The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

imageWhen Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

 

When Tea Accidentally raises her brother from the dead it attracts the attention of Lady Mykaela, the most powerful Dark Asha in the land.  Tea, along with Fox her brother is brought to the Valerian house for training.  She is unwittingly brought to another tea house under the guise of bringing a novice an instrument she finds herself in a a heap of trouble and all hell breaks loose.  Her training is brought forward at an alarming speed. she is thrust into a world that she not only excels in, but in many ways is beyond anyone else who has been a Dark asha.

Tea’s training is along the lines of how a Geisha trains but throw in magic and healing powers and you get  ashas.  Asha are people who have magic in them. Most use elements like fire, water, air and so on, but there are the rare few who use only dark magic and runes to do what others can’t and that is to have the power over life and death.  Bone witches as the are also know as, are reviled unless needed to rid the lands of the monstrous creatures who threaten the people of the land.

It’s not what I expected but in a good way. I wasn’t aware of the similarities in the style the asha’s are train in as well as Geisha are trained in Japan.  There isn’t much action in the story but what there is is fascinating and draws you in. The writing was fantastic and the storyline wonderful.  I fell into the flow and found myself  wanting more at the end of it.

It is the first book in a series but it’s not one that leaves you on the edge of a cliff. It leaves you on a gentle crest wanting more but knowing you can wait and can even sorta work out what the next step is.  A breathtaking book in style and beauty!

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

4/5 stars

Crash

Buy: Amazon

Buy: Amazon UK

 

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Steele City Blues by Karen Greco

imageBlood Ops leader Dr. O is chained in the bowels of Steele City, the state’s maximum security prison, and the clock is ticking for Nina and Frankie to bust him out.

Now that supernatural creatures are out of the closet, Providence is descending into an apocalyptic wasteland. With the abrupt shut down Blood Ops, Nina and Frankie are forced to rely on questionable allies to battle Leila, a powerful witch/vampire hybrid hell bent on creating an indestructible supernatural army. She also happens to be Nina’s mom.

Alliances are tested and relationships fractured as Nina and her band of supernatural crime fighting misfits are pushed to the breaking point.

Steele City Blues, the third book in the Hell’s Belle urban fantasy series, is high-octane, action-packed, cinematic story by Karen Greco that fans of The Hollows and the Cassandra Palmer series will love. Join the adventure!

 

Nina and Frankie have their hands full trying to Dr.O from Steele City prison without the sudden appearance from Nina’s grandfather. They make a failed attempt at breaking into Steele City and instead of breaking Dr. O out they find out some horrifying things that are going on behind the prisons door. Not only do they have a monumental task of getting back into the prison to free those in there but they also have a deadline that will impact everyone.

This series gets better with each book! While I love Nina and Frankie I really enjoyed Casper more this time around. He’s sassy, powerful and just a funny guy to have around. The interaction of the characters is deeper and there are way more secrets that unfolded as well.

I love this series and hope that there are more books to come but the way it ended leaves me thinking it is the end but who knows. This is not a stand alone book, you have to have read the first two books to understand what is going on in this one.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Crash

Freaks by Amanda Hocking

imageWelcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

 

I have to admit, I have discovered a love of circus books recently. That coupled with this amazing cover drew me to this book.  I want to say that I loved it as much as I love the cover, but I can’t.

I found the characters a bit flat and lackluster.  The plot was reasonable but you figured out who was behind it not far along into the storyline but really don’t get confirmation until almost at  the very end.  I didn’t find it all that engrossing and to be honest it was too long as well.  I found it dragged on and on and on.  Boredom set in and I was glad to see the end of it. I was also sad to see that the majority of the interesting action that did get me hooked was in the last few pages.  It wasn’t enough to save the whole book for me though.

I find it a hit or miss when it comes to Amanda’s books and I have to say that for me, this one was a miss.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

2/5 stars

Crash

Buy: Amazon

Buy: Amazon UK

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

imageNothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

 

Alex comes from a long line of Brujas’ a family that is strong when it comes to magic. She discovers that of all her family she is the strongest and has qualities of all magical aspects. As Alex’s Deathday approaches she is so fearful of her magic she chooses to relinquish it, or at least she thinks she can. But what happens instead unleashes The Devourer, a force so dark and twisted it need magical energy to survive. She, along with Nova,another Bruja and her best friend Reshi, travel to the world of the dead to right the wrongs Alex has committed.

This is a wonderful magic filled adventure. The writer based a lot of the background of the Bruja and the ceremonies on the Day of the Dead and other similar Spanish rituals regarding honoring the dead and the Brujeria faith. Wonderful start to a new series.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Crash

Buy:Amazon

Buy: Amazon UK

Buy:B&N

 

zoraida-head-shot

About the Author:
Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and the Brooklyn Brujas series. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro or visit her at zoraidacordova.com.
Social Media Links:
Author Website: http://www.zoraidacordova.com/
Labyrinth Lost Website: http://books.sourcebooks.com/labyrinth-lost/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CordovaBooks
Twitter: @zlikeinzorro

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 Copies of Labyrinth Lost with Signed Labyrinth Lost Bookmarks

Runs September 6-September 19 (US & Canada only)

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7402/

 

Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

imageEighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.

When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.

But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows

 

I loved Girl on a Wire and was so excited to see that there was another book out by Gwenda Bond.  To be honest I’m not sure if this is a sequel or not, there are a lot of the same characters from Girl on a Wire and there is a lot of talk about the mysterious missing coin again so I guess you could chalk it up as a sequel.

I devoured the book rather quickly and fell back into the life of Cirque American.  Moira had to fight to be able to perform her magic and it comes with rather high consequences.  Dez did bother me to start with, he just rubbed me the wrong way, you can sense that he is hiding something but what isn’t found out for quite a while.  I did enjoy the story but it’s a slow build with not much action.  As Moira tried to discover who her mother is and just how her magic came about and how can be used safely is the theme of this book.  It does get a bit confusing in parts as so many people are looking for the coin and for their one purposes.  Plenty of secrets  and mystery to go around as well.

While I did enjoy it, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Girl on a Wire.  Maybe it was hard to capture the magic of the first book.  It’s still a good story and easy to read.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Crash

 

Pre-order: Amazon

Pre-order: Amazon UK

March Books

Here’s a look of what we are reading and reviewing in March. 

CRASH:

Out March 1. Goodreads Info

  Out March 15. Goodreads

  Out March 15. Goodreads
  Out March 31. Amazon

VI:

  

 Out March 1. Goodreads

  Out (hahaha) March 8. Goodreads
  Out March 17. Goodreads
   
 Out March 7 & March 28 (2-part serial). Goodreads

Other Books of Interest:

  Out March 1. Goodreads

  Out March 8. Goodreads
  Out March 8. Goodreads 
 Out March 22. It’s a standalone.  Goodreads
  Out March 29. Goodreads

  Out March 29. Goodreads
Tell us what book(s) you are excited to read. 
 

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer; narrated by Rebecca Soler

22489107 I’m on a roll of reviewing books with amazing covers! This one is just as stunning, I love the mirror and the image in it – I think the entire thing is gorgeous. The Lunar Chronicles are an amazing young adult series that is part fairy tale retelling, part dystopian and part romance. I’ve listened to them on audio since the beginning and I would highly recommend listening to them because Rebecca Soler is a wonderful narrator. She makes the characters come alive and makes the different characters very distinct – both of which are key factors to enjoys an audio book for me. I’m a big fan of audiobooks in general because it’s so easy to listen while you’re doing tasks that aren’t so pleasant like housekeeping!

Each book in this series is based on a fairy tale and retells it with a compelling new twist and one that has a science fiction flair to it as well. This one tells the back story of the evil Queen Levana which reminded me of Gregory Maguire’s The Life and Time of The Wicked Witch in that the point of the story is to tell the evil Queen’s side of the story for once. In the previous books Levana has tormented Cinder, Scarlet and Cress and she’s used her glamour to gain more and more power. But we’ve never known a thing about what made Levana Levana.

I went into this thinking I would feel sorry for Levana, and much needed compassion for the crazy acting queen. Within about 5 minutes that was definitely the case.

She was suddenly angry. Angry that this woman was so effortlessly pretty. Angry that tonight she would sleep beside her doting husband. That soon she would hold a wrinkled, wailing baby in her arms and that child would never question whether it was loved, or whether its parents loved each other.

Nothing Levana wanted had ever come that easily.

However, not that long after that Levana slowly began to transform into the Queen we know and Marissa Meyer does this transformation so well that at first I found myself being sympathetic to her situation. But then she truly becomes more and more horrific to the point of no return and the sympathy turned into loathing.

Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood would make a very pretty rouge on her lips.

This book was just as well done as the other ones, which was no surprise. The romance in this was so well done because it was easy to see both sides of what was going on. It was like the entire book – completely disturbing but in a ridiculously great way. I highly recommend this book but would definitely start at the beginning of the series and go in publication order.

5 Stars

~Melinda

Amazon

B&N