Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wishlist, Excerpt and Freebies!

I'll be doing a post on why I've been a bit MIA lately around the blogosphere (if you noticed, if not then just pretend you did... LOL). It is bad, good and I think I need a good nap. 

In the meantime...

Honor Among Thieves
by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Published: 2/13/18
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Zara Cole has been in and out of New Detroit’s rehab facilities for treatment of her antisocial disorder. There’s no adjusting Zara’s attitude, though. A painful past has made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in the Zone instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.
Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan–a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers. 
Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned to along with fellow Honor Beatriz, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time, along with a devotion she’s never experienced before. Yet nothing—not her Honors training or her street smarts—could have prepared her for the dark, dangerous truths that lurk behind the glitter of starlight. 
Honor Among Thieves is the first book in a daring new sci-fi series by bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre.

Honor Among Thieves Excerpt:

I feel the stars.

Energy pulses against my skin, murmuring secrets about this small galaxy, about orbits and alignments and asteroids streaming in space. Impulse makes me want to dive and swim those currents, but I control these urges.

I shift my attention to the flutters of life within my skin.

Marko glows orange with crimson streaks. He is warm, always the easiest to find. Just now, he stands and stares at the blue-green orb swirling below us. I cannot swim down to see what he remembers of this place. The planet’s gravitational pull would break my bones. But he shows me flashes: smiling faces, a field of flowers, an old woman with eyes like slices of sky.

“I’ll miss you,” I tell him.

He starts, surprised to hear me, as if he’s ever truly alone. “Me too. It was a good run.”

He once told me that it’s strange when we talk; he thinks I should find him as insignificant as he does the bacteria in his stomach. But I have had time to acclimate to the strangers in my system. I safeguard the small voices, as is my privilege and duty. There will be more to my life, but only when I’ve proven myself.

The stars sing again, this time in strong, seductive harmony. I resist their melody, but the call is growing stronger.

Despite my passengers, I am empty in a way I cannot name. Marko tells me it is because our voyage is over; he calls this sadness. Perhaps I have learned this feeling from him. My first Honor gave me a human name, Nadim, and I have kept it safe, along with the other words and shapes and colors that shade my new existence. Like sadness.

I do not like this low orbit, but I must wait. I have been ordered to wait.

My new Honors will come.

Don't forget these freebies:

Audiobook Sync still going strong. These will be available until the 28th:

June 29th through July 5th will be:

American Night: The Ballad of Juan JosΓ© by Richard Montoya
My Name is Not Easy by Debbie Dahl Edwardson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ is giving away an audiobook every Thursday this month. Unfortunately it only lasts 24 hrs and there is only one left for the month. So don't forget to check HERE for the book on the 29th.

Also, has an ebook of the month club. Last month was Old Man's War by John Scalzi (no longer available). This month will be announced soon.

Go to to sign up to know what the next book is and get your free book! 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Series: The Conqueror's Saga #2
496 p.
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: June 27,17
Source: From NetGalley and Publisher for review
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her. 
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him? 
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
My thoughts:

I really loved the first book in the series so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. I was not disappointed.

We are split in-between the siblings Radu and Lada in the telling of this adventure. Both still have feelings for Medmed but now have grown into adults and trying to figure out who they are while trying to achieve their goals. I have to say as much as I was captivated by Lada and her harsh and severe decisions I really enjoyed Radu's POV in this one. He questioned everything in the end and while he still chose a side expected, the experience changed him profoundly and I'm curious to know where he will go from here. I think he has the biggest epiphany coming and more choices on the horizon which I think will become increasingly difficult.

Now this does not mean that I missed the adventure Lada had nor her growth. She is slowly figuring out not just who she or who she wants to be but more importantly, what kind of leader she will eventually become. I also have a feeling this road will not be easy and I can see her last decisions will have severe consequences. What I took away from most of the story is that the siblings were stronger together than separately but they both wanted different things out of life. It was interesting to see them both come to that same conclusion.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. It is a great historical fantasy and it isn't hard to get into for those that don't often read fantasy. I also recommend you read this one in order. Very few fantasy books should or can be read out of order.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

On My Wishlist, A Reminder About Freebies, and a Little Visitor

Reincarnation Blues 
by Michael Poore
384 p.
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Published: 8/22/17
A magically inspiring tale of a man who is reincarnated through many lifetimes so that he can be with his one true love: Death herself. 
What if you could live forever—but without your one true love? Reincarnation Blues is the story of a man who has been reincarnated nearly 10,000 times, in search of the secret to immortality so that he can be with his beloved, the incarnation of Death.

Yea, this sounds strange enough that I would probably enjoy it. LOL

Also, don't forget this weeks audiosync free audiobooks!
Until 6/15
Go HERE to get it!

Next week (6/15-6/21):

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Narrated by Kyla Garcia
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, Narrated by Rodney Gardiner

Personal Note:
Had a visitor that I wanted to share... meet little lizard dude! 

 I believe s/he is a many lined skink lizard. He fell into the window well (so forgive the pic, it is through a window) and the log is there so he could climb out. No go and he just couldn't find footing to get out. Poor guy. Had to fish him out so he is safe and terrorizing the bug population in the yard. He was more than a foot long from head to tail. 

Wishing Little Lizard Dude (or dudette, I didn't check) all the luck in the world. 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan

Series: The Memoirs of Lady Trent #5 (last in the series)
352 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 4/25/17
Source: From publisher for review
The conclusion to the thrilling memoirs of Lady Isabella Trent and her legacy of dragon evolutionary research and anthropological adventures. 
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent--dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field. 
And yet--after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia--the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure--scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland's enemies--and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.
My thoughts:

Last book. I was excited to see how this one concludes since I have been enjoying this series. I have to say, this is my favorite book out of all of them. That is unusual for me as the last book often tends to be the weakest for me, but this one held my full attention.

It builds on the other books so I would suggest to read all of these in order. It shows the timeline of how she became a dragon naturalist/scientist, the barriers she eroded as a woman in the field, and the historical findings she made while being an adventurist. It is all well told together and you can see this alternate reality happening. Oh and there is a love story in the midst that also finds its way into this last story. This book becomes the most mythic out of all of the books and really comes to a complete conclusion. It is the most surprising of all of them and it feels like this is the book all the rest were building toward. I don't want to say too much or I'll spoil it, but this one captured me in scope and imagination. I wouldn't mind if there were more, especially with the artwork all the books include. I really feel that the artwork brings the stories to life.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars and highly recommend it to those that enjoy a fantastical history with dragons. Need I say more? 😊 I also recommend this series to those that would like to jump into fantasy but might have been reluctant in the past.

Bloggy Note:

For reviews of the other books in the series and a couple of author guest posts by Marie Brennan go HERE. There are also some artwork to enjoy on the author posts. 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

Series: Menagerie #2
432 p.
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Published: 5/30/17
Source: From NetGalley and Publisher for review.
In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind… 
When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.
My thoughts:

I loved the first book which honestly caught me by surprise. I had high hopes for this one and I was not disappointed. Those worrying about sophomore syndrome need not worry. While our intrepid cryptids find themselves in similar but in some ways more dangerous circumstances, one which none is expected to survive, we find ourselves once again captured (in a good way) by the story and how it all plays out. There is no cliffhanger but there is a huge open ending which will make you salivate for more of the tale. I, for one, cannot wait to read the next book in this series, *grabby hands*, even though it may not be written yet. Yes, you can safely say I really loved this book.

My only niggle would be with Delilah herself. While I feel that she has placed the bulk of the responsibilities on keeping the other cryptids alive, I also feel that she should share in that responsibility. They have as much or more at stake and it is also a bit of an insult to think that they are not capable of the task of at least helping her out as an equal. That is where I felt she sort of resembled her captors, but I do think she made strides in that area a tiny bit. Still, it is a minor niggle.

I do not want to tell too much or I'll spoil the book (or even the one that came before) but I will say this: I feel you need to pay attention to the prologue in the book. I have a feeling it will play an important role in the coming books and not just this story.

In conclusion, I feel that this series needs to be read in order. It makes sense and this one builds on the first book. You get fully introduced to Delilah who is our protagonist and why she is important to the menagerie. I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I highly recommend this series to those that love a good fantasy.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

Series: Charley Davidson #11
Unabridged Audiobook
Narrator: Lorelei King
9 hrs. 18 min.
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 1/24/17
Source: Library
Series narrator Lorelei King returns to narrate Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, the latest installment of Darynda Jones' New York Times bestselling paranormal series.
My entire life can be summed up in one sentence: 
"Well, that didn't go as planned."--T-Shirt 
A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. 
Now, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily ever after after all?
My thoughts:

Ah, another good addition to the series. It brought me everything I was looking for... humor, adventure, more Reyes. Charley has been learning more about herself and I think this addition to the series is where she learns more about her gifts as well as exactly why she has them. We still have more information to procure, but this one seems to be on a faster track than the other editions in this area. We also get the usual ghosties that need help and an adventure with Ubie which really brought out the caring in his character. Reyes is still a bit too closed up but I think it may come with good reason. 

...and then just as I was enjoying myself wondering where the next shoe would drop... it dropped. It dropped hard and then just ended. I knew there was going to be a cliff hanger, but honestly this one worries me more than the other cliffies. With the others, I just wanted to know how it would happen but this one may be a bigger problem than the others. I cannot say, but I will say it was a shoe the old woman could move into and live comfortably with all her kids. Wait... why am I talking shoes? Oh yea, it's a Charley thing. 😏

Seriously though... one note to the author about that cliffie... Darynda, I need you to go to your room and think about what you have done. Also, gimme the next book. :D Oh and Lorelei don't think you are getting off easy either. You have brought such life to these characters with your narration I need you to go to your room as well and think about how much this has affected all of us readers/listeners. 

Yea, you can say I'm addicted to this series and love it so much I'm willing to send people to their room for making me worry. If you have not started this series you so need to get on that. I also have a suggestion. Try the audiobook. Even if you don't usually like audiobooks, this one really brings it to life and it may change your mind.

And since it is Wishlist Wednesday... I nominate

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones
Published: 10/31/17
Audiobook shortly after...

I don't want to publish the blurb right now since it may contain a spoiler I didn't want to share in the review. 😊  Still... grabby hands! 😁

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On My Wishlist: Black Bird of the Gallows and The Girl in the Tower

Oh have a couple that have caught my eye lately...

Black Bird of the Gallows
by Meg Kassel
300 p.
Published: 9/5/17
Publisher: Entangled
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full. 
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human. 
What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
I love that cover! 

The Girl in the Tower
by Katherine Arden
Series: The Bear and the Nightingale #2
352 p.
Published: 1/9/18
Publisher: Del Rey

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
I enjoyed the first book so I'm curious about this one! 


Also, don't forget Audiobook Sync's freebie this week. Last day (5/10) for Feed by M.T. Anderson and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams. Tomorrow you can get Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes and Teenage Diaries: Then and Now by Radio Diaries.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Netflix, Puppies, and Free Audiobooks... What a Combination!

I only have a couple to share.


Into the Badlands

This one is an AMC production. I did catch one ep on AMC but didn't get caught up in it. I found the first season on Netflix (second season is going on now at AMC) and quickly got into this one. This is one I highly suggest to start from the beginning. The nuances make more sense. It has those Chinese film sword fight like flair that defy gravity paired with a dystopian background. This is one I say to try it (from the beginning) you might like it. πŸ˜‰


Leap Year

Thought this one would be cute with Amy Adams in it and it was a enemies to falling in love kind of film. It follows the formula and I did enjoy their journey where everything goes wrong. They do fall for each other but it really didn't quite flow with me. I think I needed a bit more of Matthew Goode's background or character growth. Still, it was enjoyable and I did love the epilogue at the end.

If you like that formula, I think you would enjoy the 90s film, French Kiss. It is a bit more successful in the transition of enemies to falling in love but I sill love Leap Year's epilogue better.  I mention this because it hit me as I was comforting my pups and this came on tv in the background. πŸ’‹


...and speaking of comforting pups. Again, I haven't had as much time as I like with either netflix or reading because the pups think they need more attention. One isn't still doing well with more pain and has worried me but we had snow and it really made her happy (she is a snow dog).

The other one decided to get more attention. Since his paw had healed from the last time, he decided to rip off a nail on another foot. It came off clean so I just put a cotton sock on his foot so it could still get air, keep clean and keep him from licking (in his case he is good about it as long as there is a sock on it). If this happens to you, as long as it isn't bleeding a lot you can usually soak it in warm water to clean it then put neosporin on it before putting a sock on it. You hold the sock on with a loose wrapping of vet tape or the kind of tape that sticks to itself (I found a vid since I'm not sure I was clear HERE which also gives good hints of what to look for and what to do). I thought I'd go into detail since when looking for the video I saw an article that said to put peroxide on it. Oh no! Talk about pain! Don't do it. And go to the vet if you feel the need or have questions. Best place to get your answers. The pics below is when it first happened and all I had was thin paper tape. It ended up rolling up on itself and creating pressure on his foot. I caught it quickly since I was monitoring it before I could get the proper tape.

You can see he isn't too happy with the sock on and he acts like I have abused him to no end. LOL Hopefully he will not have lost the nail permanently. I also hope he stops vying for attention in this way. So forgive me if the blog gets a bit slow.
Trying to guilt me into taking off the sock

One thing to note is the start of Audiobook Sync's free month. It has already started and by the end of today (May 3rd) the freebies are The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and The Dead House by Dawn Kuragich. Tomorrow starts the new week of audiobooks. Those will be Feed by MT Anderson and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The list for this year is HERE so you don't miss any.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Follow Me down by Sherri Smith

Standalone Thriller
352 p.
Publisher: Forge Books
Published: 3/28/17
Source: From publisher for review
Mia Haas has built a life for herself far from the North Dakota town where she grew up, but when she receives word that her twin brother is missing, she’s forced to return home. Once hailed as the golden boy of their small town, Lucas Haas disappeared the same day the body of one of his high school students is pulled from the river. Trying to wrap her head around the rumors of Lucas’s affair with the teen, and unable to reconcile the media’s portrayal of Lucas as a murderer with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect. 
All the while, she wonders, if he’s innocent, why did he run? 
As Mia reevaluates their difficult, shared history and launches her own investigation into the grisly murder, she uncovers secrets that could exonerate Lucas—or seal his fate. In a small town where everyone’s history is intertwined, Mia will be forced to confront her own demons, placing her right in the killer’s crosshairs.
My thoughts:

I have to admit I didn't like Mia for half of the book. I didn't connect to her and she kept making stupid mistakes. Then she had to complicate those mistakes with prescription drug abuse. I just kept wondering why she was making it harder for her brother to exonerate himself if he was innocent. If he was guilty, she seemed to be throwing away the key to any sort of fair trial. It was frustrating.

Then the middle of the book happened and I just became swept up into the thriller aspect of the book. I really became interested and invested in the outcome. I wanted to know who killed this girl and why so many things happened. Parts were still disconnected for me, but it no longer mattered... I had to know who done it.

There were several twists and turns in the book and things became clearer despite Mia's bungling. It also became more harrowing and while I did fall for the red herrings, I did suspect that the true culprit had something to do with the murder. It was an interesting ride.

I give this book 3 stars. If you stick with this one (and not everyone who reviewed it felt the same as I did about the beginning), there is a good payoff in the end. I am curious about this author now and I would read another thriller by her.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On My Wishlist: Second books in a fantasy series...

Haven't done one of these in a while...

Ever the Brave
by Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #2
Published: December 5,17
Publisher: HMH Publishers for Young Readers
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost. 
The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.
Well, gotta know what happens next. I liked the first one despite a few niggles but I do want to continue this series. Plus I like the cover. 

Now I Rise 
by Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror's Saga #2
Publisher: Delecorte Press
Published: June 27,17 
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her. 
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him? 
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
Loved the first book and just realized I hadn't listed it as a wishlist book. Corrected that. :D

So, what is on your wishlist lately?


Monday, April 24, 2017

Snared by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin #16
400 p.
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: 4/25/17
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.
Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web… 
Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl. 
My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive. 
A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.
My thoughts:

Another great addition to this series. It, once again, brings us an harrowing mission for Gin and also gets us a step closer to the overall arc in the series. I was interested in the overall arc in this section of the series, but this one really solidified my interest. I have a few questions I HAVE to know but I will try to be as patient as the Spider and wait to find out if a few of my theories are correct. Oh so many good clues and just enough of a tease to set you on edge in wanting the next in the series right now. Only problem I have with the series is that I'm up to date with the novels and that means I have to wait for the next one. You who have not read these yet will enjoy devouring them at  your leisure with out much wait. Sometimes that is an enviable position.

I did figure out the small twist in this one easily but there was no disappointment in the reveal. It still held so much tension (in a good way) that it didn't matter. You are still fully engaged in the story and the outcome. I think we may have also added to Gin's collection of people who make up her overall family. I love that she collects people like this and how they all fit together.

I don't want to say too much as I don't want to spoil this book nor do I want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't caught up to this book in the series yet. Although you could read a bit out of order, I really don't suggest it. There have been a few story arcs and you don't want to confuse those. You also should read these in order to get the feel of all the secondary characters as well as how Gin has evolved throughout the series. This is a series that should not be missed. I give this book 4 1/2 stars.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Netflix: They have movies!

Yep, still Netflix-ing and yep, it is still cutting into my book time. I have been starting to get back into my reading. Perhaps my brain is coming back? Why did it leave? Questions for the universe, I guess. 

I'm still continuing Supernatural but in the middle of S4 so I won't say more now. I did put Once Upon a Time to the side right now. I'll try it again later.

I did see a couple of movies I wanted to mention.

I'm probably the last to have seen Finding Dory but I finally did and I loved it. I don't know why it took me so long especially since I've been a fan of Pixar since their shorts. If you haven't seen it, you need to see this one. It made me laugh a lot and it is so cute. It doesn't suffer from sophomore syndrome at all.

The other movie I want to mention is Begin Again. This one is so good with a lot of character growth, romantic tension without romance (yes, you read that right). I loved Kiera Knight's character and how she made her music and how she viewed it. She was naive with a brain and willing to learn. She figured out who she was and became true to that knowledge. Adam Levine's character was a jerk, but the problem he creates is the perfect reason for her to find herself in both music and in life. Cute film.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #2
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
14 hrs. 13 min.
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: 3/4/14
Source: Library
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.
My thoughts:

In some ways I had a hard time getting through this story. It wasn't the story's fault at all, but I kept hearing "Humans First" group causing the feel of racism and prejudice and I couldn't help see the parallels in today's world problems. However, it is also quite different and that is what pulled me through the story and had me fading from the problems of the world a bit.

There was also a horrifying aspect of the Cassandra Sangue in how they were treated and how they were used. This brought a source of tension and realization of what Meg survived and what she was able to accomplish. It also makes Meg and her kind a sort of bridge between the humans and the Others but also outside of it all. I really like how Meg manages to hold that delicate line which would only be possible with an accepting group. This also means that Simon and the Lakeside Courtyard unique because of their acceptance. We see in this book how that isn't so easily accomplished, but it is possible.

Alexandria Harris is the narrator for the series and I really enjoyed her version of all the characters in the book. She really helps put you into the world and I also loved her wolfish and crow vocalizations. She makes this series fun. I do hope you at least try one book on audio in this series.

I give this book 4 stars. It is another good book in Meg's journey and it also does a good job at foreshadowing not only a possible romance but also what Meg may be up against in the future. I highly recommend this series and I do suggest to read them in order.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Arts and Crafts Pinspiration: Electronic Charging Station

I actually became inspired by a pin in Pinterest on making an electronics charging station. Here is the pin and my result...

This was the pin by Design Sponge I was inspired by:

There were a few things I changed and this was my result:

Sorry for the lighting, but it was the best I had at the last moment and where I have it, it is too dark for pics. I still need to set up a spot to take better pics, until then, please bear with me. 

The case is something my mom got me a million years ago from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale (I have no idea if they still have these) to store things in but I thought it would be perfect for this project. 

I used grommets for the opening in the back like the pin suggested. It was a good sized opening and I'll be able to not only fit the large plug from the surge protector power strip, but I'll also be able to thread wires back out for those things that I wouldn't put in the box.
back of case

The headphones were attached to a shower hook that I had which fits semi-securely on the top (not for a lot of movement, but stationary it will be fine). The box can be closed (without hook) just like it came.

case front
The part where I deviated the most was the place where I will lay my ereader on. In the pin they had you use white peg board and it already had a place to lay this top piece. I just glued (Gorilla wood glue and a couple of small clamps) a couple of 1 1/2" boards cut to the side areas for my shelf just under the metal pieces they had to give the case stability. I then used foamcore cut to the size of the shelf (cutting a section out for the hinge so it didn't interfere with that area), minus the 1 1/2" board in the back for a bit of extra stability, added one layer of batting on top of that and then hot glued the fabric on top of it and then added a piece at the bottom to make it look nicer even though you won't see it. The fabric I used is a very thin microsuede I got from the remnant section at Joann's (hint: the remnants are usually 50% off and if you find the fabric in in a section that is on sale, you get that % off as well). Also, because I used foam core and the box isn't completely square in the front, I have a small space which I can thread my wires through to the items that need to be charged. I did add a small tab so I can easily lift it to sort things out in the storage area.
inside which shows the glued shelf and where the cords are going. Ignore the extra wood piece...
Hope you liked my wordy explanation! 😊

So this is my pinspiration! Have you done any projects from Pinterest?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #5
342 p.
Publisher: Ace Books
Published: 3/30/10
Source: TBR pile
Mercy is smart enough to realize that when it comes to the magical fae, the less you know, the better. But you can't always get what you want. When she attempts to return a powerful fae she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down. 
It seems the book contains secrets - and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side - leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel's life forfeit. 
All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she may not have many more...
My thoughts:

First, let me say something about that cover. I do like pretty much all Dan Dos Santos covers, but I hear that not everyone does and the biggest complaint is about her tats. Let me give you a hint about those tats.... they tell the story in the book. If you go back and examine them with the story in the book, you will see that they have imagery about the tale. This one, I admit, is harder to decipher, but the others seem to be more telling. When I figured that part out, I tend to pay more attention to her tats on these covers. I'm sad to see that there are alternative covers for these books.

 It had been a while since I read the last book and I've been wanting to catch up with this series. I finally took this book off my shelf and dove in. I was glad I did. Mercy still attracts danger without trying but she always seems to be up to whatever life throws at her, even if it is overwhelming. She doesn't hesitate to come to the aid of anyone she deems friend or family and the romance between her and Adam continues. We also get more about Samuel and what is going on with him. His problems become critical and Snowball (*grin*) takes charge. I found that with everything happening to Mercy, that part filled with me the most apprehension.

I give this book 4 stars. It is a great continuation of this series but I wouldn't start with this book if you are just getting into the series. This one I would suggest reading in order because you get a feel of who everyone is and what importance they have in Mercy's life. This is important because the characters take precedence over all the paranormal happenings and it is their relationship to each other that pulls you through the story. I recommend the series to anyone who enjoys UF.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Awakening by Amanda Stevens

Series: Graveyard Queen #6
416 p.
Publisher: Mira
Published: 3/28/17
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Shush…lest she awaken…

My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby's grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects.

For generations, The Devlins have been members of Charleston's elite. John Devlin once turned his back on the traditions and expectations that came with his birthright, but now he has seemingly accepted his rightful place. His family's secrets make him a questionable ally. When my investigation brings me to the gates of his family's palatial home, I have to wonder if he is about to become my mortal enemy.
My thoughts:

The last book! I'm happy and sad about that. I've loved this series so much (if you haven't read it before, you SO need to read it) so I'm sad to see it go. I'm happy because I know I'm going to get most of my questions answered. I also know I'm going to get an adventure getting there.

I was not wrong! I really loved this book and this is a series I know I will read again one day. The atmosphere was like the others and it kept me engaged and unwilling to put the book down. I got most of my answers especially the big one about John. I'm not going to tell you if it was good or bad, but it was an answer! Unfortunately, I did end up having a couple of questions that I had specific to this book I wanted answered and one small disappointment in the end. I cannot say what those were without spoiling the book, but they were minor in the whole of the story and really just made me wishing it was a longer book. To be honest, I'd probably wish that anyway. I will say that the last line was perfect.

I give this book 4 stars. I know that some people avoided this series because it is scary. I'm a total wimp when it comes to horror and I will admit this one is scary in parts (do not read at night especially when a neighborhood cat makes noise outside your window when you are reading about scary noises in the book... *cough* just sayin'... not that I jumped or anything... LOL) but it is the characters and the mystery that will hold your hand through those parts and compel you to continue with the story. So, try it! If you have, then I have no doubt you are right with me and are so sad to see this one go and anxious to see what else this author comes up with for us in the future.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst

352 p.
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published: 4/4/17
Source: From author for review

The traditional Emperor’s Journey is meant to be uneventful. But as the princesses Seika and Ji-Lin—twin sisters—travel to pay respects to their kingdom’s dragon guardian, unexpected monsters appear and tremors shake the earth. The Hidden Islands face unprecedented threats, and the old rituals are failing. With only their strength, ingenuity, and flying lion to rely on, can the sisters find a new way to keep their people safe?

My thoughts:

I don't read too many MG books, but when approached by the author to read this one I had no problems wanting to read it. First, the cover is stunning and second, I usually enjoy Sarah Beth Durst's work. This is a fun book, but also one that if you are an adult reading it, should keep the age of the characters in mind.

The story is about twin girls born hours apart. One is the heir and the other is to be her protector. Both seem suited to their roles and are loyal to their subjects but miss each other terribly. The girls are called upon to do a traditional journey which will ensure the kingdom to be safe for another generation. At 12, neither feels ready but is willing to do what is needed to be done for the sake of their people. Their father is aloof to the girls and his concern seems limited to the kingdom and the girls struggle to understand. They still want to be honorable and make their father proud so they partake on the journey which brings insight, maturity, and hard choices. It is a true hero's journey which they are all aware. If this isn't enough to make you curious, you have a winged lion, Alejan, who steals the show often. He is their perfect companion and comic relief.

My only niggles about the book really don't bother me in context. At times I found the girls, especially Ji-Lin, to be rash and whiney but put in the age context and given the task they were to preform with very little fore-knowledge, it makes sense. When they meet a boy on the journey and he became the whiney one (again context but the girls also thought he was annoying) both girls seem to grow up and learned to think before acting, or put others before themselves. The ending brings all the pieces of their journey together and it comes to a good conclusion. I really like how things were solved.

I give this book 4 stars. I think adults need to remember who this is written for and I think that they will enjoy the journey and how the girls become more mature. I think kids will be enthralled with the journey, the mythological creatures, and the dragons (okay, I liked those parts too!). I recommend it to those that want to start kids on bigger books and anyone who likes an adventure.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WTF Netflix????

Yep, still Netflix-ing. 😎 Yep, still keeping it cool... 

dude? LOL

Well, I found out that Buffy, The Vampire Slayer is about to get the axe from it's queue April 1 (wait, could that be a joke?) so I've been watching "Once More With Feeling" because it was one of my fave eps and when I get stressed sometimes I just put it on for a laugh. Well, I knew parts of the show was missing but I figured that they got the shortened versions (I hate when that happens but what are you going to do?) and just showed that. I've noticed it with other shows on there. Well, after the announcement I started that ep up and guess what? The FULL version was playing. So, does that mean that they have been editing shows? I know it was speculated but most people figured as I did and they got the shortened versions. Now I wonder if that was true... so...

WTF Netflix?

Here is the thing... most of us can deal with edited versions, even if we don't like it, if we are told that is what we are getting. Avoiding the confrontation (I'm guessing) will only lead to those of us now not trusting that anything not produced by them may not be the full version of anything.

πŸ‘† Well, not the finger I was looking for but then again, I guess it is edited like the rest. 😏

Still, despite this problem I have been trying to catch up with Supernatural.
I've completed S1 and S2 so far. Should be easy now that I know I'm not getting everything. Yea, I know I'm probably the last one to get to the show but for some reason I just didn't catch when it came on. Love the classic rock theme (it really fits) and doesn't Dean and Sam remind you just a bit of Bill and Ted? Perhaps it is more the hair but I keep thinking of that movie. LOL

I have tried Once Upon a Time but just haven't gotten into this one yet. It may take a few more eps.


Bloggy Note:

For those that gave me good wishes last week, I thank you so much! My big boy had a small injury on his paw which I thought was under control, but then he decided to dig into his paw when I was sleeping (sneaky!) and it ballooned up with infection overnight. It still hurts, he just finished a round of antibiotics and his paw is continued to be soaked in salt and epsom salts. It looks so much better but it is still tender.  The vet likes how it is progressing. My other pup has had a few good days but I still hate the bad days. I know she is having a good day when she bosses the boy around. LOL

Again thanks for the well wishes. I also needed the week since if one wasn't wanting attention, the other one was demanding it. Still doing that, but it doesn't feel as critical.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising #1
382 p.
Published: Jan, 28, 14
Publisher: Del Ray
Source: TBR pile
"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them." 
"I live for you," I say sadly. 
Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more." 
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. 
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. 
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. 
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My thoughts:

Like a lot of dystopians, in some ways this felt as if it could be a warning in how we treat each other. Also it shows how perception creates our reality. As we separate ourselves from each other we also find that it makes it easier to diminish and see people as "other" which makes it easier to discriminate. In this world, this caste society signified by colors which had been generations in the making with part of the population not even knowing anything outside their own society. Darrow, our hero, who is a low red is basically the slave in the world is given an opportunity to have his blinders removed and live the life of a privileged color. He learns that things aren't as black/white as it sometimes seen and that there are things to be fixed on all levels of society.  He finds that all levels of society have their good and bad parts but his ultimate goal does not wavier since his people do not even know they are slaves.

The book starts with several sacrifices to give Darrow that chance at another life, at being a hero. This sets up his hero journey which then falls into another part of society that is also rarely seen by others for another reason. While he makes his way through this world in a brutal way, he finds out what it really means to be a leader and begins to wonder if his goal should expand to the other colors which separate this world.

This is such an interesting take on what is going on in this world and you wonder if Darrow will continue to be consistent in his goal, if it changes, or if he falls to the lure of luxury and power. You also want to know if you can trust anyone in this world... or if ANYONE can trust anyone else. It is a complicated world which can throw readers not quite used to sci-fi or fantasy but if you stick with it you will find yourself immersed and curious about how everything will turn out. I give this book 4 1/2 stars and you can safely say that I do want that next book in my hands soon. 😁

Monday, March 20, 2017

Just a Note

I just thought I'd tell everyone that I'm taking a week blogging break b/c of puppies! You sort of know about one, but now the other one decided that he wanted more attention so he got a foot infection. It is already looking better but I thought I'd take a break for my sanity... such as it is... 😜

See ya next week!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Arts and Crafts: Creative Maker Case

With everything going on, my crafting has also suffered. However, I was able to get one pressie done before it was due! 

It is a case for my dad. The patten is from Sew Sweetness (affiliate link) and is the Creative Maker Case. The way it is written it is made for those that want to carry a lot of pencils, markers or just create a bunch of pockets. I would say to alter the pattern, it would be an intermediate project, but if you make it as written, it is surprisingly easy.

The outer shell is made with navy canvas and the inner parts are made with mostly quilting cotton fabric. I added a handle on the top spine with 5/8" nylon webbing (which was not a part of the pattern, but he likes handles) and the Bronco logo is a machine embroidery design. I also added a back pocket and made pockets that I hope satisfy what he needs in a case. This is the medium (approx: 7-1/2” long x 9-3/4” tall) which will just barely hold an ipad (average size) and easily hold most ebook tablets. It is also a double zip closure.

The corner flap has a magnetic catch to keep everything in and the small blue line in the spine is fold over elastic which can hold a pen. I also have slip pockets, zippered pocket and a mesh pocket. I hope there is enough! 😁 

I really enjoyed making this one and it was easier than I thought. The hardest part was deciding what I needed to put into it (pocket wise). I think if I make another for him I will lengthen it just slightly and perhaps add more flaps to the slip pockets. 

Hope he likes it. *crosses fingers*


Monday, March 13, 2017

Hunted by Megan Spooner

352 p.
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: 3/14/17
Source: From Edelweiss and publisher for review
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
My thoughts:

I should probably recuse myself from reviewing this one because I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I really loved this one, not for the romance (actually there was very little of it until the end) but because it is usually the heroine that is the strong one of the tale. This one holds to that tradition and makes Yeva (aka Beauty) a unusually strong woman who loves to hunt and go out into the wood exploring and finding that fairy tales are real.

The core of this tale is also not the romance. That may put off some readers but the theme is really about want and desire. Do we know what we really want? Do we understand what we really desire? The mythos is based on that premise as well as the tale she finds herself a part of. A tale told to Beauty which became her favorite which she starts to fully understand while living it. That does make for an interesting twist as it also becomes her real mission is to see what is before her and know what she really wants out of life. This is also not one where once you figure it out it is all solved, but knowing human nature and that wanting the next thing will always be around the corner. We can only hope our next want will accompany wisdom as well.

I give this tale 4 1/2 stars and highly recommend it to those, like me, that love a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Do be aware that the romance is minimal until the end but the hero is still the Beauty of the tale.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Binge Post: NetFlix Strikes Again!

Yea, my brain has yet to come back in full force. Wait... does your brain actually go full force? What does that mean? 


So, I've still been Netflix'ing more than I had before. I'm one of the cool kids now, right? 😎

Finally saw Stranger Things:
I loved trying to figure this one out and I loved how the relationships in this one all played out. I really do recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy or sci-fi. Just don't expect everything to make sense all the time... or sometimes at all... but that is the fun of this one.

I also saw the first season of The Magicians.
I still need to continue it and while the first season was a bit uneven in pacing for me, I was still hooked and now I have to know what else is going on. This one has some interesting characters in it and I think that is what drives this show and not the magic (at least in the first season).

Frontier. Jason Momoa... need I say more? LOL
This one took me a while to get into it but by about the 3rd episode, I wanted to know more. Note to those that don't like a lot of violence... it is quite violent and bloody.

I've also seen the first season of the Santa Clarita Diet
I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would but I think it was the hype getting in the way. I did love Joel and Shelia's relationship and that really pulled me through the series. No matter what happens to either of them they are there for each other. Yea, this one is ironically the most romantic one that I saw. LOL

I almost forgot I saw Sense8
This one took me a while to get into but once I did I liked it. They all share emotions and they can also share abilities. I'm curious where it will go in the next season. I'm just so sad that Capheus who was played by Aml Ameen is going to be played by Toby Onwumere next season. I'm sure I'll get used to the change but it is always jarring when a show does that to you.

One movie to mention:
The Fundamentals of Caring
The trailer does nothing to show off Trevor's dark sense of humor. Yea, the kid is an asshole but he has reason and it makes you love him for it. LOL Selena Gomez does a good job as Dot and she has the same sense of humor as Trevor. This one surprised me and I really loved the ending to this one. No spoilers... just see it. 


Almost forgot... Happy Women's Day!

Hope you are celebrating it and #resisting

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Series: The Bone Witch #1
400 p.
Published: 3/7/17
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review
"Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living." 
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. 
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice.
My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this author's other work and when I saw the cover for this one I knew I needed to read it. It is as lush in descriptions as her last work, but while that one built atmosphere, sometimes the descriptions here got in the way. I absolutely loved picturing all the gowns (hua) the asha's (magical ones) wore because it was such a part of who they were becoming. It also felt as if it was a complete amalgamation of different cultures, particularly eastern. It was fun exploring the world and what magic she could preform and what was held back in her abilities.

What I thought was a bit weak were Tea's relationships to the other secondary characters. In some ways it worked and they were completely supportive of her character in bringing her to life, but in other ways I thought the relationship should have been more defined. There were a couple of people who were interesting in their own right, felt as if they were going to be built upon but then felt dropped from importance. Now, this may correct itself (and I highly suspect it will) as the series continues, but I would have liked at least one character to have played a more distinctive role in the worldbuilding. Her brother, Fox, was rounded out much better than the others, but there were so many other personalities I wanted to get to know even just a bit better. I think the worldbuilding would have been perfected a bit more with those characters.

I still found the world fascinating and didn't mind the present/past back and forth within the book. To tell it otherwise would have made the book too long. Still, as we are building up in understanding about Tea and her abilities and coming to the climax of what is going on in the "present", the book ends. Thankfully this is part of a series or that would have really upset me.

I give this book 3 stars. I think it has the potential to really take off now that several things have been established. While it had some problems for me, I still found it interesting and compelling enough to want the next book to find out how the ending of this one plays out. I recommend it to those that enjoy YA fantasy with and Eastern bent but do be prepared for the ending. :)