Flash Review: Relic by Heather Terrell (& Giveaway!)

Lizzie     Nov 1st, 2013     Awesome Things, Dystopian, Fantasy, Giveaways, Reviews, Things You Should Check Out     0 Replies

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Soho Teen (October 29th 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616951966
ISBN-13: 978-1616951962

The truth will test you…

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.

When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.

Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

First off, before the review, hello again, my friends! Long time, no reviews. Hopefully, that will be changing! And second, I will be trying a new thing for this review… FLASH REVIEW! Five lines! One paragraph! Lots of exclamation points! YAY! Let’s try this out…

Relic was one of my most anticipated books of the fall and I was not disappointed! The world building, the writing, the characters! I went in unsure if my expectations would be met and came out beyond mesmerized. I could not get enough of this beautiful book. And now am I that person sitting next to you, tapping their feet impatiently, because I am awaiting book two, and it’s taking way too long.

How’d I do? ;) Seriously, you guys, read this book. I’m obsessed.

And nowwww…. A giveaway! Courtesy of Soho Teen, I am giving away a gorgeous finished copy of Relic! Trust me, you WANT this. You want it. You do.

So enter below, my darlings…

Review: Vicious Preview by V.E. Schwab

Lizzie     Aug 15th, 2013     Adult, Fantasy, Reviews     0 Replies

Reading level: Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765335344
ISBN-13: 978-0765335340

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

100 pages is hardly enough to call a book a “must read”. Rarely does it happen that I fall in love with a novel in 100 pages. Another rarity is me reading (and loving) books geared towards adults.

But Vicious is the exception to all of those things. I was approved in my first days on NetGalley for the 100-page excerpt Tor put out to build up the hype. I have never been more excited to read an ebook in my life.

Obviously, there’s not too much I can say, having not read the entire story just yet, but this has me hooked. The preview was exciting and mysterious, giving you an idea of what the story was all about. I felt gutted when I came to the end of it. I will definitely be eying my mailbox for my preorder copy with impatience (come on, September!).

I think adults and teens alike will be drawn to this book. As a YA book blogger, I wouldn’t review it here if that were not true. And I say this because I hardly read adult novels ever… I’m just a young adult sort of girl. The story, while containing more violence than Schwab’s other novels (of which I have only read The Archived), as well as swearing, is a huge draw for the reason that it has superheroes and villians, told in a way that leads me to believe that the story can only get better from where I had to unfortunately stop.

Read Vicious. Don’t wait until it comes out to buy it. You won’t regret it.

Come back for my review of the whole book in early October! Vicious is out September 24th.

Check out the just-released (and spooky) trailer!

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Lizzie     Jul 19th, 2013     Fantasy, Paranormal, Reviews     0 Replies

Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books (January 22, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423157311
ISBN-13: 978-1423157311

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hardwon redemption.

I had this book for many months before finally picking it up, something that I now regret dearly. I began it during Bonnaroo in June under a canopy at my campsite, while listening to a band I could hear from the main stage. It was beautiful, as beautiful as this book is.

I had heard so much hype about The Archived and about Victoria herself but admittedly, I’d never gotten around to picking up The Near Witch (though I’ve always intended to). Hype like that always scares me because I’ve read my fair share of hyped-up books that I hated. And now I’m wondering if I place too much doubt on the hype.

The Archived is a story full of sorrow and beauty. From the beginning, I ached for Mackenzie and the loss of her brother. I wanted to crawl into the pages and hold her, and maybe smack her mother into dealing with her grief. I loved the flashbacks to when Mac was being trained by her grandfather Da; it felt so bittersweet, though we didn’t get see very far into their relationship. Those flashbacks, though, held so much love, you knew they were close.

The Archive was such a fascinating idea, too. Your loved ones all there, shelved and quiet, their memories still very much alive? It’s almost hard to not believe in something like that being possible. It would be nice, wouldn’t it? But then again, Mac’s job as a Keeper makes you realize why that would be entirely frightening.

I fell in love with Victoria Schwab’s writing in The Archived. It is exactly how I wish my writing to be, rich and beauitful, flowing, and without description overload. Needless to say, I will be reading all of her books from now on. The hype around her is 100% deserved and true.

Review: The Loved and the Lost by Lory S. Kaufman

Lizzie     Jan 23rd, 2013     Dystopian, Fantasy, Reviews, Science Fiction     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: Fiction Std
Source: Received from publicist
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193655853X
ISBN-13: 978-1936558537



They are three 24th-century time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona and reclaim their medieval family’s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won – or lost forever.

In this, the final book of The Verona Trilogy, Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn’t have imagined – all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.

Today, I am reviewing the final book in the Verona Trilogy, as a part of Lory’s blog tour!

Read my review of The Lens and the Looker here and my review of The Bronze and the Brimstone here.

First off, let me say, I’m a little sad to see the covers redesigned! I loved the original covers for the first two books and how they had a sort of classic look to them. However, I think these new ones are great and will definitely appeal to more readers. Which is a good thing, of course. ;)

Now, on the story…

I’m so glad I agreed to review these titles. Time travel is a concept that I’m so fascinated by, and have been for years. And this series reflects the complications and wonderful things that could arise from it. That’s one of things I loved about this particular series: it shows, ultimately, that time is a very sensitive thing.

All of the characters evolved in The Loved and the Lost; the change I noticed the most was in Hansum, and it was a far, yet great evolution from the beginning of the first book. As the 14th century characters came back into play throughout the story, I felt quite a bit nostalgic for Hansum, Lincoln, and Shamira and the times they had in the beginning of their adventures.

The story got even better with this book! If you have read my other reviews, you know I’m more of the action kind of girl than a romance-y one, and Lory delivers on the action front twofold. I don’t think I can say there was a dull moment. Plenty of heart-wrenching ones? Oh, most certainly. I never felt bored while reading it though. Without a doubt, this book was the best of the series.

It’s hard for me to say that I liked the ending of a series because, well, who likes endings? I certainly don’t! But I did think this one had a truly great end. I’ve read (and I’m sure we all have) series endings that were lackluster and made me feel disappointed in having invested so much time in it. I didn’t feel that way with The Loved and the Lost and the Verona Trilogy. You really should give this series a chance. I don’t believe you’ll regret it for a second. 0=)

Review: Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman

Lizzie     Jan 21st, 2013     Fantasy, Middle Grade, Reviews     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Received from publisher
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594745919
ISBN-13: 978-1594745911

In Professor Gargoyle, we’re introduced to 11-year-old Robert Arthur and the strange world of Lovecraft Middle School. It’s a brand-new state-of-the-art facility—so why do so many creepy things keep happening? Why is the science teacher acting so strangely? And where are all the rats coming from?

As Robert explores with his new friends Glenn and Carina, he discovers that the school may be a portal to another world.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Middle Grade novel. I have mainly focused my reading on YA for the last few years so I’d forgotten how refreshing an MG novel can be.

I had a little trouble getting in Professor Gargoyle at first, mainly because there wasn’t really any character development. Getting past that and unraveling the story with Robert, I found myself done with the book quickly—I read it in less than a day while on a road trip from Texas to Ohio.

The main objective of the book was to get to the main plot in as few pages as possible (which I did like) so that’s why there is little character development. It doesn’t waste time with tons of back stories or narrative which could bore a younger reader. The actual plot fascinated me and kept me reading. The monster are awesome ;D

This is sort of like an American Horror Story for the younger crowd. It can be creepy and I adored that there was an homage to Poltergeist in its pages! I look forward to starting The Slither Sisters, the sequel to this book, which just came out in bookstores in the US. If you have a younger brother or sister, or a child who enjoys fantasy books, I definitely recommend this book for them.

Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Lizzie     Jun 1st, 2012     Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Reviews     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Dial (March 20, 2012)
Source: ARC received from author
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803737262
ISBN-13: 978-0803737266

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.

I was honored when Michelle picked me to receive one of very last ARCs she had of A Temptation of Angels. So thank you very much Michelle!

I really, really enjoyed this one. Probably more than her previous three books, and I loved the Prophecy trilogy a whole lot. There was just something about this one that I adored! Maybe it was the fact that this one is set in and around London? Maybe it’s those British accents? Or maybe it’s the writing, which is lyrical and engaging as I’ve come to expect from Ms. Zink.

I’m not sure. But I loved this book beyond words.

Helen is a strong character and I do wish that could’ve been showcased more. I know it is set in a time where women were considered very fragile but the boys in the story, Darius and Griffin, seemed to not realize that Helen was well and capable of doing a lot more than they allowed, despite that she was equal to their positions with the Dicata. I’m hoping in the next book, Helen sets them straight. That was the only thing I have complaints about. The rest of the book = awesome.

As I’ve said before, Michelle is an incredibly lyrical writer. She weaves such amazing tales, and she knows what she’s doing. If that wasn’t apparent in the Prophecy trilogy, it will be in this one. I had no trouble getting into the story because of her amazing writing. Well, also because there was absolutely no time wasted getting to the action! Right off the first few pages, the story began and I was so engaged in it.

And let me tell you: I’ve never been so torn between two male characters. Raum and Griffin were both so… GAH! Well, actually, Helen can have Griffin and I’ll have Raum. ;)

Enough of that.


Review: Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink

Lizzie     Feb 9th, 2012     Fantasy, Paranormal, Reviews     0 Replies

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 3, 2011)
Source: Bought
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316027375
ISBN-13: 978-0316027373

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help–or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister–and maybe still does. James doesn’t know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.

There are some secrets sisters aren’t meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink’s Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

I love this series and I’m so sad to see it is over. =/ The first book wasn’t so action-y as the second, and the second wasn’t as action-y as the third. Basically, it got better with every book!

Michelle has a way with words that is so terrific, it holds me in the book and I cannot put it down for hours. It was 10 PM when I started reading and before I knew it, it was almost 1 AM. Oops! I guess for some people, that’s not saying much, but lately, I’ve had trouble getting into books for a few months but I think this book is what finally cured me of that!

I was glad to see that James, Lia’s boyfriend in the first book, had returned in this one. That was the thing that bother me the most in Guardian of the Gate; James seemed to have completely disappeared, though it was for good reason. Still, I thought it was great to see him return. Now, though, I’m pretty partial to Dimitri hehe. ;)

I’ve noticed this trend that series finales are really great up to about the last five or so pages, and then the author throws in some bit that is totally unnecessary. I won’t mention any names *coughcough*Mockingjay*coughcough* but I think we all know of a book like that. I didn’t feel this way at all with Circle of Fire. I thought this had the most perfect ending, and it wrapped almost everything up nicely.

I don’t know what was missing. Probably, nothing was missing. It’s been a while since I read the first books in the series but I felt like something was left out. Don’t take my word on that though. I think I’m just mixing things up. Overall, I really, really loved this book and this entire series. It had one of the best endings I’ve read. It was action- and romance-packed, with a fascinating storyline. I cannot wait to read more from Michelle and I know I’ll returning these books over and over again!

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