Friday, February 27, 2015

Death Marked by Leah Cypess (Death Sworn book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the duology, Death Sworn, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

Ileni departed the Assassins’ Cave after Absolm revealed himself and the grand plan he and the Master had for Ileni. She walked away from Sorin behind to start her journey to the heart of the Empire to decide for herself whether or not to bring down the Empire. She was captured by Karyn soon after she left the Cave and has been a prisoner of the Imperial Academy for the past three days. She is shocked when Sorin is able to locate and communicate with her. Ileni doesn’t divulge the true nature of her situation. She figures he would be there in a heartbeat to rescue her. More importantly, she is relieved that Sorin doesn’t hold anything against her. Bad things went down just before Ileni left. Sorin’s magical “visit” is detected by everyone at the Imperial Academy and Karyn is not pleased. She comes to Ileni’s room to find out what went on. Karyn summons someone to take Ileni to the training rooms and two young men magically appear. Ileni knows one of them, Arxis, an assassin the Master sent soon after Ileni’s arrival at the cave. They both go for their daggers at the same time. Ileni had one hidden in her boot that Sorin had slipped into her backpack unnoticed. The matter is resolved with Karyn being none the wiser. Ileni realizes that Arxis doesn’t know what transpired at the Cave after he left. He leaves the room. Karyn makes the second young man, Evin, in charge of Ileni. Evin takes her to the training room and Ileni discovers that the Imperial Academy is inside a mountain.

Evin asks if she isn’t going to practice before Karyn comes to assess her. Ileni, more than ever is without magic and declines. The boy is mystified that she refuses but doesn’t comment. He leaves when Karyn comes in. Karyn calls forth some magic obs and sends them towards Ileni. Without magic, she is unable to defend herself but Karyn persists. Then, she allows Ileni to tap into the multitude of lodestones around the room. Ileni’s magical ability is phenomenal and Karyn is impressed. Ileni will be training with the most advanced students in the academy. Once Karyn can trust that she is over the assassin (Sorin) she left behind, maybe she will get a lodestone of her own. Knowing what it’s like to be without magic, the taste that the academy gives Ileni makes her decision all that much harder. She had hoped that the imperial sorcerers were evil and her choice would be clear, but the more time she spends at the academy makes her decision that much more difficult.

Will Ileni become the first Regenai to defeat the Empire? Can she discover the truth about Absolm and the Master’s plan and about herself? How was Sorin able to find Ileni at the Academy? Has he take over the assassins or is someone else in charge? Who is Evin? Why did the Master send Arxis to the academy? Is the Empire truly evil or is there a deeper evil lurking? Will Ileni and Sorin be able to find themselves back together? Who can Ileni trust?

Visit Leah Cypess’ website.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“Love is a dangerous power.”

Mare Barrow will soon turn eighteen and since she is apprenticed to no one, she will be conscripted into the army, just like her three older brothers. Kilorn Warren is Mare’s only real friend. A fisherman’s apprentice, he is also a war orphan. His father’s body was returned in a shoebox and his mother ran off after that. Mate's father returned alive but missing a leg and a lung. Kilorn was left alone to fend for himself. Starving, he kept picking fights with Mare. Not wanting to “kick around a bag of bones,” she fed him. Now ten years later, they face separate futures. The two are making their way with the rest of the citizens of the Stilts to the open area arena where First Friday, the feat of August will take place. Attendance is mandatory.

Mare’s world is divided by blood. The Silvers with their iridescent, metallic blood have it all. They are smarter, stronger and just plain better than the Reds. The two are not the same and never will be, no matter how much the Reds want to be. The Silvers have all the luxuries, including something as simple as ice. And only the Silvers are allowed to fight in the arena. Kilorn loves the fights, even bets on them, but Mare knows they are to show that the Silvers are superior to the Reds. Kilorn thinks that the strongarm champion will win today. They usually do. The first champion is announced, a strongarm named Cantos Carros. His opponent is from the capital, a man that compared to Carros would be referred to as a weakling. He is announced as Samson Merandus. Mare thinks his last name sounds familiar but many Silvers belong to famous families. Carros strikes first and Merandus roars in pain. Carros quickly strikes again. Everyone in the stands can see the metallic blood dripping from Samson's mouth. As Carros holds his sword high, he begins to walk towards his opponent. Soon he freezes in midair. Samson just stares at him. He flicks his fingers and Carros begins to walk towards him, mouth hanging open. Mare realizes that Samson is a whisper, a rare and dangerous person even among the Silvers who has the ability to control someone's mind. Everyone is speechless as Carros turns his sword on himself and drives it through his stomach. Silvers are never to die in the ring and it's all the soldiers can do to get the arena evacuated.

Later that night after the electricity is cut off at the Barrow house, a bird call wakes Mare. She knows it's Kilorn and hurries down the ladder to see him. She is stunned to see him crying. The apprentice he worked for has died. Kilorn hasn't completed his training and at eighteen no one else will take him on. All that is left for him now is to be conscripted as a soldier. Mare isn't willing to let that happen and knows someone who might be able to help. Willie Whistle is the fence who Mare goes to offload the items she steals in the town square. Willie is too old for honest work. Mare asks if he can help them leave. For the first time since she has known Willie, he tells her no. She is devastated and it breaks down Willie's resolve. He invites her in his wagon. Highly appreciative, Mare babbles on until a high pitched voice tells her to sit down and be quiet. A girl, slightly older than herself stands there with a gun on her hip that is tucked into a unauthorized red sash belt decorated with suns. Willie introduces her as Farley. Farley will move the "cargo" but it will come with a hefty price. Mare just wants to go somewhere away from the Silvers. Farley finally agrees by saying, "the Scarlet Guard accepts, Mare Barrow." She is excited but Mare knows not to show it. Farley then tells her the price, one thousand crowns and payment is expected in full. Mare and even Willie are shocked but there is more. The price is per item. It will cost two thousand crowns for both Mare and Kilorn's freedom. The cargo will be moved the day after tomorrow. Knowing it's her only chance. Mare accepts. She leaves to tell Kilorn the news. He is devastated and asks that she not give him false hope. He thanks her for the effort and hopes that she can save up enough before her time comes. Mare is unwilling to give up. Back at home in bed, Mare looks over at her sleeping sister Gisa. Gisa is apprenticed to a seamstress and creates lovely stitched works of wearable art that the Silvers pay lots of money for. Inspiration strikes Mare for a second time that night. She wakes up Gisa and tells her about Kilorn's situation. Mare knows that she will agree because she has a crush on him. The two come up with a plan.

The next morning, the girls make the trip to Grand Garden, the marketplace for Summerton where the Royals spend the summer and Gisa's mistress' shop is located. At the gate, they show their identification and Gisa explains to the guard that her sister is helping her today be carrying in extra supplies. They are granted admittance and given bracelets that will be removed when they leave. The girls head to the shop to unloaded their packs. Gisa tells Mare to meet her back there when she is done. Mare heads off to the square to make a plan. Looking around, she quickly notices that the job will not be as easy as it is back home. Guards and cameras line the streets. She walks by an open air bar where Silvers are having their morning drinks while watching a line of video screens. A noise like the one that starts the Feats but different grabs her attention as well as that of the Silvers. All of the video screens flash to the same news broadcast. The woman looks frightened as she reads from a sheet of paper. Thirteen minutes earlier, there was a terrorist attack in the capital. Several government buildings were damaged but courts wasn't in session and the royal family wasn't in residence. No one was injuried. King Tiberias will address the nation within the hour. Before Mare can leave a strongarm grabs her arm. The Silvers assume that the Lakelanders are bringing the war closer to them. The news coverage continues and the woman on screen pales further. She states that "a terrorist group calling themselves the Scarlet Guard released this video moments ago." The Silvers are confused as to who the Scarlet Guard is but Mare isn't. She looks up and sees a disguised Farley talking on screen. Mare knows that she needs to leave immediately. Chaos ensues. Any Red in the square is soon taken by a Silver, demanding to know who the Scarlet Guard is. Mare knows that she must make it back to Gisa's shop. Running for her life, Mare is attacked. Drowning in a fountain, Mare is rescued by her sister. They know that they need to leave. Gisa is disappointed that Mare was unsuccessful. Making their way to the gate, Mare is unable to stop her sister from trying to pickpocket  a man. He turns around and grabs her and his "twin" stops Mare. Soon, the man multiplies and Mare realizes that he is a cloner. They try to escape but a security guard comes over. The man accuses Gisa and the officer, knowing Gisa slightly, frowns before asking if she knows the law. She does and he holds her hand down. Mare can only watch as he breaks her sister's hand.

After dropping off Gisa at home, Mare runs away from everyone's disappointment, including her own. She stops outside of their village at an inn that is frequented by the servants and seasonal workers that follow the royal court. It's a place where no one knows her so pickpocketing is easier. Hiding in the shadows, the drunks that venture out with full pockets are easy prey for her. No one is noticing her. Needing to head back home, Mare goes for one last victim. While he is staring at the sky, Mare opens his coin purse. His hand closes around hers and pulls her out of the shadows. He looks her over before tossing a silver tetrarch at her. She catches it and mumbles thanks. It’s worth more than all the pennies she has stolen that night. He thinks it should ride her over. Curious at his appearance since he is not much older than her, Mare cannot tell if he is a servant or woodcutter, she asks why he gave her the money. Because from her looks, she needs it much more than he does. He asks if she lives in the village and enjoys living there. She snaps back with a sarcastic reply. He has no answer and asks if she is headed home, wouldn't want all of the bar patrons to leave broke. He introduces himself as Cal and extends his hand. Mare doesn't take it. She walks off down the road and calls her name over her shoulder. Mare notices that he quickly catches up to her. He asks about a job and is silent when she tells him she is seventeen and jobs are scarce. He knows that she will be conscripted and grows quiet. He asks if she was at the riots earlier and in the dark, Mare finds herself telling him what happened to her sister. He gives her another second tetrarch, which she accepts. He tells her that he is sorry. She tells him not to be, others have it worse. He leaves her at the edge of the village, seemingly uncomfortable. He is gone before she can thank him.

Back home, she runs into her father whom is on the ground outside of the stilted house. He begins to let out some of his aggression on the electrical box that seems to actually be broken. Mare joins him. She hits it and receives a little shock. Seems like there was a faulty wire and the box begins to work. Her father tells her not to tell her mother that he left the house. He is never going to get better and she would only get her hopes up. At the top, Mare helps him in the house. Climbing to the loft where she sleeps with her sister, she cannot help but notice her broken hand. Not able to sleep, she rereads her brother Shade's latest letter from the warfront. Near the bottom, a familiar phase is written, the same phrase that Farley spoke on the video earlier. Mare realizes that her brother is a part of the Scarlet Guard.

The next morning, Mare is awoken by a banging on the door. Security searches are not unusual but they have had the usual two already this year. Her father voices his acceptance, a requirement. Mare notices two officers but a third figure  is with them, a young woman in red with a crown badge over her heart. It designates that she is a Red who serves the king. The woman comes forward and looks straight at Mare. She has been summoned to Summerton. They will escort her. Confused, Mare wonders if she is being taken in due to meeting with Farley the other night. The woman reassures her that the market is well controlled after yesterday's violence. Knowing she cannot refuse a summons, Mare goes to leave. She and her family both wonder if she will return.

At the gates, Mare leaves the transport with the woman. She introduces herself as Ann but around these parts they go by their last names, hers being Walsh. Mare thinks it sounds familiar and Walsh tells her that she is from the Stilts as well and knows two of her brothers. Walsh tells her the details of the job as a servant. Mare wonders how Cal was able to pull the strings to get her a job. Scurrying through the underground tunnels, Mare keeps an eye out for Cal to thank him and to see if he can also get Kilorn a job. Now she won't have to go off to war as a soldier. Mare finally asks where they are going. To the Hall of the Sun answers Walsh. Mare now works for the king, just like she does. And of all the days to start, a busy day, probably the worst. Today is the Queenstrial, the day the daughters of the high houses come to be presented to the Prince. Since Mare will be on serving duty, she will get to see everything for herself.

After preparing the spiral garden, Mare joins the remaining kitchen staff behind gauzy curtains to watch. Looking around, she notices Samson Merandus, the whisper from the Feat and makes note to avoid him. She doesn't see any girls of age and wonders where they are. Next in line, she is called to the box where Samson's family sits. The father and a son hold out their empty water glasses to her. She rinses them off in a sink when a sound comes that heralds the entrance of the royal family. Mare finds herself standing level with the King's box. After the past two days, she cannot believe that she is this close to the king. He is announced and soon the queen follows. The queen bows only to Samson's box and Mare realizes that they must be family. After putting down outbursts about the Scarlet Guard, King Tiberias calls forth his two sons. First is Prince Maven, the youngest and child of his current wife. Then he announces the crown prince and child of his deceased wife, Prince Tiberias the Seventh. Mare is snickering over his name that she doesn't immediately look up. When she does, she drops the glass she was holding. Crown Prince Tiberias is none other than Cal, the boy she met last night.

Why has Prince Tiberias, aka Cal, brought Mare to work at the palace? What will they say to one another the next time that they come face to face? Does Mare stay on at the palace? What will happen to her family? Who will be chosen as the future queen? What is the Scarlet Guard? Is Shade a member? Will Kilorn be able to escape conscription? What is the difference between Silvers and Reds?

The Red Queen, is the first in a trilogy.

Visit Victoria Aveyard’s website.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines book 6)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first five books in the series, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

Adrian Ivashkov and Sydney Sage did the unthinkable among the Moroi and Alchemists, they got married. The Alchemists are determined to bring Sydney back in for more reeducation and the two have fled to the Moroi Court and Queen Vasilisa Dragomir for protection. Only when they get there do they find out that Lissa’s younger half sister and the key to her continued reign has disappeared. Not only are the two determined to live happily ever after but to find Jill before it is too late.

Fans will be shocked by several revelations but pleasantly surprised by the end of the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series. Appearances and updates by several fan favorites occur. In the acknowledgements sections, Ms. Mead says goodbye to the world but hints that she may return to the series at a later date.

Visit Richelle Mead’s website.

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton (Seeker book 1)

“The truth will end them all.”

Quin Kincaid has been training since she was eight to become a Seeker, a protector of the weak and defender of justice. It is a family legacy that is centuries old. She believes that a Seeker’s purpose is worthy. Now at fifteen, she and her cousin Shinou are having what might be their final practice fight. John Hunt, a year older, will attempt to prove that he still belongs. He arrived at the isolated Scottish estate at the age of twelve to begin his training. When the very real fight with Briac, Quin’s father and Alistair, Shinobu’s father, is over, Briac tells Quin and Shinobu to meet at midnight at the standing stone to take their oaths. John, a superior fighter who failed the test will meet with him at dinner time in the commons where they will speak freely.

John and Quin leave the training barn separately. He heads towards the woods, knowing that Quin will be meeting him there. In love with each other, they meet secretly and erroneously think no one knows of their relationship. Discussing John’s failure during the fight, Quin believes that her father, although a cruel man, will allow John to continue his training. John isn’t so sure but doesn’t voice his opinion. Knowing the truth behind the Seekers, he had promised his mother before she died that he would attempt to take back what rightfully belongs to their family.  While hiding amongst the trees, a aircar lands at the estate. A rarity, Quin sneaks back home to eavesdrop on her father’s conversation, leaving John alone in the woods.

Caught eavesdropping, her father and the young man from the aircar leave the house to head outside for some privacy. Her mother sees her and asks if she was listening in. Quin refutes by asking if they are arranging her marriage. Quin’s parents had an arranged marriage. Her mother had trained as a Seeker but never took the oath. No, her mother says and that she hopes that Quin will be able to choose her mate based on love. She then asks her how far she and John have gone in their relationship. Kissing is all but Quin is stunned that everyone seems to know. The conversation turns to the oath that night. Her mother tells her to think about what she will be doing. Once she takes her oath, there will be no going back. Quin is adamant about fulfilling her destiny. She and John will be Seekers together. She leaves as her mother begins to tear up.

That same day, Alistair takes Shinobu into the nearest town. They end up outside of a house where a girl, Alice, resides. Alistair asks him if he really wants to take the oath. If he doesn’t become a Seeker, he could have a life in the town with a girl like Alice who would love him. His father knows that he is harboring feelings for Quin, who is a distant cousin, but she doesn’t feel the same way. Shinobu is just as adamant about taking the oath as Quin. His father turns his face away and seems to also be wiping away tears.

Leaving her mother behind, she goes outside and their visitor has left already. Instead, she does see her father walking with John, a hand on his shoulder. What she doesn’t know is that the conversation is going very badly. John reminds Briac of his promise but Briac counters that the promise was to train him, not necessarily make him a Seeker. John knows the truth behind the Seekers and asks what will Quin say when she finds out. Briac is undeterred. They walk towards a deserted barn to find a modern hospital room hidden inside. On the bed hooked up to tubes and wires is a decimated person that John is unable to tell the age or even sex of. The room is a reminder for those who fail at what the disruptor, a Seeker weapon, can do to them. John is livid at the inhuman treatment of the unknown person but Briac tells him that it serves it’s purpose. He is being sent back home to his grandfather.

At midnight, Quin finds Shinobu, their fathers plus the two Dreads who live on the estate at the standing stone. Everyone is dressed in black. The young Dread is heating an iron poker in the fire. Having only seen the athame, “the finder of hidden ways”, twice before, Quin is thrilled to finally learn the secrets of the Seekers. She and Shinobu are both shocked when her father pulls out a similar instrument to the athame, only longer. He says that it is the lightning rod, the companion that allows the athame to come to life. Briac strikes them together and draws a circle that opens into There. Everyone including the two Dreads step in. The circle close but Briac opens a second one. As the second circle collapses in on itself, Quin sees a manor house at the bottom of the hill. Seemingly peaceful, she looks at Shinobu and they are both confused. Not really expecting a truly horrible scene, she wonders what injustice they might find inside. All six head down the hill.

Not knowing how much time has passed, Quin and Shinobu wake up covered in someone else's blood and retch. Briac tells them to get it together. He asks the Dreads if they have met the standards and the Big Dread says yes. Alistair just stares at the coals of the fire. Briac asks that the brand to be brought over and the Young Dread does. He asks Shinobu first if he is ready to take his oath and become a sworn Seeker. Quin notices that Shinobu has a look of our hatred on his face. Quin is forced to kneel next to Shinobu and is asked if she is ready. Looking at her father whom she resembles so much, she realizes that they are nothing alike on the inside. Quin suddenly realizes just how much her father has lied to her. Held at knifepoint by the Dreads, Quin realizes that her father will kill her if she doesn't recite the oath. She has gone There and there is no turning back. Quin starts and Shinobu soon joins her. The Dread places the hot poker against their wrists. They are both now branded Seekers.

If being a Seeker is no longer as honorable as Quin was led to believe, what do they actually do? What promise to Briac make to John’s family? Why did he want to become a Seeker so badly? Who was the man arrived in the aircar? What happened the night Quin and Shinobu took their oaths? Why did Shinobu have a look of hatred on his face? What does Quin after she discovers her father’s deceit? Will Shinobu tell Quin how he feels about her? Are Quin and John able to maintain their relationship? Why are the Dreads an important part of the Seeker community? What secrets do they know. Do any more Seekers exist elsewhere in the world?

A fantasy set in the future with a definite medieval feel, book two in the trilogy, Traveler, is due out in 2016.

Visit Arwen Elys Dayton’s website.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Compulsion by Martina Boone (Heirs of Watson Island book 1)

"Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse."

Barrie's Aunt Pru is three hours late to pick her up from the airport. Her mother, Lula, died a week ago and Pru is her only living relative. They haven't met before today and ddidn'tknow about each other until seven days ago. Giving up, Barrie takes a cab to Watson's Island, an hour away, to arrive at her new home. Pulling up to the plantation house that has been in the Watson family continuously since 1692, Barrie is shocked to see Pru sitting on the steps. Pru is her mother's twin and she didn't realize that three hours have passed since she sat down. The cabbie asks Barrie if she wants to stay. Having the Watson gift of finding things, Barrie tells him that she is where she needs to be.

Inside, Aunt Pru grabs one of Barrie's suitcases and starts climbing the staircase. Barrie takes the other and follows. Half way up, Barrie wonders if she should worry that Pru is gasping for air but she herself needs to take a rest. Suddenly the doorbell rings and Aunt Pru panics. She knows that it is Seven because he was bringing Eight over to introduce him to Barrie. Seven cannot know that she didn't make it to the airport. He is the lawyer who worked with Lula’s to make the arrangements for Barrie. Tears begin to stream down her face. She asks Barrie to answer the door and to see if Seven to come back after dinner. Tell him that Pru has some baking to do for the tearoom and that she will make him a chocolate whoopie pie cake for dessert. The doorbell keeps ringing. Barrie says that she will cover for her and her aunt heads up the stairs to hide. Barrie walks to the door to find the Beauforts waiting. The older man introduces himself as Charles Beaufort, Seven as he is known and Eight, his son. Shaking hands with Seven, she reaches for Eight before looking. Glancing up, Eight is grinning down at her. The grin disappears as they shake hands. Barrie has a reaction to Eight, like she has when she finds something, that she not sure if he felt it too. Seven wanted to take them to dinner but for whoopie pie cake, they will be back later that evening.

Back inside, Barrie looks at Pru and is taken back. She imagines this is how her mother would look had it not been for the scars. Barrie wonders why her mother left home to live in San Francisco and stayed after the fire that killed her husband. She also questions why she let everyone on Watson's Island believe that she was dead instead of horribly burned with a newborn baby she couldn't care for. Barrie hopes to find the answers to her questions here and her aunt looks like she needs someone to help her. At the top of the stairs, the house divides into two wings. Barrie feels a sense of loss towards the left but Aunt Pru heads to the right. When Barrie asks what is in the other wing, she answers that it is in disrepair and dangerous. She has enough rooms to clean as it is. At the far end of the hallway, Pru takes her to a bedroom with a balcony overlooking the river. Pru wipes away the tears as she tells Barrie that her mother loved to look at the river. Pru apologizes for the tears but Barrie knows that it must be difficult for her to discover the truth about her sister after years of lies. She leaves and Barrie sees Seven and Eight get in a boat at the dock to go back across the river to Beaufort Hall. She watches them land at their dock and a dog comes to greet them. Eight begins to play with the dog as Barrie stares from the window. He pulls his shirt off and Barrie’s mouth drops. Eight looks up as if sensing her staring at him. He and the dog jump in the river. Barrie has noticed that Eight is more like a nine.

Barrie calls her friend Mark back in San Francisco. He is unable to be Barrie’s guardian because he is dying from pancreatic cancer. She tells him that she is going to be alright but has decided against selling her mother’s things at auction. She asks Mark to ship them to Watson’s Landing. He will be happy as long as he knows that she is happy. After she finishes unpacking, Barrie heads downstairs to join her aunt for dinner. Setting the table, she is shocked to see that her mother used the same dinnerware as Pru, only Lula’s was in much better condition. Barrie realizes that she could help her aunt out by replacing her broken and worn things with what her mother had. She only hopes that Pru won’t be upset. Over dinner, Barrie offers to help Pru around the plantation. Pru politely declines, saying that she needs to settle in before school starts. The conversation then turns to Lula. The girls weren’t identical twins and Barrie realizes that Pru doesn’t know about her mother’s scars. Barrie didn’t bring any pictures with her and Pru’s father threw away every photo that Lula in it when she left. Pru notices that it is eight o’clock. She hasn’t made the cake yet and rushes off to the freezer to find something else. She knows that Seven is always early. Barrie starts washing the dishes and Pru comes back with tears in her eyes. She tells Barrie to relax but then asks about how Lula died and if she suffered. Barrie asks her what the lawyer told her about the devastating fire and Lula’s injuries. Pru didn’t know and drops a plate. She falls to the floor and cuts her knees. She pulls Barrie down and starts to cry on her shoulder. Standing at the kitchen door, Seven tells Barrie that he will take care of Pru. He asks Pru what in the world she is doing. Eight tells Barrie hello but her tongue is tied when she tries to return the  greeting. Seven tells Eight where the first aid kit is in the pantry and Eight goes to get it. Seven and Pru begin arguing and Barrie wishes she could disappear. Eight tells Barrie he will show her the path to the river. She doesn’t move. In case she hasn’t picked up on it, that’s their cue to leave.

Outside, Eight pulls Barrie down against the wall to eavesdrop. Touching, Barrie gets the not-lost feeling again and wonders if Eight noticed it that time. He tells her to be quiet and makes a comment that reminds her of home. Upset, she rushes away as Eight tries to apologize. Wishing she were back home and not dropped into a strange new life, she heads towards the woods. Eight catches up and walks backwards in front of her. He apologizes but Barrie also sees that he is confused. He realizes that she is still in shock and tells her about when his mother died. He holds her as she realizes how angry she is at her mother. Breaking apart, Eight wants to find how his father and Pru know each other so well if they hadn’t talked in years. Pru hasn’t left the house in years, just like her father. Eight fills in Barrie on the history of their two families. She heads towards the woods but Eight stops her and tells a very unconvincing lie about why she shouldn’t go there. Turning to head back to the house, a boat catches their attention. Looking up the river, Barrie sees the ruin of a plantation and asks Eight about it. It's Colesworth Place. Eight realizes that she didn't know her father was also from Watson's Landing. Her uncle Wyatt is trying to rebuild the house Sherman burned on his through march through the South. Lula always said that she hoped her father burned in hell. He was a cocky, deceitful man and Barrie should not fall in love with that type of man. Eight really doesn't want to go any further into details but does say that she has two cousins whom she will go to school with. Needless to say, it's a feud amongst the Colesworths and everyone else in town. Seven believes that Wyatt is after any money Lula might have had.

How come Pru didn’t come to the airport? Why did Barrie’s mother run off? What was the reason no one on Watson’s Island knew that she had survived the fire? How come her parents ran off and the love affair ended? Why does Barrie have the ability to find lost things? How come the house is calling to Barrie? What is the connection she feels with Eight? What is going on between Pru and Seven? What secrets does Watson’s Island keep hidden? What is the real reason the Colesworths’ are interested in Barrie? What happened between the families? Can Barrie and Eight fight their attraction to one another?

Book two in the Heirs of Watson Island, Persuasion, is due out in 2015.

Visit Martina Boone’s website.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
- Taken from

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fairest: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles book 0.1)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first three books in the Lunar Chronicles, Stop! I don’t want the ruin Queen Levana’s back story for you.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?
The story of how Lunar Queen Levana became the nasty tyrant we have grown to hate in the Lunar Chronicles. We also learn about her older sister, Queen Channary, niece Selene, her husband Evert and stepdaughter Winter. An excellent lead in to the final book in the chronicles, Winter, due out on November 10, 2015.

Visit Marissa Meyer’s website.
Visit The Lunar Chronicles website.