Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ice Like Fire by Sarah Raasch (Ice Like Fire book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book the series, Snow Like Ashes, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

Check out Epic Reads if you need a recap of Snow Like Ashes. Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the first book in the series.

Three months have passed since both Meira and Mather’s worlds were turned upside down when Sir told the truth about who they really were. Meira is the true heir of Winter whereas Mather is really the son of Sir(William), Hannah’s guard and his wife Allyson. Both are struggling to accept the roles they were handed and overcoming the lies of the past. The kingdom of Cordell is aiding Winter to regain its footing since the defeat of King Angra of Spring. Since King Noam of Cordell nullified the engagement between Prince Theron and Meira, Winter’s repayment for accepting Cordell’s help is to locate the lost chasm of magic beneath the Season Kingdoms, as well as jewels mined during the search. Theron is not ready to give up on Meira. Mather hasn’t talked to her since their return to Winter but he still loves the girl he grew up with.

Finn and Greer searched throughout Primoria to see if they could find evidence of Angra’s survival. The appearance of two Winterians in the Rhythm Kingdoms of Yakim and Ventralli was noticed. The queens from both kingdoms sent gifts to Meira to congratulate Winter on its victory over Spring. They also issued invites for Meira to visit each of their kingdoms. Greer speculates that with Noam’s hands in both Autumn and Winter, Spring would be an easy conquest. He believes that Angra is nowhere in Primoria. Everyone on Meira’s Winterian council believes Angra to be dead. Knowing that a ruler becomes the conduit when the Royal Conduit is broken in defense of a kingdom, Meira fears that Angra is alive and now holds Spring’s magic, just as she does Winter’s. If he does, she is terrified that the Decay would become limitless.

When Meira infuses magic into her subjects upon the opening of the Tadil Mine, she has already grown weary of the process. She fears magic will once again become uncontrollable and the Decay will become rampant if the chasm is found. When an explosion occurs shortly after, she and the council rush to see the damage. A miner resurfaces with the news that they believe the lost chasm has been found. Meira’s dead mother, who is able to communicate with her now that Meira is Winter’s conduit, cannot believe that they were so close to finding it before being conquered by Spring. Everyone enters the mine and finds the other miners standing outside of a chamber. Meira enters and sees that Theron has come with her into the chamber. Seeing that there is a door in the chamber, she and Theron examine it. They see three symbols with a keyhole under each. The words, ”Order of the Lustrate”, are carved on the door. Fearing what Noam will do now that the chasm has been located, she is dismayed to see Theron is excited over the find. Trying to get away from Theron, the two trip and fall, touching the door. When they touch it, Meira finds that a burning heat consumes the ice that is usually in her veins. Unable to communicate with her mother, Meira sees that Theron is unaffected. Screaming in pain, she blacks out. While out, Meira gets a glimpse of what may have happened to Theron while he was held prisoner by Angra in Abril. Angra remarks that his father won’t save him. He and Theron are more alike than he realizes. Theron screams that he didn’t kill her.

Meira awakes in a small room watched over by Theron and Sir. She tries to tell them about the chasm being dangerous and it shouldn’t be opened. Theron disagrees and says that is exactly what needs to occur. Wondering if what she dreamed about his interaction with Angra, Meira suddenly finds her magic gathering and this time she is unable to control it. It strikes Sir and his strength causes him to break the door off the hinges. He asks her why she did that and Meira says that her magic was affected in the chamber. Sir tells her that they will work it out and send someone else down to investigate who isn’t tied to a conduit. Meira objects that it is too dangerous but Theron is adamant that they explore it for the good of the kingdoms.

When Noam arrives in Jannuari for the payment ceremony, Meira feels as if Theron has betrayed her when he informs his father that the lost chasm has been found. Heading into the palace, Sir join them, dismayed by the turn of events. Theron tells Meira to trust him, that they need Cordell to open the door and harness the power before Angra resurfaces. Sir believes that Angra is dead. While telling his father about the find, Meira sees how excited Theron is and suddenly recalls where she saw the Order of the Lustrate before. It was in a book called The Magic of Primoria that she and Theron read back at the palace in Bithai. Meira knows that she could never recover the book with rousing Noam’s suspicions. Theron suspects that the three symbols carved in the door are clues to where the keys are hidden; the kingdoms of Summer, Ventralli and Yakim. Noam wants no one else to know about the possible link to the other kingdoms. He is sending Meira and Theron to look for a way to open the chamber. She is looking to get some answers while Theron seeks a way to unlock the door. Meira is determined to find a way to keep Winter safe.

Has the lost chasm of magic really been found? Who is the Order of the Lustrate? Can Meira and Theron find the keys? Why do the kingdoms of Ventralli and Yakim want Meira to visit? Will Meira forgive Theron for telling Noam about their discovery? What happened to Meira’s connection to Hannah when she touched the chamber door? Can Mather forgive William about lying about his parentage? What happened to Theron while he was held by Angra? What are Noam’s real motives for helping Winter? Can Meira and Mather repair their strained relationship? Who will capture Meira’s heart; Theron or Mather?

Fans will be eagerly waiting for the final book in this trilogy in 2016. In the meantime, readers can enjoy this short story, Flames Like Vines about Ceridwen on Wattpad.

Visit Sara Raasch’s website.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

“Imminent death has never been so funny….”

“Tomorrow is the day I’m going to die.
I don’t mean to get all dramatic about it. I’ve known that tomorrow is the day I will die since I was born. Just like almost everyone else in the world knows the date when they will die, thanks to the group of doctors, scientists, statisticians, and astrologers who pioneered the field of AstroThanatoGenetics (ATO).
Is it still weird and anxiety-provoking that my death is tomorrow? Hell to the yes. But do I need to get movie-preview-voice-over-guy intense about it? Probably not.

Well, um...
If Denton Little knew what was in store on his last day --hangovers, love triangles, jealous exes, shotgun standoffs, and mysterious rashes -- he probably wouldn’t be so calm.
And did I mention that Denton’s death date is the same day as senior prom?
Oh yeah. Good times…” - front flap

“Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.” - taken from

Denton’s story will continue with Denton Little’s Birthdate out on April 12, 2016.

Visit Lance Rubin’s website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas (The Elemental trilogy book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the series for you.

Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the first book in the series.
Check out Epic Reads if you need a recap of the series.

Only six months have passed since Prince Titus VII, Master of the Domain, and Iolanthe Seabourne, aka Archer Fairfax, a great elemental mage of her time, met when she summoned her first lightning bolt. The Bane, head of Atlantis, the mightiest empire in the mage world, is hunting Iolanthe in order to sacrifice her to “prolong his life and maintain his choke hold on power.” Picking up immediately where The Perilous Sea ended, Atlantis has Titus and Iolanthe trapped underneath a bell jar dome where she is unable to access her control over lightning. They came to three days earlier in the middle of the Sahara Desert, only knowing that they must not be captured by Atlantis. Now, they are in the fight for their very lives.

Since he has deployed the war phoenix, Titus now has seven days to report his location to Alectus, his regent. Alectus is also a puppet of Atlantis. If Titus doesn’t make himself known, then the regent assumes the crown. All Alectus would have to do is hand over the reins of government to Atlantis. It would take Titus many lives and years to reclaim the crown. Three days have already but Titus also has a seventy-two hour grace period. In total, the trio has a seven day window to succeed in killing the Bane. Titus and Iolanthe know that if they go to Atlantis, the prophecy states that Titus will die. When the Bane issues an ultimatum for Iolanthe’s surrender or the destruction of Titus’ people, Titus’ hand is forced to finally make the decisions he dreaded facing.

Can the Bane be killed before Titus must make his appearance known? Does the crown pass to the regent? Will Titus survive the trip to Atlantis, despite his mother’s vision? How accurate are Princess Ariadne’s visions? Who turns out to be The One from the prophecy? What part will Kashkari play in the mission? Can his visions be trusted or are they open to interpretation like he believes? Is the Bane successful in his attempt to complete the sacrifice? How will the story of Titus and Iolanthe end? What truths will they discover about their lives?

Visit Sherry Thomas’ website.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows book 1)

“Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.”

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the Grisha trilogy, you might want to stop. Even though this is a new series, some spoilers may occur but I don't think it will ruin the enjoyment of either book for you.

Six of Crows takes place two years after the end of the Ravkan civil war, so the effects of that are still being felt throughout the world. A few characters are mentioned briefly in passing.

The Dregs are all liars, murderers and thieves. Kaz Brekker became a member when he was twelve and the gang of street urchins and hustlers were the laughing stock of Ketterdam. In the years since, Kaz has made the Dregs feared. They now have their own territory, gambling hall and the Slat, a warm, dry place to hang out if needed. Even though Per Haskell is the head of the Dregs. Kaz is the brains and brawn behind the gang.

After a successful confrontation with a rival gang over territory, Kaz walks alone through an alley. Usually aware of his surroundings, he is surprised when he is attacked by an unseen assailant. Kaz wakes up chained to a chair in a study, to his surprise. Taking in the man behind the desk in front of him, he realizes the man is Van Eck, a Kerch merchant. Van Eck tells Kaz that the Merchant Council has a proposition for him. Kaz wants to know if all Council negotiations start with a beating. Van Eck tells him to consider it both a warning and a demonstration. Kaz asks why the interest in him. In the past three years, Kaz hasn't served any time in prison. He states that he has cleaned up his act but then Van Eck calls him a liar. He continues to read through his file on Kaz, detailing his life with the Dregs while unbeknownst to him, Kaz is setting himself free from the chains. Kaz is able to vault from his chair and hold Van Eck hostage before any of his guards can react. Kaz just want someone to show him the door but Van Eck responds that he can change his mind. He calls for Mikka and Kaz sees a boy, pale as a corpse, walk through the wall. Dressed in a Grisha Tidemakers coat, Kaz thinks he has been drugged. Van Eck will explain once he has been released but Kaz refuses. Mikka is under the effects of jurda parem.. Kaz is aware that jurda is a stimulant but Van Eck warns that jurda parem is completely different and definitely not harmless. Kaz knew he had been drugged but then realizes that Van Eck is talking about the Grisha.

Van Eck explains that a scientist by the name of Bo Yul-Bayur sent a sample to the Kerch Merchant Council. He wish to defect to keep the drug out of the hand of other governments. The drug has been tested by the Council on a Grisha from each of the three orders. The drug almost acts as an amplifier, but instead of increasing their powers, it alters a Grisha’s perception. To the non-Grisha, param is lethal. A Fabrikator is able to turn lead into gold. Bo Yul-Bayur, a member of the Shu, feared the Shu government would have abused the drug and caused the world economy to collapse. The Merchant Council want Kaz to kidnap Bo Yul-Bayu,r who was seeking asylum. The government doesn't want to be tied to Bo Yul-Bayur. Kaz doesn't think he is still alive but the Council knows that that Bo Yul-Bayur is being held at the Ice Court. Kaz is ready to leave but then Van Eck offers him five million kruge. Kaz remarks that he values his life more than that. Van Eck offers 10 then 20. Kaz stops him at 20 and Van Eck doesn't look happy. He will need to convince a team into taking what is essentially a suicide mission. The Ice Court has never been breached. Van Eck states that time is of the essence and greed begin begins to speak to Kaz. He realizes that he will need a specialized team that knows they may not survive. He will have to find people outside of the Dregs. If Kaz is successful, his reputation will soar and he can be out from under Per Haskell. Kaz wants to know why Van Eck wants him for the job. Van Eck states that Kaz has the one quality he needs most in a criminal, he doesn't get caught. He also knows that Kaz was the person who robbed him of an expensive painting from his home six months earlier. Kaz admits nothing.

After seeing and hearing about the effects of jurda parem, Kaz wants 30 million kruge to do the job. He knows that the Merchant Council is desperate. The two men shake on the deal and Van Eck then asks Kaz why he wears gloves. He states that everyone has heard the stories and Kaz replies that they are all true. Leaving, Kaz knows that he is going to need more help than the Dregs can offer him. After giving Per Haskell his 20 percent of the payout, each of the six member will receive 4 million kruge if they survive. Kaz’s crew consists of “a convict with a thirst for revenge, a sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager, runaway with a privileged past, a spy known as the Wraith, a Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums, and a  thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.” Meet the Six of Crows.

Will Kaz’s crew be able to breach the Ice Palace? Is Bo Yul-Bayur is alive? Who makes up Kaz’s crew? Can Kaz move on past his greed? Does someone else beat them to the Ice Palace? What are the Merchant Council's plans for Bo Yul-Bayur? How does the ultimate heist turn out?

Readers will be eagerly anticipating book two to see what happens to Kaz and his crew next.