Tag Archives: Review Copy

ARC Review: City of Fae (London Fae #1)

Read on 8th March, 2015

Author: Pippa DaCosta

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Release Date: May 7th, 2015

5 Stars

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From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.

Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.

This New Adult urban fantasy is packed with action and suspense and will have you yearning for more forbidden fae romance.

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Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing for supplying me with a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An enchanting urban fantasy, City of Fae will ignite your imagination and capture your soul. A badass heroine, an alluring love interest, an enthralling mystery and a fascinating new world within the streets of London – what’s not to love about DaCosta’s newest novel?

The world building was absolutely fantastic. Set in an alternate reality where fae not only exist but are accepted and revered in society, City of Fae brings the familiar and the fantastical together in a unique and unexpected way. Plus, I have a not-so-slight obsession with London, so it certainly didn’t hurt that it was centered there.

The plot was also brilliant, constantly spiraling in unforseen directions and taking the story to new heights. Whatever you think will happen, probably won’t – this story will surpass your expectations and quite possibly cause your emotions to explode several times over.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to relate to the characters – a reporter and a rock star? I was skeptical, I admit. But boy was I glad to have been proven wrong. Alina was strong, sarcastic, witty and amusing. Her story had me enthralled the entire time and I loved how sassy she was. Reign was intense, layered, deep – and yes, extremely hot. He is both a walking cliche and a defiance to it. Backstories are everything, and DaCosta ticked that box for each of them – including Andrews and Shay, who I loved.

Everything was layered, nothing taken at surface value. City of Fae teaches us to not judge a book by its cover (though, to that effect, it does have a very pretty cover) but to always dig deeper, for you never know what hidden depths are to be found within.

Recommend to those looking for an enchanting New Adult urban fantasy read.

Water So Deep

Read From 3rd-5th March, 2015

Author: Nichole Giles

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5 Stars

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Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can’t have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it’s only a matter of time before she’s forced to surrender forever.

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Wow. Wow wow wow wow. I know it’s only just been published, but can I have the next one please? Is there even a next one? Please tell me there’s a sequel. If there’s not, I think I might cry – or, you know, sob my heart out. (As you do). Because that’s totally normal. Pfft… What is normal? But seriously, next book please. Even if I have to wait a year, I want another book. YOU CAN’T END IT LIKE THAT! No. Just, no. I mean, we pretty much knew it was going to come to this, but…  We couldn’t have had one little snippet from Emma’s point of view after the departure? Just one? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO HER! *tears up* I hope you know that I am now emotionally traumatized, the only cure being the next book in this beautiful, amazing, enthralling, spectacular, I-don’t-even-know-anymore, cliff-hanger-but-not-cliff-hanger series. At least I hope it’s a series. It better be a series.

But in all seriousness, I absolutely loved this book. Water So Deep is a unique gem amongst the paranormal genre. The characters, the plot, the suspense, the dual point of view, the emphasis on the importance or family and the writing itself formed a magnificent crescendo.

There were no “meh” characters in this book. They were all deep, complex, and I either loved them or hated them – there were no gray patches, no matter how minor the character. Heather, James, Keith, Emma, their biology teacher, Emma and Keith’s parents, James’ uncle, Emma’s Grandma, the social worker we never met. Merrik, Tom, Mark, Lyle, Jonathan, James’ dad. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Sea King, but I kind of like him, despite not really having a reason to – though I have a feeling that he will be rather prominent in the next book (which will happen, or else I will suffer from withdrawal for the rest of my existence – I’m trusting you Giles).

The writing was just so brilliant and the story was so enthralling and amazing and brilliant that I can’t even really form any coherent thought besides ‘I need the next book now; oh-my-goodness-this-is-absolutly-fantastic; WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?! That stupid ending; why do books have to end? I NEED MORE EMMA AND JAMES (do they have a ship name? Emmames? Jammmema? I am so bad at this.)

So essentially, go read this book – seriously. Recommended to fans of paranormal, mystery, intrigue, and YA. And, you know, anyone and everyone. *cough* I mean…

Thank you so much to Patchwork Press – Cooperative for supplying me with a free copy of this book via Netgallery in exchange for an honest review.

Death Before Daylight (Timely Death Trilogy #3)

Finished on 25th February, 2015

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

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5 Stars

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Two eternities. One ending.

“Harmony would only come with destruction.”

The moment Eric and Jessica are reunited, they are torn apart. After the appearance of a new breed of shades and lights, the powers shift for the worse, and all three descendants find themselves face-to-face in the Light realm. When Darthon is in control, the last thing everyone expects is to finally hear the truth.

While Jessica learns the reason of her creation, Darthon’s identity is exposed to Eric – and only Eric – and Eric can no longer defend himself. With the eternities of the Light and the Dark resting on Jessica’s shoulders, she must chose who she will be: a light or a shade.

In the end, someone must die, and the end is near.

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First of all, I would like to thank Shannon A. Thompson for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Also, I would like to apologise profusely for taking so long to read and review (I mean, a month, I feel so bad…). In my defense, I did re-read the second half of Seconds Before Sunrise on top of The 5th Wave (which I’m almost finished) and school. But still, no excuse.

Death Before Daylight was an intricately woven finale to a unique series in the paranormal world. The character development was brilliant, with plot twists all over the place (*cough* Lola *cough*). We also get a glimpse into the origins of the lights and shades, as well as a new breed of the two, which I found quite fascinating.

The relationships in this installment were brilliant – the love between Eric and Jessica continued to grow and deepen despite the seemingly never ending issues they face; their friendships with Jonathan and Charlotte; as well as the value placed on family relations. New discoveries were made about the dead and the remaining relationships were fleshed out and developed beautifully.

Linda was quite an interesting character who I enjoyed immensely. She was just so sassy and awesome, and while her actions might not always have been sound, she was coming from a good place and acting in the only was that she knew. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she saved the books long before there was ever a need to.

The only criticism I have about this book is not at all against the author, but a necessary evil in wake of the plot. As Eric is the only one Darthon reveals his identity to (and who is not at liberty to even slightly give that name away), there is an understandable frustration that comes when both Jonathan and Jessica seem to be looking in all the wrong directions. To be fair, they did work it out fairly quickly – but it was still exasperating nonetheless.

Death Before Daylight is an explosive conclusion that winds up the series in such a way that it leaves you satisfied, but wanting more of the beloved characters. I can’t believe that I finally have to say goodbye, and I will no doubt be revisiting them shortly.

I highly recommend the Timely Death trilogy to those in the Young Adult genre seeking a unique twist to the standard paranormal. The series is very well executed and the world building is absolutely fantastic.

Take Me Tomorrow

Read on 11th July, 2014

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

I would like to thank Shannon A. Thompson for providing me with an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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4.5 Stars 🙂

Two years after the massacre, the State enforces stricter rules and harsher punishments on anyone rumored to support tomo – the clairvoyant drug that caused a regional uprising.

But sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray has other problems.

Between her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history, the last thing Sophia needs is an unexpected encounter with a boy.

He’s wild, determined, and one step ahead of her. But when his involvement with tomo threatens her friends and family, Sophia has to make a decision: fight for a future she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

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While I loved this book, I do admit that it was confusing at times (hence the .5). It took me a while to fully grasp the concept of how the drug tomo was the symbol of hope for the oppressed. I came to the conclusion that it was because it made you see that tomorrow would come. There was a line in the book that said the tomo showed peace after the war – which got me slightly confused because I thought that it only showed what tomorrow would bring – not any farther into the future. However, tomo is based largely on interpretation – so that could be part of it.

A very unique story, Take Me Tomorrow had great characters that you couldn’t help but love (aside from those such as Phelps and Anthony/Tony which are the obvious enemies).

Sophia isn’t one to mess with and, even when she was in the dark, you could count on her to stick up for her friends and put up a fight. I loved her knives and how she wasn’t afraid to use them – I’ve always been partial to knife-throwing. In the opening scene, we really see her relationship with her dog, Argos, and how she finds freedom in the forest behind her house. I love how her nickname isn’t just “Sophie” but “Soph E”. Sophia’s such a pretty name ;).

Noah was an intriguing character. At first I, like Sophia, thought that he was a bad guy (government propaganda and all that). Luckily for us Noah fans out there, he’s not the one at fault here. However, the fact remains that he’s a tomo addict and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that other than gladness that here we have an obviously imperfect lead guy in fiction – which is surprisingly hard to find. I do believe though, his addiction isn’t that hard to believe and is perhaps even expected considering who his parents are. Despite his addiction, I do love Noah and it was rather amusing how he interacted with all the characters on an individual level.

Lily was the awesome best friend that I wish I had! (Ironically, one of my best friends is called Lily and she’s blonde and really smart – do with that what you will). As I was journeying throughout this book, I actually thought that Lily wouldn’t be much help but, as it turns out, she had a really big influence on how things turned out – and ended up “saving the day” more than once. I feel really bad for her about what happened at prom (and still don’t quite understand precisely why it had to happen but you know, I’m rolling with it). Even at a young age, Lily was amazing – she deciphered the boys’ codes and times without them suspecting a thing! Which brings me onto a side note…

I love those watches!! At first, when we’re introduced to Broden in the hospital, we learn about his watch and his strange habits – constantly checking the time even though the face is broken and the time’s completely wrong, etc. Sophia then makes the remark that Noah was the same watch, but black. I think nothing of it. However, as we go deeper into the story we learn just how cool these watches are – Broden, Miles and Noah each have one and it’s how they communicate (it acts like a walkie talkie kind of thing), the watches are in sync at the “wrong time” so they can meet at times unknown to others and the last epic thing that we see these watches do is unlock Noah’s house – pretty awesome, huh? The latter quality leads me to wonder – how many are there? Is it a family thing? A rebellion item for key members? Are they hand-me-downs? What else can these watches do?

Back to the characters now, Miles and Brody were really cool (I know what you’re thinking – if they’re so cool then why did you group them together? The real question however, is why not group them together?) Miles turned out to be super smart – after all, he stole a train as a pre-teen, how awesome is that?! I feel really sorry for Brody. First, he gets in a fight for which there’s word that he has to go back to military school (after only two years of freedom). Then, he gets himself arrested. Poor thing… In the beginning, he also tries really hard not to get Sophia involved in the whole tomo/illegal activity they’re got going on. Which, as you know by the synopsis, doesn’t work out too well.

Let’s talk about Dwayne Grey (otherwise known as Sophia’s father). I loved his character so much! While he was out of town a lot, when he appeared he was just the best! Teaching his daughter to throw knives, hiding a forgery in his basement and – this one’s the best – being hired to work for Phelps (the evil dictator dude) on the account of being caught crossing illegally – in other words, for being a criminal. Yep, doesn’t this dude sound like the best dad? Well, he was despite and probably because of hiding a huge part of his life that was only unearthed when Noah came to town.

Lyn was really cool. With her tattoos, nursing skills, baby bump and three-year-old son, she was the backbone to this odd group. Easy going despite her tough exterior, Lyn was the one to go to in a crisis – particularly if you needed something to aid in illegal activity. She was the getaway driver, nurse and motherly figure that kept them all in line.

All in all, a great story with awesome characters who had each other’s backs in a unique dystopian world. I highly recommend Take Me Tomorrow to those seeking an interesting read with characters that you can love and a plot line that twists and turns.

Seconds Before Sunrise (Timely Death Trilogy #2)

Read on 5th July, 2014

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

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5 Stars 🙂

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

 

Once again, I would like to thank Shannon A. Thompson for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest and timely review.

“Seconds Before Sunrise” is the brilliantly paced and equally emotional sequel of “Minutes Before Sunset.” The beginning of the story picked off clearly from the end of the previous book, and despite their new situation, Jessica and Eric’s reactions were true to what we knew about them. When Jessica lost who she was, Eric was the one who made her see that she wasn’t herself. Even when she didn’t have her memories and he had to stay away, they still managed to find solace in each other, to subconsciously love through their troubles.

Miss Thompson’s depiction of love continued to deepen as she writes in dual perspective, allowing the reader to feel Eric’s tension and Jessica’s confusion in a tragic but relatable way. If I were to pick up either of the two books in this series and turn to a random section, I would clearly be able to tell who was narrating. I loved being able to see from both perspectives and I honestly didn’t favour one over the other.

In their pain and frustration, they didn’t isolate themselves from those that care about them, developing stronger relationships with those around them. Although they had their moments of weakness and bad ideas, both Eric and Jessica were resilient in their struggles. They never stopped fighting.

I loved that the ending of the story was unexpected. The battle that was prophesied came to pass, but it was unlike anything we’d been lead to believe. And, of course, Jess regained her memory and power so she and Eric can to love each other again with nothing to hold them back. The scene at her parents’ gravestone was so touching. *wipes tear from eye* I didn’t find myself bored with filler because there is no filler. Every chapter, every scene, and every word has a purpose that pushed us closer to the end – an ending that left me wanting the last book.

The cover is just as purposeful and dark. Unlike some covers that are completely different to the book, you can tell that thought has been put into this. The cover depicts Eric in his shade form, the physical description matches what is shown. He’s of the right age (the amount of times covers get this wrong is ridiculous – e.g. Onyx and Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout) and he is engulfed in shadows. It is really true to the book.

“Seconds Before Sunrise” is a marvelous exploration of a troubled subconscious, fear of identity, and the struggle of love among a world of war and chaos. I highly recommend it to readers of young adult and new adult fiction, especially those in search of a unique paranormal romance with subtle but powerful love and complex but relatable characters dealing with their own struggles and confusion.

Minutes Before Sunset (Timely Death Trilogy #1)

Read on 3rd July, 2014

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

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5 Stars 🙂

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She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

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First of all, I would like give a huge thank you to Shannon A. Thompson for providing me with a copy of her book.

“Minutes Before Sunset” is an absolutely stunning novel that completely messed with my emotions. I laughed with the characters, cried with them, felt all warm and fuzzy inside, was heartbroken, proud and sympathised with the pain in their lives.

I loved learning all about the shades, the Light and the Dark with Jessica. I also discovered the full prophecy alongside Eric and the betrayal he felt by everyone keeping it from him was palpable.

All the characters were so humane, so relatable, even when they shouldn’t have been. There was also a lot of sass, sarcasm and witty banter mixed into all the relationships – particularly that of Jessica and Eric. The characters each had their own quirks, their own flaws, and that’s what made them so perfect. Most of all, we were with them as they learned to love in spite of everything.

Miss. Thompson twisted the concept of Light and Dark, reversing the well-known roles, changing the time-old dance and making it her own. Brilliant and true, “Minutes Before Sunset” is thought-provoking, bringing real-life lessons and morals from a world of the supernatural.

I loved how Jessica’s relationship with Eric during the day paralleled with Shoman’s relationship with the nameless shade at night. These relationships provided a refuge for the characters, a much-needed solace. There was a lightness in the air that made my heart soar, and when they fell in love it was beautiful and seamless, a tune to which my heart melted. Shannon’s depiction of love is like none that I have read before, sweet and without angst. Theirs is the love that you wish you could have.

The ending… Without giving anything away, it was heart-wrenchingly sad yet full of hope. It was the perfect solution, but the one you wished didn’t have to happen. I also loved how the fireworks was brought full-circle, it was a very nice touch.

“Minutes Before Sunset” is brilliantly written and left me aching for more. I highly recommend it to all, particularly those interested in young adult and a unique branch of the supernatural.