Review: Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2) by Rachel Caine

25890355Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Publisher: NAL
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, Books about Books

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BLURB:

In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control… Continue reading

Review: Evenfall: Volume 1: Director’s Cut (In the Company of Shadows, #1 part #1) by Santino Hassell & Ais

Evenfall: Volume 1: Director’s Cut by Santino Hassell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Free
Publication Date: June 2nd 2014
Publisher: /
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: M/M romance, Dystopia, Military, Post-War, Psychological

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Available at: www.inthecompanyofshadows.com

In a post-apocalyptic future, the Agency works behind the scenes to take down opposition groups that threaten the current government. Their goals justify all means, even when it comes to their own agents.

Sin is the Agency’s most efficient killer. His fighting skills and talent at assassination have led to him being described as a living weapon. However, he is also known to go off on unauthorized killing sprees, and his assigned partners have all wound up dead.

Boyd is not afraid to die. When his mother, a high-ranking Agency official, volunteers him to be Sin’s newest partner, he does not refuse. In fact, his life has been such an endless cycle of apathy and despair that he’d welcome death.

In the newly revised Director’s Cut of Evenfall, the first volume follows these two cast-offs as they go from strangers to partners who can only rely on each other while avoiding death, imprisonment, and dehumanization by the Agency that employs them.

120,000 words.

Warnings: Explicit violence, physical and psychological abuse.

Note: This is the first of the two volumes comprising Evenfall, the first book in the ICoS series. Continue reading

Review: The Cage (The Cage, #1) by Megan Shepherd

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

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The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage? Continue reading

Review: One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Cultural, Family, Friendship, Love

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A heartfelt, laugh-out-loud-funny story of romance, family, and self-discovery.

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.

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Review: The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 1993 first published
Publisher: Ember
Point of View: 3rd Person & Male
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Life, Family, Friendship

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Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

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Review: Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1) by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: April 17th 2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Point of View: 3rd Person & Female
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Prince & Princess, Education, Fantasy, Magic, Love, Family, Friendship

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Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.

Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

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Review: Brute by Kim Fielding

Brute by Kim Fielding

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: December 3rd 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: YA – NA, M/M romance, Fantasy, Magic, Witches, Friendship.

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Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.

Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.

As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own. Continue reading