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The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

The Gilded King promo slide(1)

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Gilded kingTitle: The Gilded King
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Series: Book 01 of the Sovereign Series
Publish Date: Expected Publication June25, 2018
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Provided by Author

Publisher’s DescriptionIn the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.


Luna Lovebooks says… Luna_Lovebooks_100

‘Of course. You want to hear the fairytale, don’t you?’

Ms. Jaffrey quickly became one of my favorite authors when I read her Solis Invicti Series. I, of course, jumped at the chance when she asked me if I would be interested in reading the first book in a new series set in the same world, where the events of the Solis Invicti are mere legends and fairy tales. Hey, all fairy tales have a seed of truth right?

Two stories are brilliantly melded into one without shortchanging the other. We read of Julia in the Blue. A world of humans ruled by Nobility in the last city on Earth. Julia is well written in her struggle to keep with the status quo but also her wonder at what really lies beyond the walls of the Blue. This internal battle continues even after she is assigned to be an Attendant for a young Silver named Lucas, who also questions their world.

But we also get to catch up with an old acquaintance, Cam, in the Red – a wasteland filled with death (or so the humans of the Blue believe). Cam searches for Emmy and it is through this search that we learn about the events that happened in between the two series. We also learn that the Red really is a dangerous place as the monsters of the previous series have grown in numbers – but for a horrifying reason.

This tale is told through Julia and Cam’s alternating point of views and when the Red starts to bleed into the Blue and world collide, it is explosive. We get both Cam and Julia’s emotions and insecurities and hopes and maybe even budding romances.

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Characters and world are both well written. The only issue I had is that while these are two separate stories, I feel like you really should read the Solis Invicti series before this one. It is not necessary, but I feel like you will get more out of the secondary characters if you have their background and the history behind the fairy tale. Overall I enjoyed this promising new start but I didn’t devour it the way I did the prequel series. I give it 4 silver studs.

Other recommendations…

Solis Invicti Series by Josie Jaffrey, The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, The Secret Keepers Series by Jaymin Eve

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson

In a tech enhanced, post apocalyptic world, there are so many games coming into play.  In order to keep control of your little part of the world, there will be political take overs, territorial disputes and if that’s not enough, is the person you trust a mech clone or whole organic?  Does it matter?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title:  Wanted and Wired
Author: Vivien Jackson
Series: Wanted and Wired #1
Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Post Apocalyptic Fantasy
Publisher’s Description:  Now that Texas has seceded and the world is spiraling into chaos, good guys come in unlikely packages and love sprouts in the most inconvenient places…

Rogue scientist • technologically enhanced • deliciously attractive

Heron Farad should be dead. But technology has made him the man he is today. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what’s left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas-sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo.

Gun for hire • Texan rebel • always hits her mark

Mari has been lusting after her mysterious handler for months. But when a by-the-book hit goes horribly sideways, she and Heron land on the universal most wanted list. Someone set them up. Desperate and on the run, they must trust each other to survive, while hiding devastating secrets. As their explosive chemistry heats up, it’s the perfect storm…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

I still think you’re crazier than a sack of weasels.” Mari folded her fingers to a fist. “You got somethin’ against weasels?””

This book is a combination of I, Robot, Mad Max, and Firefly with a little Pretty Woman thrown in.  It does have sex in it and some dirty talk heavy with innuendo.  It’s got death too.  ‘Cuz, the protagonist is a paid for hire killer.  It takes place in a world full of robots that are basically clones of the original person. There is a lot of technical speak that even if you don’t speak geek, it’s ok because Mari doesn’t either.  There is not a cliffhanger but I’m very glad there is a book #2 in the series called Perfect Gravity.  I’m going to my local ebook seller and get that next book as soon as I’m finished here.

I was engaged from beginning to end.  I always know it’s a good book when I can’t wait to get back to it if I have to put it down.  There was an emotionally-damaged woman falling in love with a man who was less human and more mechanics.  There was a murder, conspiracy, tech espionage, political games and a look at what the Earth could be reduced to if things all went kablooie.

This was not a cheesy book.  It wasn’t a Star Wars wannabe, it was a Wanted and Wired best seller.  I felt like I had truly delved into another world.  I felt very comfortable there.  There were descriptions of this world’s objects and processes that could be overwhelming but the author wrote it all in such a way that it all fell together and I could imagine exactly what she was describing.  And the best part?  The inner Mari dialogue was incredibly authentic.  Mari is a rough-and-tumble woman, she swears like a sailor and she’s a Texan so you can really hear her accented voice when reading.  It just clicked. Another best part?  When Mari finds out that she is very smart even though she didn’t think so.  She is the only one that can save her partner from losing himself in the internet which is, in the future, named the “Cloud”.  Appropriate, right?

Dr. Farad doesn’t go by Dr. Farad when he works with Mari.  To Mari, Dr. Farad is only Heron, her operations planner that talks her through every job with details of who, what, where and how to get out in a hurry.  What Mari doesn’t know is that Dr. Farad is enamored with her and wants to be more than partners in work.  He’s not a military super god but he is very well equipped in the brain department.  He can decipher odds, monitor the law enforcement channel and run multiple scenarios all at once.  Useful, that.

This tale was a page-turning ride.  I enjoyed the “wild west” feel in a post-apocalyptic world that is laced with robots who are clones, humans that are tech-enhanced and also those humans that are whole-organic, meaning like you and me.

Other recommendations…

…you might try Dark Sky series by Amy Braun, Cursed series by Amy Braun and Immortal Vegas series by Jenn Stark.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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En by Michelle Reynoso

He is real, He has my brother (somewhere), Enlitra is in jeopardy, and I’m the only one it seems who can solve all those things.”

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

ENTitle: En
Author: Michelle Reynoso
Series: Proposed Book One of The Girl, The Pendant, and the Portal Series
Publish Date: February 21, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Provided by author

Publisher’s DescriptionHigh School senior Faith McDaniels is struggling to find a place to belong. She never knew her father. She lost her mother to cancer three months ago. Now Faith is starting a new life with her brother Eddie in the small town of Madison, but this ‘fresh start’ is more than just a move to a new town and a new high school, it’s the beginning of a series of strange events that puts her on the precipice of discovering that pendants and portals, other worlds, and energy-bending are not just ideas from a fantasy story. It is her life. A life that is about to get even more complicated when Faith discovers her own extraordinary abilities to bend and manipulate energy, a power that can be the bridge, or the barrier, to saving the world of Enlitra and her own world.

But nothing is easy or straightforward in Faith’s life, as she soon discovers her abilities are the same as the fiend who is trying to destroy both worlds. Now Faith must decide how to protect the people she loves without becoming the dark entity herself.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I first met Michelle through NANOWRIMO (if you are a writer and don’t know about national novel writing month you should check it out at nanowrimo.org. It is a great program for professionals and amateurs alike.) and when she finished this novel I asked if she needed reviews. En is a delightful, imaginative tale and I am so glad I asked if I could review it for her and share with all of you.

I will admit that it took me longer than it should have to read this, not because the novel didn’t interest me, but because fae life – like human life – is hectic! When I was able to pick it up I found myself flying through the chapters wanting to find out what happens next. The plot is fairly easy to follow. There are a few instances of jumping from our world to that of Enlitra, but they are not confusing jumps and if they are it is because  Faith herself is confused. This new world is truly imaginative as it is made up of energy and impossible feats can be done.

While I understand Faith’s attitude in the novel, I found it quite irksome. Her brother was just trying to look out for her but she did act as many teenagers would after a parent has passed and being transferred to a new school. I don’t know if I should admit this but I found myself rooting for Tomas instead of Paul. Yes, Tomas was a jerk to Faith in the beginning, but he apologizes and helps Faith several times. Paul just comes off as a jealous jerk at times.

This novel is a great start to a new series and I hope it takes off. I found a few minor errors that more than likely will be fixed for the final (i.e. Faith tries to change an acorn badge4v5into an apple and later when she recalls doing it the acorn has turned into a branch). I can’t wait to find the final copy and read it, and I look forward to the rest of the series as well.

 

Other recommendations…

Check out these other novels where teens travel to other worlds through one way or another:

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima, Sea of Ink and Gold Series by Traci Chee

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Those Which Remain by Angela V. Cook

Once again, I plunge into the world of a teenage succubus!

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: Those Which Remain
Author: Angela V. Cook
Series: Pieces Duology, #2
Publish Date: January 28, 2018
Genre: YA fantasy romance
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionIn Into a Million Pieces, seventeen-year-old Allison solved her sister’s murder, barely escaping an attempt on her own life. Now, with the past behind her, Allison is finally getting a taste of teenage normalcy—going to school, hanging out with her best friend, and sharing it all with her loving boyfriend, Ren. Life is good.

But it doesn’t stay that way. It never does for a succubus.

When Allison’s nature draws in a predator, shattering her sense of trust and safety, she realizes the succubus curse is behind all the darkness and heartache in her life. Determined to end it, she tracks down a distant relative with knowledge about the curse. But more questions are raised than answered when Allison meets the mysterious and wealthy Leona Doriano. Suddenly thrust into a dangerous world of money, power, and deadly secrets, Allison must find a way to break the curse—a curse not everyone wants broken—before she’s drawn in too deep.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

The author’s previous book, Into a Million Pieces, is a captivating book about the life of Allison and Jade, two teenage twins who are succubi. Ms. Cook really made me care about Allison and Jade, even through their teenage angst, something I don’t usually like. I also enjoyed the mythology of the succubi and wanted to know more. So I was ecstatic when the author emailed me the next book.

Jade’s move to her other family has not been easy. She’s dealing with her teenage angst of fitting into a new school, making new friends, and having a long distance relationship. On top of that, while she loves this new family, including an aunt and grandma, she worries that one of her many secrets will come out and they won’t want her anymore.

Things go well until the holiday and the grandma’s favorite child comes back from college for the break. In a chilling scene, Allison’s dark nature comes out, and the uncle is drunk. Afterward, he threatens to reveal a secret if she doesn’t keep quiet.

That pushes Allison to search for answers about her family’s curse and how it happened. And does she find answers! Answers to questions she didn’t even know she had! The curse has taken her family into even darker parts of human society, and they are pulling Allison into it the longer she stays with them.

The story captivated me and kept me reading until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures with Allison. I desperately want to give this book a five, but here is why I can’t. The story ends Allison’s journey. I’m sure Ms. Cook could find a way to keep going with her story but I worry it would feel forced. I want to know more! More about the supernatural world, what other supernaturals could be out there, and most important, see what Allison does with the curse and with her knowledge when she is older. I think that could be a great series. As it is, I give the book a high four (which the site editor is rounding to five). If you enjoyed the first book, this cannot disappoint.

Our reviews in this series…

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Contest For Mindee Arnett’s Onyx & Ivory

Hi Friends! Kat Mandu here, ready to introduce you to a new series I’m completely stoked about. And that’s a new YA Fantasy book coming out in May called Onyx & Ivory. Check it out below!

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.

I can’t tell you how eager I am to get my hands on this one, guys. Mindee Arnett is such a wonderful author, and I’m so excited to be a part of her street team, The Relay Riders, to help spread the word about this epic new book.

I snagged this from her site so that readers like you can try your hand at winning this contest and get it for yourselves!  Follow the links to enter:

Blogger and Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway

From Mindee: This week I’m celebrating all the book bloggers and reviewers out there, and if you’re reading this, I’m betting that you’re one of them! Did you know that according to Forbes, an estimated 600 thousand to a million new books are published each year? That’s like between 1,604 to 2,740 a day. I don’t know about you, but my yearly reading goals never come close to that.

With so many books vying for readers’ attention, the importance of book bloggers and reviewers is immeasurable for helping get the word out to readers about which books to spend their time on and which to pass over. And most of these people do this purely out of the sheer joy and love of books. How great is that? How are great are they? I mean you!

That’s why I’ve decided to give my very last advanced copy of Onyx & Ivory to a book reviewer or blogger. But first, I want to take a moment to say thank you to two specific bloggers, Pila @ inlovewithhandmade.blogspot.com and Erin @ booklovingnut.com. Both of these lovely women were willing to read an early copy of Onyx & Ivory and to give me lovely blurbs for it. And when I say, early, what I mean is an unedited, no-cover, no-makeup, bed-head version of the book. As a matter of fact, it didn’t even have a title yet. To have their approval, even so early, meant the world to me. Here’s what they had to say:

Aren’t they lovely? Be sure to thank them for me if you see them online. And if you see them in person, they deserve a hug or a fist bump.

The contest to win a signed arc of Onyx & Ivory is open until midnight EST on Thursday, March 29. It’s open Internationally. Any person who regularly reviews books is permitted to enter. Good luck!

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