During the hours when I read Katya’s World, I forgot about Earth entirely. I grew accustomed to the raging sea.

Katya was an outstanding character. Intelligent, determined and tough, nothing gets past her as she ran alongside pirates and FMA – the military unit of Russalka. But at the same time she was kind and followed her heart. Through her heroic deeds and initiative, I could see that she was heroine-material.
My only complaint was that I didn’t get close to Katya that much. Obviously, I was worried about her throughout the entire book but I didn’t get attached to her. Maybe it was the 3rd POV or maybe it was the lack of musings in Katya’s voice.

It was shocking how much her life changed so much in a span of a few days. The story started out with Katya as a new navigator who dreams nothing but to sail, to being a survivor of an underwater attack and running with FMA, and finally, to plotting and fighting against the Leviathan, a deadly machine. For the sake of maintaining a non-spoilery review, I will not divulge any more details about this.

Packed with intense action and suspense, Katya’s world delivered entertainment. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, reading, holding my breath some more before finally exhaling and tuning to the next page. There were twists and turns, scheming and battles that will delight readers of not only science fiction but also military fiction. It was like watching a movie. Although there was no romance, I had no problem with it. Romance doesn’t happen all the time.

Katya’s World stands out with its superb world-building, sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense and intense action. I recommend this to readers of science fiction, military fiction, suspense and even, to Adult readers. This might be YA but I think Katya’s World is capable of impressing not only teens but Adults as well.

Rating:

4 Cupids = Strong book love. 
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!