Early Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

, by Kt Clapsadl

Taken by Erin Bowman
Taken #1

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

In Claysoot boys are forced to grow up at a very young age. They become leaders at the age of 15 and must father children as young as possible for their time is very limited. Each one, on the night of their 18th birthday is Heisted, and disappears forever. There's no escaping the heist as a wall encircles the town and anyone who tries to escape doen't come back alive. It's a fact of life, one most of the residents of Claysoot have accepted. But Gray is different. He questions everything, so when he finds a mysterious letter from his mother claiming that he isn't what he thought he was, he goes in search of answers. What he finds is shocking, and only leaves more questions than answers. He'll have to decide what's worse, the wall and the secrets beyond it, or the unknown of the Heist.

When this book took off on a whirlwind and was pulling at my heartstrings in the very first chapter, I thought to myself, "This is going to be an awesome book!" And it was for the first part. TAKEN is split into four parts, and I have to say that things just seemed to go steadily downhill after the first one. I mean in the beginning there's all this mystery going on and you could really feel the incredibly harsh situations that have been forced upon the people of Claysoot. Boys are forced to become men long before they are of age as they have to pass on their genes before they are taken away at 18. There is no monogamy, only "slatings" with a different girl each month. Children never remember their fathers as they are heisted long before the child is old enough. As much as they hate the hand they've been dealt, they've come to accept it. Anyone who tries to escape over the wall surrounding claysoot comes back a charred husk. So for the first part of the book I was so wrapped up in figuring out what was going, that I was completely enthralled in the book. Then part two happens, and honestly it really let me down. The revelations given were so obviously false, I just couldn't comprehend how these characters were so naive. It really seemed out of character for them to just instantly accept things as truth when they questioned things so much before. I mean what happened to their rebellious nature? I won't get into part three and four to avoid spoiling anything, but to me it just felt like a cookie cutter dystopian rebellion.

Now onto the romance. In the first part of TAKEN, I felt it was handled pretty well. Gray has loved Emma for as long as he can remember, even though love isn't something that happens in Claysoot. Emma of course doesn't want anything to do with him as she sees his brash nature as a flaw. But she does come around when he makes an honest offer to pretend to complete the "slatings" with her to get others off her back. Neither wants a child, so she's pretty impressed and changes her opinion of him. I did feel like it happened a little too quickly, but then again in their situation, time isn't something they have a lot of, so it would make sense to quickly let go of past perceptions. Of course by part two they are madly in LOVE and practically desperate for one another, even if nothing has really happened. Then hijinks occur and they get separated, possibly for good. And of course, now another girl must enter the picture, which frustrated me to no end. Don't get me wrong I actually really like the new girl, but I just didn't care for the way the triangle progressed. I just don't think it was really fair to her, especially when you consider some of Gray's later actions. I know I shouldn't expect Gray to know how to really handle relationship turmoil considering he's never seen it nor experienced it, but I still was pretty frustrated with him by the end. Love triangles are very hit or miss for me, and this time around it's definitely a miss.

I have to say that TAKEN wasn't a terrible book, just more frustrating than anything. Most of those frustrations stem from the fact that the last 3/4 did not even remotely live up to the incredible opening. I just felt really let down after those high expectations were set. When it comes down to it, for a book to be really good, the revelations have to be as strong as the mystery itself, otherwise I'm just left wondering what was the point. And TAKEN unfortunately is one of those cases.

(Received a copy from Edelweiss)



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Let's Talk With Smash & Kt (22)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Welcome to the Let’s Talk weekly discussion meme!

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses.This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let's Talk!   
We'd love to hear any ideas you have for questions. Submit them Here.  

Before we get into this week's question, I want to announce the winners of the Let's Talk question call out contest from last month:

The winner of the Box of the ARCs is Shirley From Creative Deeds! 

The winner of the Book Depository Book (up to $15) is Na S.

This week's question:

Does your family approve of blogging and reading so much? How do you compromise when they object? (Thank you Maryam/Books Glorious Books)

Yes and no. My mom is super supportive and loves that I have found something for ME as being a stay at home mother did get rather lonely at times before I found something I could do to interact with other ADULTS. She's also joined in the fun and reads a lot things along with me, so it's fun to have someone to share reading with. In fact, my hubby joined as well in his own way, with audiobooks on his drive. My poor dad is left in confusion when the three of us have debates over characters or book events, etc. It's rather amusing.

However, me being on the computer all the time does bother the hubby. He likes me to watch the TV with him, so it feels like I'm directly spending time with him, even though I can't stand TV. But I've gotten really good at using my subconscious to pay attention to his shows while I'm on my laptop so that when he laughs or makes a comment, I have a general idea of what is going on, so I can "fake" it. Lol. I will say that he has gotten much better at not griping at me for computer time since I started with Entangled, as he realizes that I'm gonna have to be on the computer. That being said I don't think he will ever understand my panics when I'm pressed for time to get a review done. I realize my "deadlines" are self-imposed, but they are important to me. He just looks at it like it isn't a job, and doesn't pay me, so don't worry about it. While that is true, I like having things planned out and sticking to my schedule. Also, blogging is what led me to working for Entangled, so in the long run you could really say that blogging did wind up "paying" me. ;)

Kirsten Reviews: Vampire Miami by Phil Tucker

, by Kt Clapsadl

Vampire Miami by Phil Tucker
The Human Revolt #1 

Five years ago, the war ended and Miami was given to the vampires. Five years ago, the US turned its back on those trapped behind the Wall – and life in the vampire kingdom has degenerated into a grisly struggle for survival.

When naive and impulsive Selah Brown leaves Brooklyn to search for her father in the dead heart of the vampire city, she discovers that nothing is as it was explained to the American public—and her search is subverted into a quest to expose the truth before the horrors of the city can claim her.

Yet what hidden talent could one young woman possess that would allow her to stand a chance?

Vampire Miami by Phil Tucker is a little different, no matter what the title would lead readers to believe. Yes, it’s a novel with vampires, and those are fairly common, but it doesn’t take the standard ‘vampires live among us, but in secret’ trope and stake it to something. Instead, in this world, vampires and humans have clashed, and the government decided that the best way to come out ahead was to give them a city of their own. The unlucky winner was, as the title suggests, Miami.

Readers should be aware that this isn’t a self-contained story, and that there will be further installments in the series, so there may be some outcry when they get to the end, but only the good kind.

Tucker’s premise gives the audience a Miami, and indeed a world that is fundamentally changed, and even broken by what’s happened. Anybody who wants to side with the vampires can live ‘the good life,’ but if you want to stay human, survival is no easy feat.

The book's protagonist is Selah, who sets off to find her father after he goes missing, and really has no idea what she’s getting into. As far as plans go, she doesn’t have one, and so readers can enjoy her impulsive nature, the way that she has her world turned completely upside down, and the fact that sometimes doing something without thinking it through is exactly what’s needed to shake things up.

These aren’t vampires that woo girls by rescuing them, or give interviews. They’re vicious, tangled in power struggles, and no less petty than the humans they feed on. If the vampires of popular culture have been tamed, then Tucker’s undead are a reminder that it takes intelligence, and sometimes sheer dumb luck to come out ahead of the bloodsuckers.

Selah finds friends, some more loyal than others, and a few have agendas that will surprise her. Not only that, but she finds herself involved in the underground resistance movement. But despite how tough things are, the conclusion readers can draw is that vampires may have Miami, but humans haven’t stopped fighting the war, and the next book in the series promises more bloodthirsty adventures, and a whole new city to do battle in.

(Received a copy from the author)


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Let's Talk Question Reminder

, by Kt Clapsadl

Let’s Talk is a weekly meme that delves into the minds of bloggers and readers alike. *snort* Actually, we just talk about lots of entertaining and corny stuff half the time, but the meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. We talk about book-related things, as well as personal questions, always remaining respectful and never asking for too much detail. Each Friday, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses.


Well, it will be if you

JOIN US THIS FRIDAY! icon wink Reminder: Question for Lets Talk

This week's question:

Does your family approve of blogging and reading so much? How do you compromise when they object? (Thank you Maryam/Books Glorious Books)

You can view all the Let’s Talk topics here, and if you have any fun topics to discuss, we’d love to hear them! You can submit your thoughts here.

Bargain Books & Kindle Deals (39)

, by Kt Clapsadl

I've decided to make my Bargain Book and Kindle Deal finds a weekly feature here at A Book Obsession.. If you guys are anything like me, your book addiction can easily get out of hand, so any sales/deals are a huge help. If you like any of the deals below, I would appreciate if you use the affiliate links below. All earning support the giveaways here on the blog. :)
(Prices accurate as of 3/27)

Bargain New Paperbacks/Hardcovers:

Kindle Deals:
If you find one of these kindle deals that has expired, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!


Waiting on Wednesday (140)

, 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:

The Eternity Cure - Blood of Eden #2
by Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013


Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson #7

Mercy Thompson returns in the seventh novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely

Over the past several years, Mercy's life has changed drastically. She's used to be able to keep her head down and stay out of the supernatural politics, but trouble seems to have a way of finding her now. Of course now that she's the mate of the local werewolf alpha, she doesn't have to fight her battles alone anymore. At least that is when Adam and his entire pack haven't been abducted leaving Mercy behind scrambling to hold things together. With the relations between humans and supernaturals so strained, more than ever the wolves cannot afford an incident. She'll have to enlist the help of friends old and new to get to the bottom of things fast, before it is too late.

I have to say that I was pretty surprised at the direction this book took. I mean after the insane game changing events of FAIR GAME, I had figured this book would have to mainly focus on the aftermath of the fae's actions. However, while there is some focus on the issues with the fae withdrawing and becoming almost hostile, it doesn't steal the show. Mercy and the gang have enough problems on their own. I won't get into any details, but from the blurb, it's obvious that Adam and the rest of the pack have gone missing. That in itself was a whopper of a hijinks as Mercy scrambled to find allies who could help her get the pack back. But, as I've come to expect from Patricia Briggs, things are not so simply cut an dry as a simple kidnapping plot. There's a whole lot more going on that made FROST BURNED really take the cake in the end, but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out.

I have to say that I really enjoyed FROST BURNED. It had the best of both worlds, the original Mercy, where she most played "lone ranger" and also the new Mercy who has Adam and the pack at her back. Don't get me wrong, I love the romance between Adam and Mercy, and think they are the perfect fit for one another, but it was really good to see her spend sometime on her own saving the day. It just really reinforced everything I have grown to love about her. She truly is one of the best urban fantasy heroines out there. I also LOVED LOVED LOVED that two of my favorite characters, Ben and Stefan, got a good bit of screen time in FROST BURNED. What can I say, I have a thing for dangerous, tortured males. Speaking of which another favorite of mine, this time from the Alpha and Omega series, makes an important appearance, and I loved his addition. I won't say who, to avoid ruining the surprise, but I really enjoyed the way it strongly tied the two series together for me.

I have to admit that I've been a bit disappointed that the books have been cut back to only one per year, where we used to get at least one per series each year. So now, the wait between books for either series is two years or more. However, despite my grumblings I have to admit that these books are more than worth the wait. I know that with each new installment released, I'll have a guaranteed block of entertainment as Patricia Briggs has never once let me down. This time around was no exception as FROST BURNED brings everything that made this series so spectacular right back to the forefront. You simply cannot go wrong with a Mercy Thompson book.


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Previous Books:
  1. Moon Called
  2. Blood Bound
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne
  6. River Marked

Book Birthdays: New Titles This Week (29)

, by Kt Clapsadl

I keep a Google calendar of all the books releasing each week that are on my radar. With all of the many books I am excited about it is so easy to lose track of when things come out. Since I'm already doing this research for myself, I thought you guys might like it if I shared.

Releasing 3/25 - 3/31

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #8
Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me — Gin Blanco, aka the Spider — it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’ priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

Impostor by Jill Hathaway
Slide #2
What if a killer took control of you?

Vee Bell’s gift (or curse) of “sliding”—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes—has been somewhat under control since she unwillingly witnessed the horrific deaths of her classmates six months ago.

But just as things are getting back to normal, Vee has a very bizarre experience: she loses consciousness and finds herself in a deserted area, at the edge of a cliff, with the broken body of the boy who took advantage of her on the rocks below.

As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone she knows has the ability to slide—and that this “slider” is using Vee to exact revenge on his or her enemies.

Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie Vaughn
Kitty Norville #11
On the heels of Kitty's return from London, a new werewolf shows up in Denver, one who threatens to split the pack by challenging Kitty's authority at every turn. The timing could not be worse; Kitty needs all the allies she can muster to go against the ancient vampire, Roman, if she's to have any hope of defeating his Long Game. But there's more to this intruder than there seems, and Kitty must uncover the truth, fast. Meanwhile, Cormac pursues an unknown entity wreaking havoc across Denver; and a vampire from the Order of St. Lazaurus tempts Rick with the means to transform his life forever.

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan
Shadow World #4
Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires who feed off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman must rise from the ashes of tragedy and confront an ancient evil before it destroys everything she holds dear…

After a heartrending night of loss and blood, Miranda Grey-Solomon, vampire Queen of the South, now stands in the ruins of her life determined to pick up the pieces and move on. David, her husband and Prime, is missing and presumed dead, and Miranda is lost without her soul mate by her side…But she has little time to grieve as enemies both old and new emerge to test her yet again.

Between vampires trying to take advantage of a Queen without a Prime, incursions by a mysterious organization of humans calling themselves the Order of the Morningstar, and the continuing threat from those within the Shadow World who have already tried to destroy her, Miranda and her allies are running out of places to turn. In order to save her territory and the ones she loves, Miranda must look to the ancient past, to the first days of the vampire race, and uncover secrets about the Signets that could change the course of history…

Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost
Night Prince #2
Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges...

Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.

Wasteland by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
Wasteland #1
Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disesase and brutal attacks by the Variants—hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent
Soul Screamers #7
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has....

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