Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Denied by Kinley Baker

"When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits.
Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.
When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most--including each other."
 Caleb is the new leader of the Varner and carries a heavy responsibility on his shoulders - he's been tasked with finding a way to save his race, whose women and children have all been killed. His only hope of securing a future for his people rests in his ability to gain the approval of King Valerian and the Ancestor gods of the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Caleb is determined to gain this acceptance for his men, but something he didn't count on was finding his aroha - his destined mate - among the Shadow Shifters. Tabitha is a female who was born with the Warrior spirit and wants nothing more than to be the first female member of the king's guard, even though such goals run counter to the ways of the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. As she meets Caleb, she begins to hope that he will be able to help her accomplish these goals - that is, until she realize that they conflict with the beliefs of the Varner. Yet, when the kingdom is under attack, both Tabitha and Caleb must put aside their differences in order to ward off the threat to everything that they both desire. Denied is the sequel to Ruined, Kinley Baker's first novel in her Shadowed Love series (you can find the review for Ruined here).

This book is yet another one that I found by searching through Amazon. I remembered how much I enjoyed reading Ruined and wanted to see if Kinley Baker had any other books out. So, I was extremely excited to find this book. Something I liked about it immediately was that it was set in the same realm as Ruined, which makes a lot of sense, considering Denied is its sequel. When I'm reading a good book, it's extremely hard for me not to become invested in the characters that I'm reading about. So, when I recognized some familiar names in Denied, I was that much more eager to read it. Another thing I really enjoyed was the fact that the writing style for Denied was similar to that of Ruined. This similarity was comforting to me, in a way, because it reminded me of a book that I had loved so much. I also liked that there were consistent aspects of the story from Ruined that helped me when reading Denied, like particular bits of the Shadow Shifter or Varner histories that were mentioned in Ruined. These aspects greatly aided in my understanding of things that were happening in Denied.

However, while there were things that I really liked about this book, there were still some things that didn't particularly appeal to me. For example, with Ruined I was able to jump right into the story almost instantly. Yet, Denied was a struggle to get into. It took me longer to get invested in the plot of the book than I'm used to. After the slow start, I was able to eventually garner some interest in the book, but it was nothing like what I'd experienced when reading the first book in the series. I also wasn't particularly fond that the characters that I'd fallen in love with before seemed to take more of a backseat than was necessary in Denied. After all, they were what had drawn me to this second book to begin with. These things certainly weren't enough to keep me from finishing Denied, but they definitely influenced my thoughts about the book once I did finish it.

I rate this book:

As always, I want to caution you guys against simply taking my word for it about this book. I fully realize that my opinion of Denied was, in part, heavily influenced by my love for Ruined and I understand that I came into reading this sequel with a lot of expectations, based on my opinion of the first book in the series. So, please don't take my opinion as gospel and write this book off solely because of my rating. Check out the first Shadowed Love novel, Ruined. While it's not necessary to read this book first, it will definitely help provide you with a decent backstory for the events of Denied. If you enjoy Ruined, then you should definitely give Denied a shot. 

Kinley Baker read her first romance novel at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Kinley is also the author of Ruined, the first novel in her Shadowed Love series, as well as Freed, which serves as a prequel to her other two Shadowed Love novels. You can find Kinley at

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mainstream Monday

Happy Mainstream Monday!  As most of you know, last week, not one, but two major books to movie teaser trailers premiered!!  Both The City of Bones and The Host.   Did you all see them?  If not, look no further.

The City of Bones

 The Host

 What do you guys think?  Are you pumped or what?  Personally, I may combust from anticipation before The City of Bones comes out.  I haven't been this excited for a book to movie since the Harry Potter films.  I was a little disappointed that Jame Campbell Bower was cast as Jace but it seems like he really captured him in this first trailer although only the movie will reveal that in full.  I love Lily Collins too and the overall cast seems fresh and talented so I am ready to see this thing.

I haven't read The Host myself, but it looks like I may need to add it to my Christmas Break reading list because the movie sounds like it's going to be pretty good.  It's nice to see something a little more SciFi hitting theaters as opposed to vampires and the now popular Zombies.

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

"Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.
That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten."

Ethan Chase would love nothing more that to be left in peace.  But apparently that is too much for someone that was kidnapped and held in the Iron realm of Never Never and lived to tell about it.  Because of the fey Ethan has been forced to learn to defend himself through the art of Kali, avoid all contact with any people especially after what happened to the one friend he'd ever had, and has been labeled a delinquent by pretty much any adult after being kicked out of several schools simply because the fey won't leave him alone.  You'd think that the younger brother of the Iron King would have some authority but no.  When this new form of fey emerges attacking half faeries and summer/winter faeries alike Ethan has no choice but to go to Meghan as a last resort and drag Kenzie, little miss can't leave him alone, into the Never Never with him.  The Lost Prince an excellent novel with action, love, hatred, and plain ole teenage angst that we all seem to love so much.  

This book is a 5/5 because it was fabulously written.  There was now awkwardness about writing this spin off for Julie.  I love that she capture new characters while still maintaining the old ones.  One might be skeptical of there being a new type of fey but it all just worked together and made for an exciting story.  I also love that the title has a double meaning, I think, correct me if I'm reading too much into this, that you don't realize until a good chunk of the way into the book. 

First off, I have been dying for this book to come out ever since I read the Iron Fey series back in the spring. I had wondered what would happen to sweet Ethan the four year old that Meghan left behind even though he equally need her protection too being born with the sight and all.  That sweet little kid is gone and has been replaced with a strong, brave, angry, almost man.  I like that Ethan tries to be so selfless.  Something that isn't so common in the world but seems to come up again and again in books.  Maybe some of us can learn something from these novels.  He has ultimately learned to take care of himself and do his best to have as few people to worry about as possible.  

Kenzie, I found annoying at first but she grew on me.  She is tough as nails, brave, and has a passion for life despite all that has been thrown at her.  She is the saying "when life throws you lemons make lemonade".  She wants the most she can get out of life and is good for Ethan, who could really use someone to talk to about the weirdness that is his life.  

The whole time I was reading this I was like where is Puck!!!! And just when I thought he wasn't going to show up there was the raven.  Puck, as always, I a complete delight and brings humor to otherwise not so funny situations.   And of course Grim, Meghan, Ash, and Glitch all make an appearance as well and while I love those characters, this isn't there story anymore and I'm happy to find that Ethan's story is told clearly and distinctly.  It is his own which sometimes gets mixed up when authors try to do spin offs.  

*Spoiler Alert*If you've read the Iron Knight, you know that there was a possibility in Meghan and Ash having a son and you know that time in Nevernever is drastically different from the real world.  So when Keirran appears in the books I was more than pleased to meet his acquaintance.  Puck makes multiple references to himself and Ash about Ethan and Keirran but as of now I don't see it.   

Julie Kagawa is a resident of Louisville, Ky (got to support the locals!!).  She is a kungfu enthusiast and writer of not only The Iron Fey series but Iron's Prophecy, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, and Blood of Eden series.

Sadly we all have to wait until September 2013 to read the next installment, The Traitor Son.  Hmm wonder what that ones going to be about.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

"My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl—smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end—a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.
To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice." 

"Where have you come from, traveler?"
"I have come from the end of the world," said a quiet voice that made my heart stop beating. "From the River of Dreams, through the gantlet and the Briars and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today.  I have but one request-- to take my place at your side.  To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath."  He raised his head and pushed back the hood, and a gasp went around the throne room.  "I am yours, my queen," Ash said, looking me straight in the eye. "If you'll have me." 

There is rarely a book series that I have read where I loved every single book.  There's Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, and then The Iron Fey series amongst the few.  Usually when I read a series that has as many as three books at least one of them flops for me so I was pleasantly surprised when I got through all four books in less than a week with no complaints.   The Iron Knight is an adventure that will have you dying to get to its inevitable, fabulous ending that revivals even the greatest of love story endings.

If The Iron Knight had been written in Meghan's point of view, like all the other books, not only would it have been wrongfully named but it wouldn't have been nearly as good.  Meghan's story had rightfully ended at least for the readers with The Iron Queen but, at least for me, the story still wasn't over for Ash.  I love getting into other characters heads and frankly this was the only way to get to know Ash properly because he's so closed off from other Meghan's point of view.  Ash isn't the cold winter prince that can only show kindness for Meghan that he appears to be in the other books.  He is a very torn person that is bond by words he had spoken in anger and sadness that he had never felt before and there is nothing he can do to take it back.  You learn about his past and his inner feelings that are more dark than you can imagine.  He has an opportunity to turn back time and time again and even has opportunity to rekindle things with his first love but proves to be the man faery we all hoped he was by the end of the book.    

I like that the new characters that are introduced to the story especially The Big Bad Wolf that we all know and love from The Three Little Pigs story or Little Red Riding Hood.  He isn't so big and bad when becomes a friend to Ash and Puck as he accompanies them on there journey to the end of Never Never and even sacrifices his self for the greater good and does his best to refrain from eating Grim.

Throughout the series they mention that faeries exist based on stories being shared of them and those that believe.  So what happens to those that stories are forgotten?  In this book the reader finds out that those particular faeries slowly fade away and don't even remember themselves and eventually disappear.

Julie Kagawa is a resident of Louisville, Ky (got to support the locals!!).  She is a kungfu enthusiast and writer of not only The Iron Fey series but Iron's Prophecy, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, and Blood of Eden series.


Fun Friday Post

Here's a little something fun I found on tumblr to get you through the last day of the week.

random family member or friend: *sees me reading and stops* ooh what's that? what's it about?
what I actually say:'s just about demon hunters hunting demons....
random family member or friend: ...oh

I found "and Simon is a sassy hot piece of heaven" to be the most hilarious description I have heard in a while.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: Intuition by Amy A. Bartol

*Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read Inescapable, then I'd recommend that you hold off on reading this review*
"I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?"

When we last saw Evie, she and her friends had successfully avoided some particularly nasty beings who were looking to use her for their own personal gain - and were very willing to do whatever necessary in order to get her to cooperate with them. She and her friends are finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. At least, that's what they think. They soon learn that danger is yet again around the corner and that the Fallen aren't the only beings who are interested in Evie. In an act of self-sacrifice to save the ones that she cares about the most, Evie will do something that she may regret forever. Can she get herself out of this new predicament before it's too late? Intuition is the second installment in Amy Bartol's Premonition series and, like its predecessor, it will leave you with an indescribable need to know what will happen next for Evie, 
Reed, and the rest of the remarkable characters in the series. If you haven't yet checked out our review of the first book, Inescapable, be sure to check it out here.

I have to say, I loved this book. Just like Inescapable before it, Intuition hooks the reader from the very beginning. The characters were just as engaging as they were when I fell in love with them in the first book in this series. I especially enjoyed seeing the relationship between Evie and Reed grow throughout the course of this novel. I was also really impressed with the new villain that Bartol introduced in this installment of the series. Up until this point, the series has been full of angels - both Divine and Fallen. But now, you can see a new player in this fantastical world and it will be interesting to see how much further the story will progress in the next book.

While I loved this book, there were some things that I didn't particularly care for. For example, I was not a big fan of how the story seemed to turn toward a character that so closely resembles vampires. It was really refreshing to find a series that wasn't focused on vampires as much as all the other books out there today. Yet, somehow, that particular aspect of the fantasy world seemed to infiltrate even this series, too. And, while I wasn't a big fan of it, it managed not to ruin the series for me.

I rate this book: 

This series is still one that you guys should definitely check out. It has everything necessary to keep the interest of its readers - fantasy, suspense, and an intriguing plotline. I'm fairly certain that you guys will love this series just as much as I have. If you haven't picked up the first book in the Premonition series, Inescapable, I'm not sure what you're waiting for. If you have read it, then I know I don't need to tell you to pick up Intuition as soon as possible. 

Amy A. Bartol lives in Michigan with her husband and their two sons. Her family is very supportive of her writing. When she's writing, they often bring her the take-out menu so that she can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when she talks about her characters like they're real. They rarely roll their eyes when she tells them she'll only be a second while she finishes writing a chapter...and then they take off their coats. They ask her how the story is going when she surfaces after living for hours in a world of her own making. They have learned to accept her "writing uniform," consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at her nerdy bookishness whenever she tries to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get her, so they are perfect and she feels blessed. Check out her website: