Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (Monsters of Verity book 1)

“There’s no such thing as safe.”

“Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Kate Harker wishes that she could be a monster. August Flynn is but all he wants is to be human. Verity is filled with monsters and Verity City is divided in half after the phenomenon twelve years ago in which violence began to have very real consequences. Every act of violence in V City leads to the production of a monster, the more violent, the deadlier the monster. Callum Harker, Kate’s father, rules the northern part of the city through fear and intimidation. Citizens are only under his protection if they pay for it and the Malchai, monsters that are the product of killing, have pledged their loyalty. Henry Flynn, rules the southern half by protecting its citizens through an armed force that includes three Sunai, the rarest monsters produced from mass killings.

After burning down a chapel at her sixth boarding school, Harker finally relents to Kate returning to V City and home. She will be attending Colton Academy as a senior. Kate only wants her father to see her as his daughter and heir. August’s Sunai brother, Leo, convinces their father to allow August to leave their compound and attend Colton. His job is to get close to Kate Harker and gather information. The tenuous truce between the north and south is strained to the point of breaking and the Flynn’s think that they can use Kate as leverage. August isn’t sure that it is such a great idea.

Once at Colton, August and Kate find themselves drawn to one another. The more Kate digs for information on “Freddie Gallagher”, August’s pseudonym, and finds nothing, she realizes that August just might be Henry Flynn’s unknown third Sunai. When her plan to bring August to her father and gain his approval ends in an attempted assassination attempt on her life that is staged to look like August was behind it. Soon, August Flynn is the only “person” Kate can trust when her father doesn’t believe his trusted Malchai, Sloan, is behind everything. On the run for their lives, August and Kate learn that the boundaries between human and monster aren’t clear cut.

Who tried to kill Kate Harker? Can August keep her safe? Who can the two of them trust? Will the truce in V City break? Is Kate Harker really a “monster” and following in her father’s footsteps? Does August embrace his monster side and turn over Kate or will his humility win out?

With that chilling ending, reader will be eagerly awaiting on the conclusion with Our Dark Duet in 2017. The movie rights to the book have also been sold.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Chasing Impossible by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits book 5)

SPOILER ALERT! First off, this book is currently only available in ebook format. There are currently no plans to publish it as an actual book. This review is only for the diehard Katie McGarry fans.

For fans, this is the story of Abby and Logan. Isaiah, Rachel, West, Ryan, and Noah all make appearances. Some of the girlfriends appear briefly.

“Tough and independent, 17-year-old Abby lets very few people into her inner circle. It’s common knowledge in her Kentucky town that she deals drugs, but not even her closest friends know why. But when a deal goes south and Abby’s suddenly in danger, she finds herself reluctantly forced to lean on daredevil Logan—a boy whose restless spirit matches her own.

Logan has his own reasons for wanting to keep Abby at arms’ length. But he never expected to find in her the one person who might help him face the demons he’s tried so hard to run from.

Together, Abby and Logan will have to make a decision: let their current circumstances weigh them down forever…or fight for the future they both thought was impossible.” - taken from Goodreads.com

It was great being back in the pushing the Limits world to catch up with some of my favs and to learn the secrets of others. Abby’s story and reasons for her “profession” are a bit heartbreaking but the ending and how everyone in this series is connected is worth the read.

Visit Katie McGarry’s website.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game book 1)

“Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This book has gotten some mixed reviews in the reading community but I thought it might just be the book for me and I wasn’t wrong. It is October 1825 and Imperial Russia is under the rule of Tsar Alexander I. His son, nicknamed Pasha, isn’t interested in politics but his sister, Yuliana, is. Watching the brewing trouble  with the Ottoman Empire, Yulina convinces her father that Pasha isn’t strong enough to be tsar and will need an Imperial Enchanter by his side. As Pasha nears his seventeenth birthday, Alexander convenes the Crown’s Game to choose. With two possible candidates, the Game is a test and show of magical skill that will result in the death of the enchanter who fails.

Vika has trained her entire life with her father to become the next Imperial Enchanter. They live a life of isolation on Ovchinin Island where she works with her father. At sixteen, Vika and her father, Sergei, are floored when they receive an invitation to the The Crown’s Game. Sergei had sent word to his sister Galina when he discovered Vika’s abilities but it would seem that she didn’t return the favor. Galina has been training her student, Nikolai, since she traded for the motherless boy with his village. They were terrified of Nikolai’s powers. When the two are summoned by the tsar to start the Game, Nikolai realizes that he has seen Vika and her display of powers on the island when he visited with Pasha.

Soon the two are not only caught up in the Game but with Pasha as well. Where only one enchanter can survive, love has no place, but friendships and relationships have a way of making a mess of things.

In a game of where only one enchanter can survive, will it be Vika or Nikolai? Or will love win out?

The story will conclude with The Crown’s Heir in 2017.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks book 7)

SERIES ALERT! This is the seventh installment in the Hundred Oaks series. Some characters from previous books do appear but they in no way spoil the story.

There are no mistakes in love.

“Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?” - taken from Goodreads.com

Welcome back to Hundred Oaks High! In this latest installment, readers will be thrust back into the world. A few characters from the past couple of books make an appearance and Jack Goodwin from Racing Savannah has a minor role. Once again,a book that is hard to put down where the sport of women’s soccer takes the stage. New readers to this series will have no problems picking up this book and enjoying the story. Die hard fans will be disappointed that Jordan Woods and Sam Henry do not make an appearance. If you happen to read this book as in the electronic version, Jordan and Sam do have a story included at the end.,

Visit Miranda Kenneally’s website.