Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau (Dividing Eden book 1)

“Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?” - taken from Goodreads.com

I loved the beginning of this duology. Mystery, action, and betrayal are throughout the story. Twins Andreus and Carys’ lives are turned upside down when their father the king and their older brother, the Crown Prince are murdered. To make matters worse, their mother is unable to take over the throw since she went mad over the deaths of her husband and oldest son. Both of the twins are hiding secrets from everyone that threatened to be revealed when they are pitted against each other in a competition to see which one will be the next ruler of Eden. As the competition moves forward, the twins are pulled apart.

A few questions are answered but plenty of mysteries are still left to be revealed.  Eden Conquered, the second and final book is expected to be published on June 12, 2018.

Queen Betrice’s backstory is revealed in an ebook novella, Into the Garden.

Visit Joelle Charbonneau’s website.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This is the book that everyone should read! I listened to the audio version and when I started I didn’t know if I could get into Starr’s dialect, but it didn’t take long for me to be invested in her story. The author was inspired to write this story by the Black Lives Matter movement. As a reader, I dove into Starr’s story and learned more about various cultures and challenges than I dreamed possible. Ms. Thomas didn’t skip any punches in this book. The one part where Starr’s white boyfriend asked a question about names caused me to chuckle and think about what was said. Towards the end, I was on pins and needles hoping that Starr and her family would come their this ordeal unscathed. Definitely a book worth reading.

Visit Angie Thomas’s website.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Fallen Isles trilogy book 1)

Before

“Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.” taken from Goodreads.com

I’ll be honest. It took me awhile to get into this book. The story flips between the present and the past as the reader tries to figure out why Mira has been arrested and thrown into the Pit. The author slowly reveals what Mira knows but plenty of surprises occur and mysteries continue. This is a good start to this trilogy as the story will continue in book two, expected in 2018.

Visit Jodi Meadows’ website.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Invictus by Ryan Gaudin

“Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This book completely blew me away! I loved the Wolf By Wolf duology and this book was just as good. The reader thinks that they know where the story is going, only for Ms. Graudin to throw a well-placed loop and plotline change to drive the story even further. I loved the interaction between our main characters, the jumps through time and the mystery they are trying to solve. Readers will be quickly turning the pages to see how Invictus ends.

Visit Ryan Graudin’s website.

Monday, October 23, 2017

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

“Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I don’t think that I would have necessarily picked up this book if it hadn’t been sent to me in a subscription box I receive. I loved Isobel’s story. She is a tenacious heroine who stands by her convictions in the face of death. The slow burn romance was also a treat. I loved how the story flowed and you never really guessed exactly how it was going to end. With surprises along the way, readers will race to finish this stand-alone novel.

Visit Margaret Rogerson’s website.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This book is amazing!!! I listened to the audio version of the book and loved how each of the four main characters/”suspects” was presented by separated voices. The action kept me on the edge of my seat trying to guess who the liar was. Near the end, I was desperate to find time to finish the book and see how it ended.

Visit Karen M. McManus’s website.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ally by Anna Banks (Nemesis book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Nemesis, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“Princess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria have formed an uneasy truce between their kingdoms since the deadly plague began to rip through Theoria. Since their feelings for each other are entangled in politics and power, they must use their own trusted resources to find common ground.

But when traitors with powerful allies arise from unexpected places, Tarik and Sepora face challenges that will change both of their kingdoms forever. Will they learn whom to trust—including each other—in time to save their kingdoms, their relationship and even their lives?” - taken from Goodreads.com

Ally picks up immediately where Nemesis ended. The Quiet Plague is crippling Theoria and Tarik is at a loss on how to stop it. Now engaged to wed Sepora, Tarik is struggling to rule his kingdom and deal with Sepora’s personality. Sepora’s world also comes crashing down when she is betrayed. Without giving away too many details, the action is nonstop throughout this book. Readers will be hanging on to see how Tarik and Sepora survive all that is thrown at them. I raced through the second half just to see how this book finished.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.
For what she let happen.
With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when her and her friends' entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?” - taken from Goodreads.com
This isn’t your normal Jennifer Armentrout read. Yes, there is a sweet romance but the heart of the story is Lena’s journey of recovery after one bad choice. Not only is Lena’s recovery a physical one but an emotional one on many different levels. Readers won’t be able to put this book down to find out exactly what happens to Lena. Once again, JLA has written a great book.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fire Blood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Frost Blood, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“All hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust. The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I loved the first book in this series and was so happy that I didn’t have to wait a year for book two. Fire Blood picks up the action immediately following Frost Blood. I did find the first third to half a bit slow, the second half of this book more than makes up for it. Action packed with lots of secrets and questions answered fans will be eager to finish this trilogy in 2018 with Nightblood.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Warcross by Marie Lu (Warcross book 1)

Player Hunter Hacker Pawn

“For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I loved Lu’s Legend trilogy and Warcross is just as impressive. The worldbuilding that she creates is literally out of this world. Emika Chen is just as strong as June Iparis with a devastating background like Daniel “Day” Wing. Hideo Tanaka is the “boy” genius who created the worldwide obsession that is Warcross and made him rich and famous beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. He does harbor a dark secret but sparks fly between him and Emika early on.

This book is fast paced and unputdownable. A duology, eager fans will be clamoring for the second book after that heartbreaking, jaw-dropping ending. Book two is expected to be out in 2018.

Visit Marie Lu’s website.

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine (The Great Library book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Ink and Bone, and Paper and Fire, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“Words can kill.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny…

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library…” - taken from Goodreads.com

The stakes are even higher for Jess Brightwell and his friends as they attempt to bring down the Archivist and restore honor to the Great Library of Alexandria. Starting with the cliffhanger ending from Paper and Fire,  Jess and his friends find themselves as prisoners. Fans of the series find out with another cliffhanger ending, Ms. Caine is expanding what was once a trilogy into a five book series.

Book four is expected to be published in 2018.

Visit Rachel Caine’s website.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass book 6)

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

Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the series.


This is Chaol Westfall's story and it takes place during the same time frame as book five, Empire of Storms. Fans of this series will gain an in-depth view of what makes Chaol tick and drove his decisions in the previous books. Lots of new characters are introduced and information is learned that sets up the final book in this series.

The series is scheduled to conclude in 2018.

Visit Sarah J. Maas’ website.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno

“Lottie Reeves has always struggled with anxiety, and when her beloved Aunt Helen dies, Lottie
begins to fear that her own unexpected death might be waiting around every corner.

Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best–selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers.

In her will, she leaves one last writing project—just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions designed to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Soon, Lottie’s trying some writing of her own, leaping off cliffs, and even falling for a boy she’s only just met. Then the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series. Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice, one that will force her to confront her greatest fear once and for all.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Lottie Reaves is dealing with the death of her beloved aunt Helen, the best-selling, well-known author of a series of children’s books about an immortal brother and sister. (Aunt Helen, think J.K. Rowling famous!) With her high school graduation looming, Lottie suffers from severe anxiety and only her best friend Em and Helen know. After the funeral, the family meets with Helen’s lawyer for the reading of her will. Leaving personal effects behind for her family, everyone is shocked when Helen leaves Lottie a series of letters with very specific directions. As Lottie opens each letter, she finds that her aunt wanted to push her out of her comfort zone as well as divulge a huge secret that she had carried around for years. Lottie soon meets the mysterious Sam, who is also devastated over Helen’s death and has a secret of his own. Interspersed with scenes from Helen’s novels, readers will travel along with Lottie as she mourns her aunt’s death.

Visit Katrina Leno’s website.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

“Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.” - taken from Goodreads.com


I don’t know why it has taken me so long to read/listen to a Morgan Matson book. I had heard great things about Amy & Roger's Epic Detour but they didn’t do the book justice. Amy Currie is still reeling from her father’s death a few short months earlier. Her twin brother Charlie is in North Carolina at a drug rehab and her mother has taken a job in Connecticut. Amy was left behind in California to finish out her school year. With money tight, her mother decides that a family friend’s son can drive their car and Amy across the country. Amy is not too thrilled with the prospect of four days with a total stranger but she has no choice. When Roger Sullivan comes to her house to start their trip, it isn’t too long before the two decide to deviate from Mrs. Currie’s plans and head off on their own.


As they travel across the country, Amy and Roger begin to fight and heal from their own inner demons. An epic road trip ensues as readers discover what exactly happened when Amy’s father died.

Visit Morgan Matson’s website.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott (Court of Fives book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Court of Fives and Poisoned Blade , Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Choose between your parents.
Choose between your friends.
Choose between your lovers.
Choose who you are.

On the run from the murderous King Nikonos, Jessamy must find a way for her beloved Kalliarkos to take his rightful place on the throne. Only then can he end the oppression of the Commoners by their long time Patron overlords. But Kal's rise to power is fraught with manipulation and shocking decisions that make Jes question everything they promised each other. As their relationship frays and Jes's family and friends beg her for help, will she cast Kal and her Patron heritage aside? Will she finally join—even lead—the rebellion that had been burning among the Commoners for years? - taken from B&N.com

This book was a fantastic ending to the trilogy. Heartbreaking yet hopeful, Jes realizes what role she must play, even if it means betraying Kal. Kal must also decide what path his future will follow. Fans of the Court of Fives trilogy will not be disappointed by this final installment.

Bright Thrones - companion novella

“Bettany has always been an outsider in her family: the angry one, the wild one, the daughter who refused to accept the dominance of her Patron father’s people over her Commoner mother’s. When her family is torn apart by a vengeful lord, Bettany makes a dangerous choice to accompany their household servants being transported to the mines, hoping she can keep them from suffering a fate worse than death. Their only chance lies with a stuffy foreign doctor who may be able to help them escape, but can Bettany trust him? Her instincts tell her there is much more to this man than meets the eye.

Find out what happened to Jessamy’s missing twin sister in this beautifully written Court of Fives companion novella!” - taken from Goodreads.com

I wish that Buried Heart had addressed Bettany more, but this short story does give her version of the events that transpired in Poisoned Blade.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lucky In Love by Kasie West

“Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?” - taken from Goodreads.com

I LOVE Kasie West’s book. The romance is always so sweet between the main characters. I don’t know if my problem was that I read a similar book about a female lottery winner from another one of my favorite romance writers, Jennifer E. Smith’s Windfall, just six weeks earlier but it did take me awhile to get into the groove of this book. Although both books are about how life changes after a major lottery win, Lucky In Love, is told from winner’s point of view as she deals with her sudden influx of money. Once I really got into the story, I just couldn’t put it down.

Visit Kasie West’s website.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, The Girl at Midnight and The Shadow Hour, Stop! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite stories for you.

“The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.”

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed . . . right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.“ - taken from Goodreads.com

Readers will be unable to put down this epic conclusion to what I see as an underrated series. The ultimate battle has begun between, good and evil, dark and light, Avicen and Drakharin. Echo is determined to stop Tanith’s power play once and for all. Guided by her love for her friends, the final showdown between the two is not only satisfying but heart-breaking as well  A definite recommendation for fantasy lovers everywhere.

Visit Melissa Grey’s website.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (Monsters of Verity book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, This Savage Song, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Check out Book Series Recaps for refresher on the first book.

“THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims' inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?” - taken from Goodreads.com

Things get darker for August and Kate as they attempt to take back Verity from Sloan and his monsters. But when a new monster comes upon the scene that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen, Kate and August, as well as his family, will have to learn to work together to stop it in its path. Readers will be turning the pages to see how this story ends.