It's Monday! What are you reading (67)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:







Bite Club by Rachel Caine (Review)
Last Breath by Rachel Caine (Early Review)
Death Magic by Eileen Wilks (Early Review)
Magic on the Line by Devon Monk (Early Review)

I love the Morganville Vampires, and I have to say that Last Breath was incredible, probably the best installment yet. (I had some issues with Bite Club, but that is all forgotten now.)

Death Magic by Eileen Wilks just didn't live up to the previous books in the series. I'm still holding out hope for the future, because the series is really great.

Finally, Magic on the Line was a really great read. The series is winding down, and I'm really going to miss these great characters.

My Upcoming List:

I, Robot: To Protect by Mickey Zucker Reichert
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (Early Review)
Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh (Early Review)

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Magic on the Line (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Magic on the Line by Devon Monk
Allie Beckstrom #7



Allison Beckstrom has willingly paid the price of pain to use magic, and has obeyed the rules of the Authority, the clandestine organization that makes-and enforces-all magic policy. But when the Authority's new boss, Bartholomew Wray, refuses to believe that the sudden rash of deaths in Portland might be caused by magic, Allie must choose to follow the Authority's rules, or turn against the very people for whom she's risked her life.

To stop the plague of dark magic spreading through the city, all that she values will be on the line: her magic, her memories, her life. Now, as dead magic users rise to feed upon the innocent and the people closest to her begin to fall, Allie is about to run out of options.



Allie has played the good little soldier as best she could despite not ever really knowing who to trust in the all controlling Authority. She and a few others have formed a tight bond that has proven unbreakable in the past. However, if the new leader of the Authority has his way, they all will be mindless and incapable of  using any magic. So, it comes really at no surprise when he simply ignores the plague of magical deaths sweeping across the city. She, and those closest to her will have to lay everything on the line to try and protect the innocent people of the city, because no one else will.

I should have known things wouldn't be any easier even though Allie and the gang now know who was behind all the chaos in the past. In Magic on the Line there is a serious case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. The new leader of the Authority doesn't believe a word they say and is determined to clean up their "mess". Never mind that none of it was their fault, they are just in his way, as he proves when he removes them all one by one in exchange for his own flunkies. The joke is on him however, as I just don't see him lasting long in direct opposition to Allie and her friends. Of course she'll play nice at first, but it won't take long for her to snap, and she's proven time and time again that you really don't want to mess with her. So, while there wasn't a whole lot of butt kicking action in Magic on the Line, I have a feeling Allie will more than make up for that as her frustrations boil over, and the reader will just be along for the ride in the next book. 

Magic on the Line opened up a whole new depth to the world behind the series. Prior to this point, I, like Allie, had thought the Authority was a small organization with only a few select members in any given city. Boy, how wrong were we both! Sufice it to say that it is much, much larger, with reaches that are quite staggering. Typically, by this point in a series, you wouldn't expect such a surprise based on the world end of things. By throwing this game changer in there, and pulling it off well, Devon Monk proves yet again just how talented of an author she really is. 

Magic on the line is the seventh installment in a nine book series, so things are on their final stretch now. I'm going to be really sad to say goodbye, but I'll be honest that I am also incredibly eager to get my hands on the next two installments. Things really ended in a major mess at the end of this book, and I can only imagine the wild ride that must be in store to try and set things right. The implications of where things are heading have the potential to impact an incredible amount. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how much longer the Authority will be able to stay hidden in secret. I'm very excited about this possibility because nothing could make Allie (or me) happier than to see them crumble. I guess we will just have to wait and see. *crosses fingers* So, all in all, Magic on the Line was a fantastic read that will grab you from the very start and not let go, making it yet another installment that proves this fantastic series won't be losing steam before its time.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






Pre-order from Amazon:
Magic on the Line: An Allie Beckstrom Novel

Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Magic on the Bone
  2. Magic in the Blood
  3. Magic in the Shadows
  4. Magic on the Storm
  5. Magic at the Gate
  6. Magic on the Hunt
Challenge Categories:

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Death Magic (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl


Death Magic by Eileen Wilks
World of the Lupi #8

DEATH MAGIC opens with Special Agent Lily Yu in Washington, D.C. with her fiancĂ©--lupi prince Rule Turner—to testify before a Senate subcommittee about her role in the magical collapse of a mountain last month. She is not there to tell them about the strange legacy she carries from that event—or about the arcane bond between her and Rule--or what her boss in Unit Twleve of the FBI’s Magical Crimes Division is really up to. She sure won’t tell them that the lupi are at war with an Old One who wants to remake humanity in her own image.

Lily is managing the conflict between her duty as an officer of the law and the need for secrecy pretty well . . . until the rabidly anti-magic senator who chairs that committee is murdered. The line between right and wrong, always so clear to her, becomes hopelessly blurred as events catapult them all towards disaster, and prophecies of a cataclysmic end to the country she loves and serves--and to the entire race of lupi--seem well on their way to being fulfilled.

Lily has been able to walk the fine line between her duty as a cop and to her lupi obligations pretty well for the most part. Until now. After a zealot senator is murdered, and her boss becomes the prime suspect, she's no longer able to see things as black and white. Her eyes are opened up to all the many shades of gray, and all the trouble that comes from that. No longer can she easily choose right from wrong as everything she has ever known is now in question. She has some hard decisions ahead that she must make quickly as much more than she realizes relies on her decision, as the fate of the world is truly in the balance.

Death Magic didn't quite live up to the previous installments. Don't get me wrong, it was still quite enjoyable, but not to the extent the past few books have been. Things really seemed to drag, especially in the middle, to the point where I kept getting easily distracted by other things rather than being completely engrossed. To be honest I'm not really sure why Death Magic couldn't hold my attention. Perhaps it was because, while the danger was there it was only in an abstract sense. There was talk of a prediction of a cataclysmic event in the near future that would crumble the government and end in militant control. So while everyone was scrambling to prevent this from happening, there never was a clear sense of what they had to do to prevent it. This just didn't make the danger feel real enough, so I just wasn't able to become fully vested in their endeavors this time around.

In the past the books in this series have been every bit as much about romance between the different couples as it was the overall plot and series arc. However, in Death Magic there was hardly any focus on romance at, which I really missed. Yes, Lily and Rule were front and center this time around, but the attention really wasn't on them as a couple, but more on everything else. Perhaps it isn't even the romance per se that I was missing, but the emotion that comes with it. Rule and Lily are both characters that keep themselves very closed off, except with each other. So by not having them really interacting a lot in private, we missed out on a good deal of emotion, which could be another reason I felt so detached this time around. That being said, there was one emotion that came across plain and clear from Rule, anger. For a good portion of this book I had thought he would spontaneously combust, but at least he was able to learn something from that anger in the end, making for some very good character growth.

While I cannot say that Death Magic was my favorite installment of the series, I'm still glad I read it. Several pressing issues from previous books have been dealt with, as well as countless more developments for the future. The war is only going to get uglier from here with losses on both sides. Here's hoping it will be the other side that gets hit worst in the end. I'll be looking forward to the next book to see where things are heading.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





Pre-order from Amazon:
Death Magic (Lupi)

Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Tempting Danger
  2. Mortal Danger
  3. Blood Lines
  4. Night Season
  5. Mortal Sins
  6. Blood Magic
  7. Blood Challenge
Challenge Categories:

Last Breath (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Last Breath by Rachel Caine
Morganville Vampires #11




With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town-a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville's latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn't merely human. But is he a vampire-or something else entirely?





Things never get a chance to calm down in Morganville as it seems like one crisis after another arises. The last few installments have proved that. However, now vampires are going missing, and it doesn't seem like the "rebels" are to blame this time. His very being permeates evil and he's been the last one seem with some of the missing. Yet it seems as if Claire is the only one who can see him. With the town's vampires acting quite strange, she may be the their only hope, but at what cost?

There was a slight change in the way this book was narrated from previous installments. In Bite Club there were times when we would get a direct view into Shane's head and that really helped the reader get a better idea of the whole picture. In Last Breath, Rachel Caine took that idea one step further and added in a few chapters with perspectives other than Claires. Amelie, Shane, Michael and Eve all get a little time showing their side of things. I particularly liked getting into Amelie's head as it shows a lot of her inner struggle. She's always going to do what she thinks is best for her people, no matter the cost. However, that look into her head showed how much of a struggle it was for her to make those sacrifices and hard choices. She really isn't quite the cold creature she seems to be. 

After the slight let down of the last installment, I had high hopes for redemption in Last Breath. I got what I asked for and then some as Last Breath completely blew my socks off. Things started off somewhat sedately, and built so steadily until the pressure almost snuck up on me as it boiled over. It is a wonder that I have any fingernails left after that nail biting read that kept me on the edge of my seat. You would think after reading the past ten installments, there wouldn't be much room for surprise, but Last Breath was one big shocker after another. One of the biggest being the answer to a long standing question: Why would vampires build their town in the middle of a desert when the sun is so deadly to them? This complex addition to the world building was pulled off brilliantly, adding a horrific twist to things that I never could have seen coming.

While the nonstop action was heart pounding, the utter depth of raw emotion was what really cemented this as the very best of the series. The highs are so high that you feel like you are soaring right along with the characters. As for the lows, well lets just say devastation has never been more aptly portrayed. Anger, fear, loss, betrayal, jealousy, love, and desperation, all play huge roles in Last Breath. But the one emotion that stands above it all is hope, and nothing is stronger than that. To be able to feel such hope after everything that happens in this book is nothing short of amazing, and it made Last Breath a truly phenomenal read. I highly recommend setting aside a solid block of time to read this book, as once started, it will be impossible to set down. You won't want to miss this utterly captivating book that will leave you breathless in the end. Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






Pre-order from Amazon:
Last Breath: The Morganville Vampires

Other Reviews:
Previous Books
  1. Glass Houses
  2. Dead Girls Dance
  3. Midnight Alley
  4. Feast of Fools
  5. Lord of Misrule
  6. Carpe Corpus
  7. Fade Out
  8. Kiss of Death
  9. Ghost Town
  10. Bite Club
Challenge Categories:

Want to Meet Rachel?

To celebrate the release of LAST BREATH, the 11th book in the New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampires series, Rachel Caine is throwing a “Welcome to Morganville Bash” in a city near you!

Readers who purchase books at the store will be eligible to win free raffle bags filled with notebooks, pencils, vampire swag, books and other cool Penguin gear goodies!

There will also be free goodies for everyone who attends.

Come to the bookstore, meet RACHEL CAINE, have your books signed, and participate in a raffle drawing to receive cool prizes!
Wednesday, November 2nd
MURDER BY THE BOOK
2342 Bissonett Street
Houston, TX 77005
6:30 PM

Thursday, November 3rd
BARNES & NOBLE #2662
Oakview Mall
3333 Oakview Drive
Omaha, NE 68144
7 PM
*w/ Chloe Neill

Saturday, November 5th
VEGAS VALLEY BOOK FESTIVAL
Historic Fifth Street School
401 S. 4th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
ALL DAY

Sunday, November 6th
BARNES & NOBLE #2614
Roseville
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113
2 PM
*w/ Chloe Neill and Andrea Cremer

Monday, November 7th
BARNES & NOBLE #2808
5275 Harvery Street
Muskegon, MI 49444
7 PM

Tuesday, November 8th
BARNES & NOBLE #2086
301 Main Street
Exton, PA 19341
6 PM

Wednesday, November 9th
BARNES & NOBLE #2908
3454 Erie Boulevard East
Dewitt, NY 13214
7 PM

Saturday, November 12th
BARNES & NOBLE #2344
861 NE Mall Blvd
Hurst, TX 76053
3 PM

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Waiting on Wednesday (66)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Shatter Me - Shatter Me #1
by Tahereh Mafi
Publication Date: November 15th, 2011
Amazon Pre-Order: Shatter Me

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

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Bite Club

, by Kt Clapsadl

Bite Club by Rachel Caine
Morganville Vampires #10




After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...




Even vampires make mistakes. This is a lesson everyone in Morganville learns hard in this latest installment. Past decisions come back to bite them all in the rear end, as issues that should have been resolved have not been. Someone has started a new extreme fighting ring, pitting humans against vampires in the ultimate bloody showdown. Things hit closer to home than Claire could have ever realized when Shane starts slipping through her fingers and becomes the latest target. She'll have to convince him to get out before it's too late, or not even her status with the founder will be able to save him.

I cannot count the number of times I wanted to reach into this book and strangle Shane. I had always thought he and Claire made a really great couple as they seemed to balance each other out. In Ghost Town due to some crazy circumstances, he forgot who she was, and while that almost broke my heart, it didn't make me want to lose my faith in them. However, In Bite Club, while not all of Shane's actions are under his control, he still makes some really horrible choices that could ruin things permanently. I would find it a whole lot easier to forgive and forget if we weren't shown the scenes from his perspective at times. These sections showed him being aware of his actions and yet continuing to make those horrible choices. It really is going to take a whole lot for me to have faith in him again, yet I still hope he can somehow redeem himself in future books.

I was more than a little annoyed at how slow on the uptake everyone was in this book. I do realize the reader was given more information than the characters were, but it still took much too long for everyone to realize something was seriously wrong with Shane. Then, it took even longer to put everything together and realize that it was so much bigger than just the problems with him. A lot of the events in this book could have been easily prevented if the vampires were even just slightly less arrogant. At this point the only one other than Michael that is worth even remotely trusting at all is Myrnin, and that is saying a whole lot, as you are putting your life in his hands anytime you get near him. You really have to be careful around that fun, but seriously crazy vampire.

I couldn't help but to be a little disappointed with this latest installment in the Morganvile Vampires series. Don't get me wrong, the writing was still superb, and the pacing was great. However I was so frustrated at all of the characters that I just couldn't get into it as much as I have in the previous books. With the mess that Shane is in, and the rest of the gang's cluelessness, as well as the vampire's general arrogance and I found myself more frustrated then the enthralled I normally am while reading books in this series. That being said, the book is still pretty good, and fans won't want to miss it as some pretty big revelations and decisions are made that have me very much looking forward to the next installment.
Rating:





Buy now at Amazon:
Bite Club (Morganville Vampires, Book 10)

Other Reviews
Previous Books
  1. Glass Houses
  2. Dead Girls Dance
  3. Midnight Alley
  4. Feast of Fools
  5. Lord of Misrule
  6. Carpe Corpus
  7. Fade Out
  8. Kiss of Death
  9. Ghost Town
Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
YA
Vampire 

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It's Monday! What are you reading (66)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:





The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams (Early Review)
Courting Darkness by Yasmine Galenorn (Early Review)
The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper (Early Review)
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (Early Review)

The Shadow Reader was a great debut that involves the Fae. I love reading about the Fae. They are so tricky :)

Courting Darkness was another great installment in the Sisters of the Otherworld series. It is quite dark, but there also is light and character growth.

The Doomsday Vault is definitely for you if you're a steampunk fan. I'm still wetting my toes in the genre, but it was a fun read.

Finally, Drink Deep. I was so desperate to get my hands on this book, and I'm so glad it was everything I could have hoped for. You'll just have to read it to find out why ;)

My Upcoming List:

Bite Club by Rachel Caine 
Last Breath by Rachel Caine (Early Review)
Death Magic by Eileen Wilks (Early Review)
Magic on the Line by Devon Monk (Early Review)

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Drink Deep (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Drink Deep by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires #5

Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven't been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.

That's when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.

Chicago's mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She'll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who's behind this, and stop them before it's too late for vampires and humans alike.

Merit should have known she wouldn't get a chance to fully come to terms with her loss before being thrust into the middle of another crisis. The humans in general are becoming more of a problem as they try to pass a registration act for all paranormals. Fuel is only added to the fire as Lake Michigan and the rivers turn completely black and stop flowing. Of course, the vampires are the first to be blamed as protesters come out in leagues. Merit will have to step up to get to the bottom of things before the tensions boil over, or her grief will be the least of her worries.

Drink Deep picked up two months after the ending events of Hard Bitten, and Merit is still in a staggering state of grief. Yet she is slowly trying to pick up the pieces and move forward the best that she can. She seemed to be making progress, but every so often the loss would overcome her and she breaks completely down. It is the fact that she continues to pick up the pieces and muster on that shows her true strength in character. Everyone of course has their own opinion about how she should be dealing, with some wanting to hurry her on, and others trying to hold her back. One character in particular incredibly infuriated me when they questioned whether or not Merit was respecting Ethan's memory. I just don't think it is anyone's right to tell her when it is time to fully move on, and Merit definitely felt the same way. Even so, Merit was able to see outside her own hurt to keep her duty to the others of her house as they are in that same state of grieving. It would have been so easy for her to forget that she wasn't the only one who lost something, but she never once did, making her truly admirable. They always say "A person's true character is defined in their darkest hour," and there can be no fault found with Merit.

The actual danger and plot of Drink Deep was a pretty much a giant wild goose chase. It was a massive case of pointing fingers, and Merit was generally led in circles as she tried to get to the bottom of things. The end result left me more than a little shocked, even though looking back I realize that I should have seen things coming. However, what made the actual build up the most interesting was the whole new depth to the supernatural world that we are introduced to in this book. Things were so much simpler back when there were only vampires, but then again simple is rarely interesting. I am eager to see where these new developments lead, and what new dangers they may possess.

The events of this book will have many political ramifications in the future, but in Drink Deep, they were merely set up. With the absurdity of the receiver placed upon Cadogan house, as well as the relations with humans, the political side of things will more than likely play a larger role than ever before in future installments, something I am both eager, yet nervous to see. While there was much grieving in Drink Deep, the overall theme of the book seemed to be hope. This honestly surprised me as I couldn't imagine how there could really be any other emotion than devastation and other negative feelings. Yet trust, hope, compassion, and even the potential for love all play their parts. This proves Chloe Neill knows how to write a well rounded book full of emotional depth that will easily suck the reader into Merit's world. While there wasn't really a cliffhanger ending, if you are anything like me, you will already be looking forward to the next installment and what the future may hold. All I can say is bravo to Chloe Neill for once again making my presumptions of what was to come be thrown out the window, making for a completely unpredictable read that left me more than satisfied.

(Received a copy from the publisher) 


Rating:






Pre-order from Amazon:
Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 5)

Other Reviews:
     The Midnight Garden
     Rex Robot Reviews
Previous Books:
     1. Some Girls Bite
     2. Friday Night Bites
     3. Twice Bitten
     4. Hard Bitten
Challenge Categories:
     Outdo Yourself
     Horror and Urban Fantasy
     Vampire

Want to see Chloe in person?

Thursday, November 3rd
BARNES & NOBLE
Oakview Mall
3333 Oakview Drive
Omaha, NE 68144
402-691-4557 (phone)
7 PM
Meet Rachel Caine & Chloe Neill!


Sunday, November 6th
BARNES & NOBLE
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113
(651)-639-9256 phone
2 PM
Meet Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, and Andrea Cremer (author of the Nightshade series)!


Come to the bookstore, meet the authors, have your books signed, and participate in a raffle drawing to receive cool prizes!


The Doomsday Vault (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper
Clockwork Empire #1






In a clockwork Brittania, Alice's prospects are slim. At 21, her age and her unladylike interest in automatons have sealed her fate as an undesirable marriage prospect. But a devastating plague sends Alice off in a direction beyond the pale-towards a clandestine organization, mad inventors, life-altering secrets, and into the arms of an intrepid fiddle-playing airship pilot.






Alice's life has been slowly deteriorating since the Plague struck her family hard. She lost her mother and brother to the clockwork plague, and then several years later, her fiance as well. So now everyone treats her like a pariah. At 21 she is already long past the prime age for a desirable marriage, and her love of automatons has even further outcast her. In a last ditch effort to save her family's honor she goes to one last ball to try and snag a fiance. This sets in a chain of events that will forever change her life as she gets thrown into a world of secrecy and finds an attraction in a man who would make a very unlikely match. 

It took me a little while to really get into The Doomsday Vault as the beginning was a little confusing. Things took a turn for the better when the two story lines came together as Alice and Gavin meet. Prior to that point, I was a little unsure as to what the two different story lines had to do with each other. However, as time went on and they interacted together, I started to enjoy things a lot more. Perhaps that was because I finally had something to root for as their attraction grew, as before that I didn't have an attachment to their struggles. I enjoy reading the struggle and conflict these two faced as they tried to make decisions the best they could, even if it kept them apart. I've always been drawn to a story with mismatched couples with plenty of obstacles in their path.

This was my second foray into Steampunk, and to be honest I still have mixed feelings about the genre.  The first had more of a western feel, while The Doomsday Vault was more Elizabethan. Both times I ended up enjoying the book in the end, but the large learning curve and past setting lessened my enjoyment. So while things have turned out okay overall, I still think I prefer books with a modern setting, as things like propriety, class status, and titles drive me a little batty. I realize those things were a major part of the time period, but it gets a little monotonous after a while. I guess it is a really good thing I didn't live during that time period. However, putting that all aside, the world behind The Doomsday Vault was quite intriguing. The plague that is the root of the world as they know it, not only kills, but also can give great gifts as well. Although the ones with the gifts, known as clockmakers, only receive the gifts of brilliance for a short while as eventually the plague claims them as well. Even so, almost all major innovation can be laid at their feat, which I found to be a really interesting twist on things, as who would expect a deadly disease to cause so much good.

While The Doomsday Vault didn't quite hold my attention as much as other books, I still was pretty entertained, and will come back for more when the next installment is released. There was enough of a build up and teaser for more, that I am very curious to see what happens next. So, while it didn't have a cliffhanger ending in the truest sense, there was still plenty enough left unsettled to leave me wanting more. Considering my feelings for this genre, that was no small feat, making The Doomsday Vault pretty impressive in the end. If you enjoy the steampunk genre, or even books set in the Elizabethan time period that have a little fantasy mixed in, then The Doomsday Vault should be a solid read.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





Pre-order from Amazon:
The Doomsday Vault: A Novel of the Clockwork Empire

Other Reviews:
Challenge Categories:

Courting Darkness (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Courting Darkness by Yasmine Galenorn
Sisters of the Otherworld #10

We're the D'Artigo sisters: sexy, savvy ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae means our powers go haywire at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah is a Death Maiden and werecat who belongs to the Autumn Lord. My sister Menolly is a vampire who's dating a gorgeous werepuma, and the godfather of the undead-set. And me? I'm Camille, Priestess of the Moon Mother, married to a dragon, a youkai, and a Svartan. But my dragon father-in-law has decided that he doesn't like having me for a member of the family...

It's Winter Solstice, and Aeval welcomes me into her Court of Darkness. With Morio still dangerously weak from his injuries and Vanzir alive only thanks to my silence, the thought of training under Morgaine doesn't seem as daunting as it did. But then, Hyto returns to shatter my life. Captured and swept off to the Dragon Reaches, can I manage to stay alive long enough to escape, even as Smoky's father intends to break my spirit, then my body?

Things were really starting to look up for Camile. She's more in love then ever with her triad of husbands, now that Morio is on the mend, and the other two are home safe with her, well as safe as they can be considering the war. Even her upcoming training with Morgaine doesn't bother her as much anymore. All that changes when she is captured by Smoky's father, who is bent on vengence. He plans to break her mind, body, and soul slowly in the most horrific ways possible. She knows she must hold on to hope with every last shred, but how long can she really hang on with what she is about to face?

Not once in this entire series has the danger been as real and horrific as it was in Courting Darkness. In the author's note at the end she talks about how the story was dark, but that it had to be that way due to Hyto's nature. I completely agree with her, especially since he is by far the sickest thing the sisters have faced. That's really saying something when you look back over everything that has happened. My heart was pounding for the entire book and I literally cringed everytime Hyto came around. However, it isn't all dark as we got to see just how strong Camile is. What she withstands is nothing short of remarkable, but what is even more impressive is her character growth in the end. She learns that she can't always be the rock and that sometimes its okay to lean on others for support. In the past she has always taken on the heaviest burdens, but now I see her sharing some of that with the others, making the group only stronger in the end. The more these sisters grow and mature, the greater a force the become to be reckoned with. I know I wouldn't want to be on their bad side.

Courting Darkness, like all of Camille's books, comes jammed packed with sensuality. (Who can blame her as she has three incredibly sexy men for husbands!) It's always entertaining to watch them all struggle to get along and make things work, as each man is very different. Of course the focus in this book was mostly on Smoky due to the circumstances. I really enjoyed the closer look into his life. As a dragon he is so very territorial and quick to anger, yet his devotion to Camile is incredible. To see such a powerful being practically bow down before her is quite amazing. Despite his extreme reaction to certain events, I found myself falling even more for him, so that he is probably my favorite of her husbands.

With each new installment in this series, my favorite sister always seems to shift to whose ever turn it is to narrate. I think this really shows how talented Yasmine Galenorn is as she is able to make the reader fall for each sister over and over again. They all have their own unique "voice," and the variety really ratchets the enjoyment factor tenfold. As always, the ending left me satisfied yet more than hungry for more. So, make sure you don't miss Courting Darkness as it is yet another great installment in this stellar series.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






Pre-order from Amazon:
Courting Darkness (Otherworld)

Previous Books:
  1. Witchling
  2. Changeling
  3. Darkling
  4. Dragon Wytch
  5. Night Huntress
  6. Demon Mistress
  7. Bone Magic
  8. Harvest Hunting
  9. Blood Wyne
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Waiting on Wednesday (65)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Crossed - Matched #2
by Ally Condie
Publication Date: November 1st, 2011
Amazon Pre-Order: Crossed (Matched)


In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

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The Shadow Reader (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
McKenzie Lewis #1


There can only be one allegiance. It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

McKenzie has a secret, she can see the fae and track their paths. The rest of humanity thinks she is crazy, as she talks to invisible people that others cannot see. For ten years she's worked for the king, by locating the rebels, but she's had just about enough. All she wants is a little normalcy to be able to finish her degree. Her love for Kyol is the only thing that has been holding her back, even if the king has forbidden relations between fae and humans. Then everything changes when she is captured by the rebel Aren. He slowly opens her eyes to what her blinders wouldn't let her see before. As she slides down a very slippery slope, McKenzie will have a tough path ahead of her once she chooses which side to trust. There won't be any going back after this.

By all rights I shouldn't have been able to stand McKenzie as her behavior for most of the book seemed incredibly immature, but somehow I found myself really liking her in the end. She's terribly naive, and stubborn as a mule, but also extremely loyal, if not blindly so. Even her being torn in a love triangle didn't make me want to run for the hills like that type of romance usually does. Perhaps that is because it was less about angst, and more about growth and letting go of childish illusions to make the best choice she can for herself. There were a lot of reasons for her initial immaturity, but as her eyes were slowly opened, we got to see glimpses at her iron strength that really shines in the end. I found myself wanting to cheer for her as she learned to make those hard decisions, and I can't wait to see where the path leads her next.

There were a few things that kept me from giving The Shadow Reader a perfect rating. While the world behind the book was very intriging, I couldn't help feeling like a fish out of water as I tried to figure things out. A lot of books go overboard with info dumps as things are being set up, but in this case, a little more information would have really gone a long way. I'm still not entirely sure what some of the terms mean, and I wish there had of been a glossary at the end for reference. Also, another thing that frustrated me was the multiple names each character had. It just made the story a little harder to follow, and kept me from being completely sucked in. However, I do think future books will be much better in that aspect now that I have a little better handle of things.

While the ending of The Shadow Reader wasn't a cliffhanger, things were left more than open enough for plenty more, making for my favortite type of ending. I love that sense of satisfaction coupled with the promise for the future, and this book definitely hit that nail on the head. All in all The Shadow Reader was a very solid debut novel that gave me a solid block of entertainment. The world and characters are quite compelling, making for a very enjoyable read. Fans of urban fantasy won't want to miss this great new addition to the genre.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





Pre-order from Amazon:
The Shadow Reader

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It's Monday! What are you reading (65)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:






Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Review)
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead (Review)
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Review)
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa (Early Review)

Tada :)

My Upcoming List:

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams (Early Review)
Courting Darkness by Yasmine Galenorn (Early Review)
The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper (Early Review)
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (Early Review)

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