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TBalla04

99 problems, and a book ain't one

Hello. My name is Tricia, and I have an addiction, an addiction to fiction. Fellow addicts, I welcome you with open arms. Blogger over @ bookwormcoalition.wordpress.com

NO ORDINARY STAR BY: M.C. FRANK

No Ordinary Star - Frank M. Turner

 

"He doesn't look like a Drone at all. He looks...he looks like a Felix. He looks like something only he could be in the entire One World, in the universe. All people used to look like that, once, her father had told her. They used to be like that."

 

 

No Ordinary Star was a very interesting read! Set in the year 2524, where things are much different than they are now. Boys and Girls grown in labs rather than being born to parents, and being raised separately from one another, each into their predetermined gender roles in life. In a world where there is no hunger or illness anymore, but there's also no wonder, no family, no love.

 

 

is this real life

 

 

"It doesn't enter his mind right then that he's been robbed of all of this, of beauty, of life, of the very world for seventeen years."

 

 

Felix, an impressive soldier in the Chairman's Army, Astra, a rebel on the run, and Ursa, maybe the last polar bear in existence, band together as reluctant comrades to figure out what is really happening in the world around them, and what has brought them all to this deserted Clockmaster's home full of secrets, treasures, and hopefully answers.

 

 

"She knows what they are; at least she thinks she does. They're the most dangerous weapons, and none are supposed to have survived the Revision. But the Rebels had a couple of them, caked in the mud of decades and half burned -they'd been salvaged from the Revision burnings- still she's fairly certain that's what they were.

 

Books.

 

"Oh," she gasps.

 

In here there are thousands of them. A room full of weaponry -illegal weaponry."

 

 

book magic

 

 

I really enjoyed the dystopian world that Frank has created! I am curious to find out even more about it. I feel like we've only just had a glimpse of it here. I like the coming together of these radically different people like Astra and Felix. Astra has been raised by rebels and has a lot more insight into how messed up this world is and exactly what drones like Felix have been missing out on. On the flip side, Felix has been a good little soldier and quickly climbed the ranks of the chairman's army and his knowledge of the inner workings of the whole system is vast. I can't help but think that this will come in very handy later on in the series. Survival in the harsh elements of the Clockmaster's home has kind of forced them to rely on one another just to make it. But there was definitely a sense by the end that they were forming, at least a shaky sort of alliance.  

 

 

snow.gif

 

"Why does it feel like it's the greatest felony of all, the biggest crime in the Planet, that this smart, animated little person who's managed to keep herself as well as him alive for days, isn't able to put letters together to read a simple phrase?"

 

This was a quick read that set an intriguing foundation for this kind of frightening futuristic dystopian world. I am looking forward to seeing how things proceed from here! Also has to be said that this cover is so GORGEOUS!! I might just have to pick up the physical copy to add to my shelves!

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

**This book (and its sequel) is currently only $0.99 on Amazon for the Kindle copy right now!

If you're interested, you can get your copy here: https://goo.gl/A4hzKY

SLUMBER BY: J.L. WEIL

Slumber (Beauty Never Dies Chronicles Book 1) - J.L. Weil

 

The cover initially caught my eye with this one. Once I read the synopsis I thought I'd give it a try. I am glad I did! Oddly enough, since there was a lot of dark and deadly things in this world, this book ended up feeling like a light read. It was fast paced and the rather funny, snarky commentary and age of the characters helped level things out against the dangerous dystopian, post apocalyptic chaos you are immersed in.

 

 

danger

 

 

There was quite a bit going on in this story. Charlotte has awoken decades in the future and NOTHING is even close to what she remembered. She quickly has to learn how to navigate this new post-mist world where even the most innocuous seeming things will likely try to kill you now. Luckily she has Dash Darhk there to be her gorgeous, reluctant guide. Their banter was as entertaining as their chemistry was. I quite enjoyed this pair and I am rooting for them to make it! By the end I was searching for the sequel hoping for more, but unfortunately it isn't out yet. It is definitely on my watch list though.

CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS BY: MARTINA MCATEE

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - Martina McAtee

best friends

 

 

This book was AMAZING! I rarely give a first book in a series 5 stars, but if I could give this book a million stars I would!

 

 

all the stars

 

 

The world building was TOP NOTCH. I kept telling my friend this was Ilona Andrews level world building. For those that don't know, that is like the be all end all of world building, in my book at least. It was so vast I kept thinking I could stay in this world forever. I can see where there would be no shortage of stories to be told in this world that McAtee has created. There was a supernatural POWERHOUSE in this book, with plenty of beings that are familiar, shifters, witches, demons, necromancers etc. and some new and fascinating beings I haven't read about before! I enjoyed the fact that Ember was new to this supernatural world too so you got to learn everything about this new mesmerizing place and all its colorful inhabitants side by side with her.

 

 

 

The characters were so diverse and plentiful. There were a lot of people in this story, and there wasn't one that didn't have me completely engrossed in their life. I could not get enough of them! We get a few different POVs in this story, and they are perfectly executed. I am so particular about multiple POVs. If they aren't clearly recognized each time, rather by each voice being distinguishable and unique enough to stand on their own obviously, or by marking it at the chapter changes, I tend to be disappointed. I had no problem with that here. I was honestly kind of blown away how seamlessly the shift was made each time, and even more impressively, how loveable each person was! I was always happy to spend time seeing things through any of their eyes and that is no easy task!

 

 

I love YOU!

 

 

It also needs to be said that this cover is stunning as well! I really can't even do this book enough justice with a review. I loved everything about it, plain and simple. And if any of this sounds even remotely like something you may enjoy, pick this book up because I have a feeling you are going to fall in love with it too.

THE ROMEO CATCHERS BY: ALYS ARDEN

The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls Series) - Alys Arden

 

Reading an Alys Arden book is like taking a vacation. Her books make you feel like you're an actual part of the French Quarter. Completely immersive and her love of her city shines through each and every page. You end up feeling as if you are living and breathing the city right along with the characters. I absolutely adore that about these books!

 

 

bayou a drink

 

 

I loved watching the Coven come together and getting to know some new characters as well as getting more background stories from characters we already know and love. Getting to know Niccolo better was quite endearing. I don't know what Arden is trying to do to my heart, but I don't think I could possibly be any more conflicted between Niccolo and Isaac at this point! Seeing Adele and Isaac's relationship flourish in this book was so sweet. I can plainly see that they are pretty darn wonderful together. But even with Niccolo being out of sight, he was never out of mind, and seeing him as this young determined dreamer with so many hopes of a bright future tugged at each one of my heartstrings. I don't even know what I want at this point! I am DYING to see what happens in the next book.

 

 

which one

 

 

I was really excited to see more of the witch magic throughout the story. It was a lot of fun watching Adele, Isaac and Dee building up their coven and finding their place. I am very eager to see this group grow and flourish! I am completely intrigued by their individual growing powers as well! That ending was OUT OF CONTROL. You could tell that it was building to something huge towards the end, and it did not disappoint. I have no idea what will happen next in this story, but I can't wait to find out!

 

 

patience

ROAR BY: CORA CARMACK

Roar - Cora Carmack

I first heard about Roar around a month or so before it released. The premise instantly intrigued me and I knew I wanted to give this book a try so I pre-ordered it. I am so glad that I did! Roar did not disappoint! It was everything I was hoping it would be, and more!

 

Aurora was such an interesting character. I sympathized with her plight, an heir to her kingdom with a huge secret that could topple it before she even got a chance to take the throne. I liked that she was noble enough to want what was best for her kingdom, not just herself and her pride.

 

 

She needed Stormling magic as much for them as she did for herself. I was impressed with the lengths she was willing to go to become independent and strong enough to lead on her own. And considering her sheltered life, hiding herself away so no one would learn her secret, that she lacked her family magic, I thought her going on this epic journey was just what she needed, not only to find her magic, but to also find herself and get a better understanding of the world and the people that she will be ruling over one day.

 

I have to say that not only was Aurora a wonderful leading lady, but each character in this story was enchanting! I genuinely wanted to know more about each and every one, even the ones with the more nefarious intentions, maybe even especially them. Each character was well thought out and multilayered, and it made the story shine that much brighter for it. I loved the rag tag group of storm hunters!

 

 

These misfits that found something like a family in each other and a home in wherever the winds were blowing up the next big storm. They each had a compelling tale to tell, what lead them to where they are now and the things that shaped them. I feel like we have only just begun to hear their stories and know their motivations and I really can't wait to get more!

 

Besides the amazing set of characters the setting is equally enriching. Carmack has created a vast world here and I am desperately hoping to get to see even more of it in future books! And the magic! I loved the idea of these people who can conquer these storms that seem more beastly than natural. Forces of nature have always been something that equally interests me and frightens me. These things that can just come out of nowhere, wreak such havoc and bow to no man.

 

 

There's a reason "ride out the storm" is a saying, what else can you really do against such raw power? That is part of the reason I found the idea of these people who can stand toe to toe with a storm and steal its heart, its very essence, for their own so wild and compelling! And if that sounds as awesome to you is it did to me...just wait until you get to the end of this book! That twist was not something that I saw coming, and might just be my very favorite thing in this story!

 

 

If you are a fan of fantasy and adventure stories with a strong cast of characters I highly recommend giving this book a read! I am so glad that I did and now begins the excruciating wait for the sequel.

WHITE HOT BY: ILONA ANDREWS

White Hot - Ilona Andrews

I was so freaking excited to get my hands on this book! Anything Ilona Andrews is automatically an auto-buy for me. And I had been waiting for the sequel to Burn for Me for sooooo long. Of course, it did not disappoint. I was up till 3am the day I got this because I could not put it down until I got to the very end! I enjoyed jumping right back into Nevada's adventures in Private Investigations.

 

Ilona Andrews does Urban Fantasy so well. Her world building is always on point and the only thing I can say about this one is that it is so well done that I will be crushed if this series doesn't carry on past the slated trilogy. I love the whole magic based hierarchy with the Primes and their unique powers. It is so well thought out and executed that I think there are so many stories to be told in this world. I could easily see it flourishing along the same lines as the Kate Daniels series, and that's saying a lot considering how epic that series is!

 

I love the push and pull and undeniable chemistry between the Nevada and Mad Rogan. Though to be honest I was kind of hoping for a little more of the slow burn, maybe more so as a sign that they might consider further expansion with the series. But there's no denying that Nevada and Mad Rogan were inevitable. As much as I love the two of them together, I am so enamored with Nevada's whole family. They are each individually interesting and compelling, and quite a handful, but all of them together is 110% magical and completely riveting! I need to know more about each of them! Every new little bit of info we get on each of them only makes me NEED to know more. I freaking love this crazy family!

 

I am so glad that we don't have long to wait to get the next book in the series, I just hope it isn't the last! If Urban Fantasy is your thing, I highly recommend that you give this series a try (and the Kate Daniels series too!). You will not be disappointed, this dangerous duo does UF like no one's business!

THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM BY: ELISE KOVA

The Alchemists of Loom - Elise Kova

The Alchemists of Loom was definitely a unique read. I appreciated the vast world building that Kova pulled off beautifully and I also found the characters to be very dynamic and intriguing. The only thing that threw me off at first was it wasn't exactly clear that the dragons were not actually huge flame breathing beasts, but really people...in a sense. It was confusing at first because you have a distinct picture in your head already of what a dragon should be and unfortunately it takes a bit to understand that the dragons in this story are a breed of their own and nothing like what you thought.

 

Once that little tidbit sinks in you end up wanting to know more about these dragons and the dangerous world you've been immersed in. Of course I was greedy to know more right away, but Kova hands out little nuggets of truth and clarity as you go so it takes awhile to put it all together. All in all I liked the story, even more so after the confusion was cleared up, and I have high hopes that the sequel will be very interesting!

TRAIN WRECK BY: ELISE FABER

Train Wreck (Life Sucks Book 1) - Elise Faber

 

Train Wreck was like a breath of fresh air. It was so cute, light, sweet and funny and it was impossible to not be charmed by Pepper and all her adorkableness. She was honestly one of the most refreshing new characters that I have read in awhile. I think we have all felt like a train wreck of sorts at one time or another, and Pepper managed to make it feel okay to embrace that a little. Or at the very least accept it and still be able to face the day with a smile and a can-do attitude.

 

Pepper and Derek were really cute together. I liked the idea of these two both out trying to find their own way in life, free of the family expectations that don't quite fit them, and ultimately finding a new way together. Even if they were kind of fumbling through it at first, actually that might have been my favorite part.

 

This is the perfect little rom-com that pulls your right in from the beginning and has you rooting for these two to figure things out and make it work. It is a fun, quick read with laugh out loud moments. If you like contemporary romance with a side of comedy I suggest giving Train Wreck a try!

 

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

STRANGE THE DREAMER BY: LAINI TAYLOR

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
Hello Lazlo Strange.
 
 
magic in your heart
 
 
I was completely charmed by Lazlo. He was a kindred spirit. A bookworm, a hopeless magical romantic with a wild imagination, a dreamer through and through. He had this pure, untainted hopefulness that most of us adults seem to let diminish as we grow older and I just couldn't get enough. Seeing everything through his eyes made you see the world so full of wonder and adventure and it made the experience so much better. You felt his excitement and it made yours increase in the process.
 
 
dont let reality get in the way
 
 
The mystery of Weep was equally as an enchanting! I found myself trying to figure out exactly what could be happening there right along with Lazlo, and I couldn't have dreamt up anything nearly as wondrous than Laini Taylor did. This place and the people were so interesting. Each little piece of information we got about them just made me want to know more!
 
 
all dreamers
 
 
The writing was beautiful as well. Taylor has a way of truly sweeping you away with her words. She paints a vivid picture and you are bound to find yourself blissfully lost in this world of magic and secrets. Truth be told, I loved this book so much that I tracked down the UK special edition with the blue edged pages and original artwork by the author, and it was signed so I was extra excited. I'm going to be collecting a bunch of Strange the Dreamer goodies for the foreseeable future. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, especially after that ending! I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy!
 
 

 

THE BONE WITCH BY: RIN CHUPECO

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

It is so hard to say I wasn't at least slightly disappointed in this book. And who knows, maybe that is my own fault. This premise had such sweet sweet promise. My expectations were high. And I have read previous books by Rin Chupeco before and really enjoyed them. I wouldn't go as far as to say I did not enjoy The Bone Witch, but it definitely did not live up to my high expectations.

 

The jumps between a young Tea discovering what she is and the current Tea in exile was initially intriguing to me. I wanted to know how this small, rather timid young girl found herself in such an interesting place. Honestly, most of my issue was with the very slow movement of things for, well, most of the book. While I found parts of young Tea's journey in the beginning interesting, her as a character was not the most engaging. Her true appeal to me more often than not was her power, which was a little of a let down in itself as we rarely got to see her wield it. Her power and the world Chupeco created was really fantastic, as were the stories and quirks of some of the side characters, like Lady Mykeala. 

 

I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. But in the end I can't help but think maybe if the characters (namely Tea) were just a bit more compelling, or maybe if there were a few more twists or bursts of something exciting or gripping amidst the sometimes painstaking descriptions of everything. Always a MAYBE IF. If that something more, something special, something charming happened more than this book could really be something pretty amazing. It had its moments, but I'm not quite sure those moments evened the rest of the waiting for that something special truly worth it. I think I would give the next book a try. I still, after everything, see so much potential here. It would be amazing to see this story really develop in the way I hope it will. I am prepared to still hold on to that hope a little while longer.   

 

I received an ARC of this book from SOURCEBOOKS Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BREAKWATER BY: ERRIN STEVENS

Breakwater  - Errin Stevens

I liked that the fantasy element was much more prominent in Breakwater. I also appreciated that the same level of care was given to the characters. Quite honestly that still remains my favorite thing in this series. It is clear the author spends a great deal of time and detail developing well rounded and mostly well liked characters and intricate relationships. I think Stevens truly shines there.

 

I liked seeing some of the characters that we met in the first book, Updrift, in this one, playing larger roles. And I seeing some new characters that we were introduced to in Breakwater. I do think that there was a lot more going on in Breakwater too, plot wise. Maybe even a little too much with the many sub plots taking place. It was a page turner, but could leave your head spinning a little at times.

 

All in all this was a good read and I enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing what happens with everyone in the next book!

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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DOMINION BY: J. KOWALLIS

— feeling beaten
Dominion (The Enertia Trials Book 4) - J. Kowallis
"The future always changes. Like water ripples interrupted by a falling stick, the afterimage can be disrupted, and in the end, only the strongest claim dominion."
 
What just happened to me? I am convinced that Kowallis's goal was to have her readers feeling as completely ravaged as her characters felt. Well mam,
 
mission accomplished boom
 
You broke me.
 
ruined
 
Over and over again. You had me doubting EVERYTHING. I was stuck in this place of unyielding paranoia. I had to question pretty much everyone, even people I would have sworn were unwavering in their cause. Even my FAVORITE characters were not safe. Even if it was just for a brief moment, I doubted their intentions, I wondered if they could possibly be going darkside.
 
paranoid gif 2
 
And I can just picture you sitting there after finishing writing Dominion cackling with your evil author laugh like...
 
 
tears of my readersevil smirk
 
Dominion was an intense, high anxiety adrenaline rush that does not relent until the very end. And I would not give back a moment of it. Thankfully, Kowallis somehow manages to sneak in a few really sweet moments that end up feeling even more precious because they are happening amidst the sheer chaos going on around them. I also think this book especially highlights just how wonderfully complex the characters are in this series. Each one shows such a wide range in Dominion. No one is the same as they were when they started out in this journey, which is what you want to see by the last book. Even when you were seeing the worst of them they still had your heart, even if, as Roy so eloquently put it, they have that "damn stubbornness and piece-of-shit attitudes that make people want to hit you in the face with a hammer.". Just another reason I adore Roy. That man is a ROCK. I never ceased to be amazed by how stead-fast he was through everything, and he stayed true to that through all the insanity he had to endure in this one.
 
well done sir
 
It is really hard to fully gush about this book because there are just so many things that would spoil the full experience of it and I refuse to do that. If you've come this far with the series I promise that Dominion does not disappoint. You'll feel like a war torn mess after reading it, but you will also feel a sense of peace and hopefulness at the end. Which considering everything that went down in this series, is more than you can ask for.
 
do it again
 
Now, if you're one of the unfortunate souls that has not yet started this series...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
 
poor unfortunate souls
 
It is complete now, and if dystopian is something you like than this series is a DO NOT MISS! I truly can't recommend it enough.
 
I am sad to say goodbye to this series, but I am completely fulfilled and content with the way it ended. And I CAN'T WAIT to see what J. Kowallis comes up with next!
 
im ready gif
 
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

THE SCOURGE BY: A.G. HENLEY

The Scourge - A.G. Henley

 

So this was a random book I found and had on my kindle. You guys ever play kindle roulette? I was in a funk and not sure what to read next and was so overwhelmed by my tbr that I was taking way too long to decide on what to read next so I finally just blindly chose from what I had and I could not have chosen better than The Scourge! I was camping when I started this and it was the perfect backdrop for reading this story! Just a smidge creepy and set in the woods, I may or may not have brandished my flash light as a weapon at some noises, just sayin.

 

 

flashlight war

 

 

So yeah, not only was the setting for this read perfection, but the story was really great as well! It started out with this post apocalyptic zombiesque feel to it, but then about halfway through there was this awesome twist that I did not see coming at all! I really loved this storyline, it was something totally different and unique.

 

 

say what ron b gif

 

 

And in with that amazing twist somehow things shift from being afraid of the Scourge, to being afraid of what regular ole humans will do when they are afraid, which can be pretty darn terrifying in its own right. Just lots of smart plot work done here all around.

 

 

thats how its done

 

 

The characters were great too. I found it really cool to have the main character, Fennel, be sightless. It amped up the fear factor a bit to imagine a girl growing up in this terrifying world as she did, not being able to see the danger all around her. It was also that much more incredible to me how brave she was to face everything, even the unknown, the way that she did.

 

 

Peree was really great as well. I really like that he looked out for Fennel the way he did, and I liked even more that he was constantly learning from her as well. He had a lot of heart and they both kind of marched to the beat of their own drum so I thought they made a good match. I also really enjoyed the star-crossed romance going on between a Groundling and a Loftie.

 

 

romeo

 

 

The ending set things up nicely to continue with the story in an organic way, a rocky new relationship between the two factions. Which is inevitably bound to have some bumps in the road. I look forward to seeing the story continue!

— feeling excited
The Dark Tower - Stephen King

Who else is really excited about this? I'm digging the trailer. 

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas
Happy ACOWAR DAY!!
Happy ACOWAR DAY!!