Book Review: SNEAK PEEK of Wildcard by Marie Lu

Title: Wildcard
Series: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: G.P. Putnam and Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

When I found out that Warcross was actually a series, I was thrilled. While I was annoyed by the game descriptions, I really loved the book. I was hoping there would be at least a second part to the novel and there is!

Wildcard, the second novel in the Warcross duology concludes the story that started in Warcross. I received a 2.5-3 chapter sneak peek to read, and it was amazing! Emika’s in danger and the question remains – will she go with Zero, will she try to save Hideo from himself, or will she walk away and take her chances?

Wildcard is well-written and the sneak peek left me wanting more. Your favorite Warcross characters are here, plus a few new ones that you’ll get to know and either love or hate. I can’t wait for this one to come out as it is sure to be a winner.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

Title: I Do Not Trust You
Authors: Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Memphis “M” Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.

Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.

From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.

When I was asked to review I Do Not Trust You, I was a bit on the skeptical side. I’ve been having some issues with books that have multiple authors lately – for some reason I just can’t seem to get into them or if I do get into them, I can’t seem to stay interested in them. But this one? This one was awesome!

Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz have teamed up before – in fact, one of their previous novels, Sanctuary Bay, is in my TBR pile at this very moment, and might very well be my next read.  That alone should have told me that this book would be a winner – because author teams generally don’t end up writing more books together unless the previous ones are great.

I love the characters – Memphis (M) and Ashwin (Ash) at least. I’m rather fond of Mike as well and let me tell you, I was as surprised as Ash was when we finally got to meet Mike in person. I definitely wasn’t expecting that! The other characters, such as Phillip, Bob, and Liza definitely aren’t my favorites but then again, they’re not meant to be the readers’ favorite characters. They’re obnoxious and downright evil in some cases.

I loved the use of the Egyptian mythology as honestly, I love Egyptian mythology – the book actually made me want to brush up on it because it’s been a while since I’ve been able to read up on any of it. I Do Not Trust You is action packed even if it doesn’t seem like it would be – believe me, it is.  It’s difficult to put down once you start reading and frankly, I had to force myself to put it down to do things like eat, sleep, and housework. As for the ending – you will be so amazed!!

This book was so well written and so well edited that I have to give it 5 stars. It’s a great book – funny at times, heart-pounding at times, and just absolutely awesome. You won’t regret reading this one.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Title: Through the Woods
Author: Emily Carroll
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: July 15, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Personal Collection
Rating: ★★★★★

Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red,” in print for the first time.

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.

I heard about Through the Woods on a social network that was touting horror books and I decided to give it a shot. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

I didn’t know anything about the book before I started, just that it was called Through the Woods. I was surprised to find it in comic style as that hadn’t been part of the book’s description on the post I found it on. However, the fact that it was in comic style didn’t detract from it at all. In fact, it made it very easy to read and very quick to read. I blew through book in no time at all.

The stories presented are creepy and well presented, but not gory or gross. The artwork is beautiful. This book was so hard to stop reading that I got annoyed when someone interrupted me to talk. I would love to see another book from Emily Carroll like this because this one was just absolutely perfect. 

Book Review: Edgar Allan Poe: The Ambiguity of Death by Giuseppe Cafiero

Title: Edgar Allan Poe: The Ambiguity of Death Author: Giuseppe Cafiero
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Australian eBook Publishers
Release Date: September 13, 2015
Format: Kindle
Pages: 192
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Abandoned

Giuseppe Cafiero presents the most intriguing biography of one of America’s most enduring writers: poet, author and critic Edgar Allan Poe. The beloved master of mystery and the macabre, Poe’s life and work is explored through the creation of memories, recriminations, intense loves and of delicate devotions.

Using the form of literary nonfiction, Cafiero successfully structures this memoir in the style of a traditional fiction narrative. Introducing the reader to the character, The Reporter, whose story is a mirror in which it’s possible to contemplate what is unreasonably hidden and infinitely ambiguous in the existence and in the writing of Edgar Allan Poe.

After Poe’s infamous death, the reporter attempts to investigate the life and writing of Poe by attending a meeting at the Old Swan Tavern in Richmond. Invited to the interview is archrival Reverend Rufus Wilmot Griswold and one of the last to see Poe before his death, Dr J. Evans Snodgrass. The reporter not only discovers the accusations of life filled with alcoholism, opium addiction, violence and womanising but also begins to understand that this painful dark existence is not the antithesis to great writing. This is confirmed when the investigation continues with the meeting of an array of people by the reporter who divulge more information on the life of Poe and why many became the protagonists in his stories.

This surreal bio-fiction of the life of nineteenth century American writer, father of detective fiction, Edgar Allan Poe, brings to life a solidly constructed psychological portrait of the writer through the characters in his works. Each of the stories is accompanied by the gloriously gothic Illustrations by acclaimed Italian artist Sergio Poddighe.

Perhaps this is the only way to pay tribute to a writer who has indelibly marked the nineteenth century.

Normally, I’d have put this book as a rating of Abandoned because I abandoned it, but honestly, the book was horrible. The book reads like a grade school essay. It’s disjointed, disconnected, and nearly impossible to make sense of.

I requested to read this book because I love Edgar Allan Poe. I thought this was supposed to be some sort of biography of Edgar Allan Poe. Instead what I got was a mishmash of nonsense that related to his life but made no sense.

The author jumps around from person to person who supposedly knew Poe, trying to gather pieces of his life in what I assume is an attempt to make a timeline of his life and possibly to figure out why he wrote what he did. The problem is, none of it makes a bit of sense. While this may be due in part to the book having been translated to English from another language, I honestly cannot recommend this book to anyone.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: Bad Night Stand by Elise Farber

Title: Bad Night Stand
Series: Billionaire’s Club
Author: Elise Faber
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Elise Faber
Release Date: July 16, 2018
Format: Kindle
Pages: 256
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★

The man had seemed so innocent in the bar—okay, not innocent, per say. He’d been hot, hard, and possessed a butt that I wanted to bite like the last chocolate chip cookie in my stash.

He’d also skipped out of town faster than a villain in a B movie, leaving me woefully unsatisfied. I’d chalked the whole incident up to a bad night stand and moved on with my life.

That was before the news of a failed IUD. Before the plus sign. Before Jordan showed back up determined to make that night up to me.

I didn’t want a baby or a payday or a sexy, stubborn man in my life. I wanted to go back in time and pretend none of it had happened.

Unfortunately, my life had become all about that plus sign . . . and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

I’m not one much for the romance genre, even though it seems like I have quite a few in my NetGalley queue. But Bad Night Stand called to me because it seemed like it would be right up my alley.

I wasn’t wrong. I loved it. And in all honesty, I’m sincerely hoping that the author puts more of her books on NetGalley because I’m dying to read them all!

Abby and Jordan are great main characters. The development is great, even if you have to wait a bit to find out what makes them tick. You’ll probably hate Abby’s dad, which isn’t a surprise, but you’ll love Abby and Jordan. You’ll also come to love Seraphina, Bec, and Heather. And we can’t forget Hunter – he’s an absolute doll and you’ll love him as soon as he pops up in the book.

This story will tug your heart strings, make you laugh, and tick you off. There is some strong language in the book, which doesn’t bother me, but I thought I would mention it for those who might be bothered by strong language. There are also a few sex scenes for those who aren’t into that type of thing either.

This well written story is the first in a series and I am seriously chomping at the bit for the second book in the series after reading the epilogue. Trust me on this, you will be too!

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Dark Rhapsody by Helaine Mario

Title: Dark Rhapsody
Series: Maggie O’Shea Mysteries
Author: Helaine Mario
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Release Date: July 03, 2018
Format: Kindle
Pages: 338
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: Abandoned

In 1945, an Austrian girl discovers a priceless Nazi treasure near a remote alpine lake and sets in motion a decades-old secret that will change lives for generations to come.

Many years later, classical pianist Maggie O’Shea is preparing her return to the world of music. Instead, a nightmare of a haunting rhapsody and hundreds of roses from a deranged stalker propel her into a world of terror. Forces drive her to revisit the mystery of her mother’s death, her father’s startling disappearance, and a terrible secret from World War II. Maggie finds herself on a collision course with a brutal, disfigured killer who threatens those she holds dear—an aging pianist with a long-buried secret, a haunted cellist, a charismatic Maestro, and the crusty retired colonel she has come to love.

Chord by chord, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody becomes the heart of this story of profound loss, courage and love. Music tells our stories . . .

I wanted to like Dark Rhapsody – and I did… at first. But then, I just lost interest. It wasn’t that it switched between character points of view because that’s normal and I don’t have a problem with it. It also wasn’t that the book was lacking in action, because the book isn’t. It’s got plenty of intrigue, plenty of action, and plenty that should have kept me interested. But… I just wasn’t.

The book itself is great. I cannot deny that the book, up to where I left off, was great. It was just that for some reason, I lost interest in the book. Perhaps it is my overwhelming NetGalley TBR pile that I keep adding books to because I’m being requested to. Perhaps it is because I have a TBR pile a mile high of eBooks that I own. Or perhaps right now just isn’t the time for me to finish this book.

I’ll definitely be getting my own copy of this book – and looking to see if there is a book that goes before it, as it seems as though this is a sequel to some other book. Perhaps that is part of my problem as well. I don’t care to read books out of series, so perhaps I just need to get the previous book(s). I do recommend this book, I just couldn’t seem to finish it at the moment.

I received a copy of this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Ashes
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 453
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★★

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

The sequel to City of Bones, City of Ashes is no less addicting and action packed than it’s predecessor. Just like City of Bones, I didn’t want to put the book down. Lately, that seems like a near impossibility for me.

I realized after perusing the library’s website that there are actually six books in The Mortal Instruments series as opposed to five. For some reason I managed to miss the fact that a sixth book came out entirely. That just makes me even happier because I don’t want this story to end!

I’ve come to absolutely adore Jace and Clary but I’m still not sure if I really like Isabelle all that much. Alec is growing on me and while I know part of his story because of all the Tumblr posts about the Shadowhunters TV series, I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the books. Luke is another favorite character. And while I hated The Inquisitor, I was sad to see how her portion of the story ended.

I can’t wait for the third book to become available again – I had to turn in books 3-5 because they were due and had holds on them. I’ve got holds on all four of the remaining books and I can’t wait to get my hands on them!