Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ARC Review: Hellraisers by Alexander Gordon Smith

Title: Hellraisers (The Devil's Engine, #1)
Author: Alexander Gordon Smith
Published: December 1st 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
Rating: 3 Stars
Synopsis:
When a sixteen-year-old troublemaker named Marlow Green is trapped in a surreal firefight against nightmarish creatures in the middle of his New York City neighborhood, he unwittingly finds himself amid a squad of secret soldiers dedicated to battling the legions of the devil himself.

Powering this army of young misfits is an ancient machine from the darkest parts of history. Known as the devil's engine, it can make any wish come true-as long as you are willing to put your life on the line. Promised powers beyond belief, and facing monstrous apparitions straight out of the netherworld, Marlow must decide if he's going to submit to a demonic deal with the infernal machine that will enable him to join the crusade-if it doesn't kill him first.


From the author of the Escape from Furnace series, here is the opening salvo in an explosive new horror trilogy about an ordinary American kid caught up in an invisible war against the very worst enemy imaginable.



My Thoughts
Let me start by saying I'm a big fan of Smith's Furnace series so I was thrilled to find Hellraisers on NetGalley. I love me some gore and this one did not disappoint but I'm still having a difficult time deciding whether I really liked this or am just completely meh about it. The synopsis pretty much sums up exactly what does happen in this book and it was quite confusing trying to figure out what the Devil's Engine was and how it worked, and then trying to understand who the soldiers and such were until we finally received a crash course about everything when Marlow did.

I love to read anything with a male POV so that was a plus and Marlow was a pretty likable character. He screws up a good bit of course, runs from most responsibility, and has a crappy home life but deep down he's a good kid thrown into a crazy mess. Pan was a firecracker, strong and kick-ass but sometimes you wanted to slap her but once you find out her backstory you get why she could be so cold and harsh. Herc, Truck, and Night were an interesting lot too. There were also plenty of creeps and baddies, I can't decide if Hanson will end up a bad guy or not and Mammon was came across as pretty evil, although he wasn't in the book much.


Overall, Hellraisers was a decent and pretty quick read. I love Smith's writing and it's easy to get sucked into the story. Granted, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would but it has an interesting story to it and after that cliffhanger I need to know what happens next. So, if you're a fan of blood and gore, devilish creatures and tough characters then you should give Hellraisers a try.



| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

About the Author
Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series of young adult novels, including Lockdown and Solitary. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he first explored his love of publishing. Along with poet Luke Wright, he founded Egg Box Publishing, a groundbreaking magazine and press that promotes talented new authors. He also started writing literally hundreds of articles, short stories and books ranging from Scooby-Doo comic strips to world atlases, Midsomer Murders to X-Files. The endless research for these projects led to countless book ideas germinating in his head. His first book, The Inventors, written with his nine-year-old brother Jamie, was published in the U.K. in 2007. He lives in England.




Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Omnilogos - Extended Edition (The Omnilogos Series, #1) by Michele Amitrani

Title: Omnilogos - Extended Edition (The Omnilogos Series, #1)
Author: Michele Amitrani
Published: October 2015 by Michele Amitrani
Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis:
“I am a collector of hopes and peregrine truths, a shepherd of thoughts, ideas, projects and dreams too important not to be realized. I’m an abstract concept 
that has no body, no smell, no boundaries, no shape and no color. 
I am the Omnilogos.”


So it is forged, a Science Fiction saga that gave birth to a legend, a tale about 
the life of a man with one project that will change mankind’s future forever.
Ten stories about his life, his sorrow, and his quest to gather the resources 
and the people needed to claim our place among the stars.

This is Wei’s story.

This is the world of the Omnilogos.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble Kobo |

I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks Michele!

*This edition has a new cover and it's just as wicked as the original!*

I originally read Omnilogos back in February so this is my second time reading thanks to Michele's kind offer to let me review the extended edition. This review is kind of a mashup of my original and what I thought after rereading.

 My Thoughts 
I enjoyed Omnilogos more the second time around. I think having read it before I was better prepared to keep up with the different characters and stories and especially for Wei's quirks but it will always be one of those books that you have to read for yourself to begin to understand what it's about.

Wei Wang is the Omnilogos.

"Tiago had heard of what some called the 'human database' or 'omnilogos', but nothing could have prepared him for this."

"I am a collector of hopes and peregrine truths, a shepherd of thoughts, ideas, projects and dreams too important not to be realized. I'm an abstract concept that has no body, no smell, no boundaries, no shape and no color. I am the Omnilogos."

It's hard to say much without giving the book away but it is a short and original read. Amitrani's writing is lovely, the technical parts sometimes made the story lag for me but it didn't take away from just how brilliant a story Omnilogos is. The surprise ending was also easier to take this time and I understand the importance of it.


Overall, I've come to love Omnilogos and Wei even more. There's still a smidgen of romance and a lot of heart and of course is a perfect read for sci-fi fans.

 About the Author 
Michele Amitrani is a young self-published author living in beautiful British Columbia. He has grown up writing of falling empires, space battles, mortal betrayals, monumental decisions and everything in between.

He now spends his days traveling through time and space and, more often than not, writing about impossible but necessary worlds.

Omnilogos is Michele’s debut novel and the prologue of an action packed Sci-Fi saga drenched with what some has called the sense of awe typical of Asimov’s Foundation series.

His previous Sci-Fi short story, ‘When Gold was Black’, has been praised as ‘powerful’, ‘intense and inspiring’, ‘really well-written’, and ‘original’.

When Michele is not busy chasing dragons or mastering the Force, you can find him at MicheleAmitrani.com or hanging out on Facebook at /MicheleAmitraniAuthor.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

ARC Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Published: April 5th 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis:
I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.



My Thoughts
Recently I've developed a love for Asian horror stories and movies. So when I found The Girl from the Well on NetGalley which is based on the Japanese ghost legend of Okiku I was very happy.

The legend varies a bit but in each version poor Okiku ends up dead in a well, having been murdered. The Girl from the Well takes place over 300 years after her death as she roams around the world killing those that have taken the lives of children and boy is it gruesome when she gets to work. Even with those scenes you can't help but come to love Okiku and understand how her spirit could end up that way and after she finds Tarquin you get to see the other side of her, more of what her human side was.

Overall, I really loved The Girl from the Well. It was both scary and beautiful and part of the book was spent in Japan which was interesting. Chupeco's writing kept me glued to my e-reader and I'm excited to find out what happens in the next book. So if you enjoy a creepy ghost story or legend then you should check this one out!


About the Author
Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.




Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: The Suffering by Rin Chupeco


Title: The Suffering (The Girl from the Well, #2)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis:
Breathtaking and haunting, Rin Chupeco’s second novel is a chilling companion to her debut, The Girl from the Well.
The darkness will find you.
Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she’s groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan’s suicide forest, Okiku’s justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price…




Praise for The Suffering:

"Rin Chupeco's The Suffering is a horror lover's dream: murders, possessed dolls, and desiccated corpses. I cringed. I grimaced. You won't soon forget this exorcist and his vengeful water ghost."
--Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood

“Chupeco deftly combines ancient mysticism with contemporary dilemmas that teens face, immersing readers in horrors both supernatural and man-made. The Suffering is a chilling swim through the murky waters of morality.” 
--Carly Anne West, author of The Bargaining and The Murmuring



About the Author:
Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.

Website | Twitter |

Excerpt from The Suffering:
It’s still early morning when our group is given clearance to enter. Aokigahara is a deceptive forest. It has all the hallmarks of a popular tourist destination: narrow but well-­maintained hiking trails with a surprising amount of litter, not to mention strips of tape and ribbon wrapped around tree trunks. The leader explains that hikers use them as markers to maintain their bearings. Later on, one of the other volunteers whispers to us that some of the tapes were left by those who came here to kill themselves, in case they decided to change their minds. The revelation horrifies Callie.
A few miles into our hike, anything resembling civilization disappears. Roots crawl across the hard forest floor, and it’s easy to trip if you’re not constantly looking down. We’re outside, but the trees make it feel claustrophobic. They reach hungrily toward the sun, fighting each other for drops of light, and this selfishness grows with the darkness as we move deeper into the woods.
It’s quiet. The silence is broken by the scuffling of feet or snapping of dry twigs as we walk. Every so often, volunteers call back and forth to each other, and rescue dogs exploring the same vicinity that we are will bark. But there are no bird calls, no sounds of scampering squirrels. We’re told that there is very little wildlife in Jukai. Nothing seems to flourish here but trees.
This deep into the woods, any roads and cleared paths are gone. At times, we’re forced to climb to a higher ledge or slide down steep slopes to proceed, and there’s always some root or rock hiding to twist an ankle.
And yet—­the forest is beautiful. I like myself too much to seriously think about suicide, even during my old bouts of depression, but I can understand why people would choose to die here. There is something noble and enduring and magnificent about the forest.
That sense of wonder disappears though, the instant I see them. There are spirits here. And the ghosts mar the peacefulness for me. They hang from branches and loiter at the base of tree trunks. Their eyes are open and their skin is gray, and they watch me as I pass. I don’t know what kind of people they were in life, but they seem faded and insignificant in death.
Okiku watches them but takes no action. These are not the people she hunts. They don’t attack us because they’re not that kind of ghosts. Most of them, I intuit, aren’t violent. The only lives they had ever been capable of taking were their own.
I’m not afraid, despite their bloated faces, contorted from the ropes they use to hang themselves or the overdose of sleeping pills they’ve taken. If anything, I feel lingering sadness. I can sympathize with their helpless anguish. These people took their own lives, hoping to find some meaning in death when they couldn’t find it in life. But there’s nothing here but regret and longing.
And there’s that tickle again, so light it is nearly imperceptible. Something in this forest attracts these deaths. It lures its unhappy victims with its strange siren’s call and then, having taken what it needs, leaves their spirits to rot. A Venus flytrap for human souls.
Something is wrong here, and suddenly, the forest no longer looks as enticing or majestic as when we arrived.

New in Paperback from this Author: The Girl From The Well
Title: The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis:
The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting and lyrical re-imagining of the Japanese fable.
Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem—if the demon dies, so does its host.
With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well.

Praise for The Girl from the Well:

“[A] Stephen King-like horror story.” -Kirkus Reviews           

“Told in a marvelously disjointed fashion.”  -Publishers Weekly STARRED Review                              

This gorgeously written story reads like poetry.” -Brazos Bookstore                                                                     
“Darkly mesmerizing.” -The Boston Globe

“A superior creep factor that is pervasive in every lyrical word.” -Booklist


Amazon | Barnes&Noble |



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Sepherene: The Complete Chronicles by Daniel Beazley

Title: Sepherene: The Complete Chronicles (The Sepherene Chronicles, #1-4)
Author: Daniel Beazley
Published: August 9th 2015 by Daniel Beazley
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Religious, Adult
Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis:
In a time where religion has become no more than a convenient commodity and angels bask within their god-like existence upon the mortal planes, can Sepherene the fallen angel find the path to redemption and at what cost? She has chosen Lucius to journey with her but his past is hidden beneath a dark shroud and he carries troubles of his own. As he is drawn deeper into an ancient struggle between good and evil, will he be able to stay upon the right path or will darkness obscure the way?

The Sepherene Chronicles tell a tale of unity and righteous endeavour where the line between good and evil becomes ever more blurred. As humankind reaches out into the far corners of the universe and colonises extraordinary worlds along the way, the struggle for hope continues against overwhelming odds. With adversity lurking in every shadow, will the bond between man and angel provide the only path to survival?




I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks Daniel!

 My Thoughts 
I read the first part of The Sepherene Chronicles back in January and was blown away by Beazley's take on fallen angels. I have a hard time finding angel stories that I enjoy and these are the best that I have found. There's action and adventure, mystery and a cool futuristic setting.

There are also so many great characters besides Lucius and Sepherene including smugglers Iolaus, Shon and Cal who help them out quite a bit. Who doesn't love pirates, am I right? I especially loved the variety when it came to the fallen. We learned each one's unique history, no matter how small their part in the story.

Beazley's writing is beautiful and the descriptions of his future grand and truly creative. The fight scenes are absolutely epic with heads rolling and quite a bit of blood spilled.

Overall, Sepherene: The Complete Chronicles is a pretty serious story with wonderful characters and is a must-read for any sci-fi fan.

 Favorite Quote 

"The man's indifference had lit an anger within Lucius that he'd never been able to extinguish. As he got older, even the hard spirits and powdered spice hadn't managed to dampen the burn. His torment had always remained, even when the effects of the drug-induced oblivion wore off."

 About the Author 
Daniel Beazley was born and raised in the South West of England. He began writing in 1996 whilst spending some time in the sunny climes of Sicily. This continued periodically whilst working in the Army and then the Police; living in various parts of the country as well as overseas.
Daniel now lives with his family in the rural countryside of Devon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Shade Series Read-Along (#ShadeReadAlong)

Team Kilt put together one heck of a Shade series read-along marathon a few years back and we’re about to put all their hard work to good use again.

During the month of June, a bunch of us are going to read (or re-read) ShadeShiftShine, Bridgeand Shattered together.



This isn’t a formal event by any means, just a bunch of fans that miss the Shade world. Hope you’ll join us!

Created by Judy G.

Here’s a suggested reading schedule to keep you on track to complete the entire series during the month of June.  You certainly don’t have to follow this, but we’ll share a special post about each section on the days listed on this schedule.
Watch the #ShadeReadAlong hashtag on Twitter to see these special posts and to chat with other fans participating in the read-along.

06/01/15 – Read-Along begins
06/03/15 -- SHADE Ch 1-11 
06/05/15 -- SHADE Ch 12-18 
06/08/15 -- SHADE Ch 18 - SHIFT Ch 4
06/10/15 -- SHIFT Ch 5-12 
06/12/15 -- SHIFT Ch 13-20 
06/15/15 -- SHIFT Ch 21 - End 
06/17/15 -- SHINE Ch 1-11 
06/19/15 -- SHINE Ch 12-20 
06/22/15 -- SHINE Ch 21-32 
06/24/15 -- SHINE Ch 33- End 
06/26/15 -- BRIDGE 
06/30/15 – SHATTERED

Hope your reading schedule will allow you to join us for this fabulous event!

Created by Marissa O. (aka Bionic Elbow)

*Credit to Jennifer Strand for the post!

~~~

This is the extra push I needed to buy the Shade books and finish the series. I cannot wait for this to begin and I hope you will join us too!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Bird Goodies #9

Meet Magnus, my little Book Bird Reviews mascot.
Instead of doing a Showcase Sunday or anything, I've decided to just post any book goodies myself.


 Bought 




by
Colleen Hoover
&
my lovely new bookmarks.



Clockwork Angel,
Clockwork Prince
&
Clockwork Princess
by
Cassandra Clare
&
HyeKyung Baek

Beautiful set of the graphic novels for The Infernal Devices.






by
Karen Marie Moning




Revival
by
Stephen King
&
Dangerous Boy
by
Mandy Hubbard



The Silver Blade
(French Revolution, #2)
by
Sally Gardner
&
Sirens
(Faithful, #3)
by
Janet Fox







Daylighters
(The Morganville Vampires, #15)
by
Rachel Caine
&
The Taken
(Celestial Blues, #1)
by
Vicki Pettersson













Bookmarks and postcard from Schin Loong on Etsy.
I love the Persephone and Hades one!












My Cat's Eye Chronicles bookmark from author T.L. Shreffler on Etsy.












Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis:
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. 


My Thoughts
So, I have not been on an emotional ride like Pushing the Limits in forever...my heart is still recovering from this epic book and gods does McGarry punch you in the feels. The story of Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins has given me hope that I can still find YA romance that makes you give a damn and root for the characters.

The synopsis pretty much says everything that I could about Pushing the Limits without giving the story away. There are still plenty of turns to the story and McGarry has written such human characters with so many flaws that you can't help but fall in love with every single one of them. There are no perfect peeps in this one and I love that. The book is from Echo and Noah's POVs and getting inside their heads was magic. Noah with his cursing and Echo's struggle to remember what happened to her kept me crying and feeling their pain as the story went.

Overall, I obviously freaking loved everything about Pushing the Limits. The romance was sweet and hot in spots and the characters one-of-a-kind. So if you love a good romance you can't lose with this one.


 Favorite Quote
"Sometimes when you see the line, you think it's a good idea to cross it-until you do."


 About the Author 
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.