Sunday, June 18, 2017

'Throne of Glass' by Sarah J. Maas: Review


Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass #1
By: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Published: August 7th, 2012

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


  


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Flash Season 3: Mel's Review


I just finished binge watching season 3 of The Flash on Netflix and I'm really not happy. Once upon a time, this show was my absolute favorite of the comic book hero lineup on the CW.  I gave up on Arrow long ago, Supergirl is just too cheesy for me to handle, especially since Calista Flockhart isn't on regularly anymore. The Flash was all I had left. I was waiting to be wowed as I had been the previous two seasons. But, even though I tried to hide it from myself, I wasn't excited about any part of the story this season. The first episode left me with a lot of question marks and some annoyance. It seemed to me that something as complicated as an alternate timeline and a new past/future should be given more than one episode to be played out. 

Unfortunately, that seems to have been the formula for season 3. There was no continuity, no story that really carried over the whole season. At least not one that I cared about very much. I wasn't invested in any of it. I had to force myself to keep watching. One of my biggest issues was Barry, himself. When did he start making the SAME mistakes over and over again? When did he become so selfish and when did he lose sight of the big picture? It felt just very wrong. Overall, I was very unsatisfied with this season. The highs in my opinion: Tom Felton as Julian was absolutely fantastic. Cisco, played by the wonderful Carlos Valdes was perfection, as always. Tom Cavanaugh continues to blow me away with the way he can brilliantly portray so many faces of Harrison Wells. That was it, though. The rest fell flat and now I'm not sure if I'll continue watching the show or not. 

Overall, I give it an abysmal: 
(2.5 rounded up)

'Caraval' by Stephanie Garber : Review


Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

     


Mel’s Review:

Caraval is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel. It’s a YA story; it’s an adventure and a mystery and a romance and just so much more than I could ever fully explain. When I first read the back of the book, I got a thrill of excitement, it seemed to have everything.  I couldn’t wait to dive into the story to see if it would live up to my already high hopes. I listened to this on audiobook while at work and honestly, I sat there wishing my shift was longer so I could finish it before I went home and had to tend all that adulting crap I have to do there. This book far surpassed all of my expectations.

The story follows Scarlett Dragna who has spent her entire life dreaming about Caraval and the wonder it promises. Her whole life is about trying to protect her younger sister, Tella from the cruelty of their father, the mayor of the tiny island where they have lived their whole lives. Abandoned by their mother, the girls only have each other. Scarlett has written countless letters to Legend, the master of Caraval, hoping to entice him to bring his game to their island. But she never receives a response. Not until the year she writes him that she’s about to be married -an arranged marriage that will benefit her father’s career and she hopes, get Scarlett and her sister out of his clutches for good. This time she receives a response and to her greater surprise, tickets to Caraval. The downside- they have to find a way off their island without her father finding out or it could ruin her plan for their permanent escape.

Garber weaves a unique, immersive tale that draws you in from the start and doesn’t let go until the very last word. Even then, I was desperate for more of the story, more of these characters and this world she’s crafted so masterfully. The characters are so complex, so fleshed out and multidimensional, the story is so rich with detail, rife with tension and suspense, filled with magic and illusions. She keeps you guessing about what’s real and what’s simply sleight of hand until the very end. I could gush about this book for days and days but I don’t want to spoil the story for you. So I will leave you with this; I loved every single moment of this story and I cannot wait for the second book in the series.

My Rating:





About the Author-

I’m the international and New York Times bestselling author of Caraval.

When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings.

To help pay my bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between, I worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative for an energy consulting company, and as a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. I also spent years working with youth; I worked as a counselor at space themed summer camp, volunteered at a school for deaf children in Mexico, and I took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. But out of everything that I’ve done, writing young adult novels has been my favorite job.

My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval is out now (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in thirty foreign territories and the movie rights were picked by Twentieth Century Fox.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

'Scarlet' by Marissa Meyer- Review

Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
By: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Dystopian/Fairy Tale Retellings

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.




Snag Your Copy Today! 

     

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

'Blood Moon' by Lena Hillbrand Book Release Blast


Blood Moon
Series- The Superiors # 1
Genre- New Adult Urban Fantasy
By- Lena Hillbrand
Release Date- February 1, 2017

A world divided


In a world where vampires reign supreme, humans are little more than livestock. Their sole purpose is to satisfy their masters’ appetites.


A chance encounter


When Draven Castle, a lowly vampire who owns no livestock, captures a runaway human child, he defies his government for the first time in a century and takes what is not his to take—her blood.


Fates intertwined

Years later, he encounters Cali, the same human girl, now forced to work in a dangerous profession. As the secret they shared draws him back to her time and again, he realizes they are not as different as the government would have them believe. Humans are not just brainless animals. They are people. But if he is to save Cali from her cruel master, he must do more than remember his own humanity—he must forget it.


Friday, January 27, 2017

'Blood Moon' by Lena Hillbrand Cover Reveal


Blood Moon
Series- The Superiors # 1
Genre- New Adult Urban Fantasy
By- Lena Hillbrand
Expected Release Date- February 1, 2017


A world divided

In a world where vampires reign supreme, humans are little more than livestock. Their sole purpose is to satisfy their masters’ appetites.

A chance encounter

When Draven Castle, a lowly vampire who owns no livestock, captures a runaway human child, he defies his government for the first time in a century and takes what is not his to take—her blood.

Fates intertwined



Years later, he encounters Cali, the same human girl, now forced to work in a dangerous profession. As the secret they shared draws him back to her time and again, he realizes they are not as different as the government would have them believe. Humans are not just brainless animals. They are people. But if he is to save Cali from her cruel master, he must do more than remember his own humanity—he must forget it.




Monday, January 2, 2017

Mel's Quickie Review: 'The 4th Man' by Lisa Gardner


A young woman is found strangled in the stairwell of a college library, only her sneakers missing. With no physical evidence, no signs of sexual assault, and no witnesses, all the police have to go on are the three men who were in the library with her: her boyfriend and two campus security guards . . . all of whom have secrets, none of whom can be proven guilty.

Ten years later, ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife, former police officer Rainie Conner, agree to consult on the still-unsolved case, delving into deep background to comb for any clue that will lead to the woman's murderer. But with no leads and the case colder than the body, will they be able to build a case against one of the three suspects, or is there a fourth man out there? And if the killer has eluded the police this long, how far will he go to ensure justice is never served?

Add it to your TBR pile: 


Grab a copy! 

   

Mel's Musings

Even in short story/novella format, Lisa Gardner never fails to deliver a compelling, fast-paced read. As always with one of her novels, I found myself wanting more. More, more, more- of Rainie and Quincy and D.D. and more about the victim and killer and all that. But I think that goes down to the length of the story itself. It's well written, interesting and entertaining from beginning to end. It took me about a half hour to read it in its entirety. I might just be super duper excited at the glimpse of fresh material featuring Quincy and Rainie, but I really enjoyed this story. I hope maybe Lisa will give us some more crossover awesomeness in the future.

My Rating: 



About the Author: 

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.

Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual "Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate" Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa's latest novel. Every year, one lucky stiff is selected for literary immortality. It's cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides. For more details, simply visit Lisa's website.

Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

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