Friday, October 31, 2014

All Things Halloween Review - The Infinite Sea

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, # 2)

By: Rick Yancey

Published: September 16th 2014 by Putnam Juvenile

480 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic

Source: Personal Library

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*Note: The above links to Amazon, Book Depository, and are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.”

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

*Deep sigh*. Oh my. That was a roller coaster. The Infinite Sea felt like a George R R Martin novel because absolutely nothing good happens to these characters. That’s not me spoiling this book. That’s me trying to prepare you for this ride because just when things are looking up…….WHAM! Not so much. Even though The Infinite Sea was an exhausting book, it still was a great second installment to The 5th Wave series.

We pick up The Infinite Sea a little while after The 5th Wave ended. I don’t remember how much time actually passed, maybe two weeks, but regardless, I didn’t feel out of the loop or like too much happened between the end of the first book and the beginning of this one. Like The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey writes from multiple POVs. The largest portions were Cassie, Ringer, Evan, Ben/Zombie, and then Poundcake had a few short sections similar to the sections Sam had in the first installment. I really enjoyed Ringer’s sections even though I wasn’t excited about reading from her POV at first. And even Poundcake’s short little sections added to the depth of the entire story.

When we start The Infinite Sea, Ringer has been tasked with the job of scouting ahead. The group has plans to travel to a more permanent hiding place for the winter because the hotel they’re staying now just isn’t far enough from Camp Haven where everything went down at the end of The 5th Wave. The hotel was supposed to be Evan and Cassie’s rendezvous location, but Evan has yet to show up. Zombie/Ben is ready to move on assuming that Evan is dead, but Cassie isn’t ready to give up yet. Thus Ringer has been sent out to scout out these caves as a potential winter shelter. Without giving too much away, Ringer finds herself back in the hands of the enemy, and eventually Evan finds his way to Cassie. But life isn’t blue skies and rainbows for any of these characters. More terrible things continue to happen as the enemy closes in around them.

Anyone who wasn’t digging the Cassie/Evan relationship from The 5th Wave can relax because their relationship is not the focus of this book. But don’t relax too much because there still is a relationship to be had. I personally love Cassie and Evan. I see no difference between them and Wanderer and what’s-his-face from The Host. And they’re probably less creepy than Katie and Daemon from The Lux series. At least Evan’s DNA is human. Anyway…loved them as individual characters and loved them together. Cassie surprises me sometimes with her temper. She isn’t as timid as you might think. And that spark inside her is what drew Evan to her to begin with. When everyone else would have hid, Cassie stood up to fight. Evan’s fighting his nature at every step. Or maybe he’s actually following his nature, depending on how you look at it. But it’s a battle nonetheless, and one he doesn’t always understand. He has Cassie set at # 1 for every single turn. Everything, for him, always comes back to her. And I love that.

I was hoping for a Zombie/Ringer hook up, but that didn’t really happen since Ringer is not even with the group through 99% of the book. Remember from The 5th Wave that Ringer shot Ben so he’s injured now. That being the case, he is not at the top of his game throughout The Infinite Sea, but even still, Zombie is not a character to mess with. Speaking of Ringer, as what typically happens with me…now that I was allowed a glimpse inside her head she became a much more likeable character. She, like the others, is just trying to cope in a very broken world, and she’s trying to survive. She easily has the toughest road out of all the characters in this book, and I liked her more and more the further along things went.

Enter a new character…everyone say hi to Razor. *Waves* I wasn’t sure, at all, what to think about him. He’s charged to essentially take care of Ringer while she’s in the enemy’s clutches and you can see him transform from stoic soldier, to confused pawn, to potential help, to more, and back again. It’s a process that truly kept me guessing. And I should have seen some events surrounding him coming but I just didn’t. He surprised me through and through.

As with The 5th Wave, I just really enjoyed Rick Yancey’s writing. He’s smooth, free-flowing, and poetic. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

-Five men and two women, strangers to one another on the eve of that final growing season, now bound by the unspoken promise that the least of them was greater than the sum of all of them.

-He was squeezed between what the world had been and what the world had become, who he was before and who he was now, and the cost of all the unspoken promises weighing on his heart.

-Promises are the only currency left. They must be spent wisely.

-“What’s the first priority?”
”No bad thoughts,” she answers dutifully.
”Because bad thoughts do what?”
”Make us soft.”
”And what happens if we go soft?”
”We die.”
”And do we want to die?”
She shakes her head. “Not yet.”

-“One day, Private Ringer, you’re going to smile at something I say and the world will break in half.”
”I’m not prepared to take on that responsibility.”

-When you look death in the eye and death blinks first, nothing seems impossible.

-Promises are priceless, and a kiss is a kind of promise, too.

-I’ll find you, Cassie. Don’t I always find you?

-You never know when the truth will come home. You can’t choose the time. The time chooses you.

-“Who is Cassiopea?” … “The one who stood up when anyone else would have stayed down”…

-He’s violated more than my memories. He’s molesting my soul.

-My reaction is months in the making. And instantaneous.

-Lies within lies within lies. Feints and counterfeints. Like a desert mirage, no matter how hard you ran toward it, it stayed forever in the distance. Finding the truth was like chasing the horizon.

The Infinite Sea was a great second book in The 5th Wave series. It was packed. It was emotional. It was exhausting. It was great. The Infinite Sea gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read The Infinite Sea? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

All Things Halloween Review - Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, # 3)

By: Laini Taylor

Published: April 8, 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton

613 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Sourece: Birthday Present

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, Book Depository, and are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

I felt like I missed a good bit of Days of Blood and Starlight while I was listening to it on audio. And so in an attempt to prevent that from happening with Dreams of Gods and Monsters I did two things: 1) I took notes. 2) I progressed slowly and only listened when I felt like I could really pay attention. And I still came out of Dreams of Gods and Monsters feeling a little like I missed some important parts, but not nearly to the level of Days of Blood and Starlight. I say all this to say that this is a complicated series, and while I would definitely recommend this series to lovers of fantasy, I would not really recommend the audio version. Khristine Vham does a great job with the narration. I applaud her pronunciation, and I even like the voices that she does for the characters, specifically Zuzana. It's just that there is a lot to absorb, and I think it's probably better done through actually reading it.

As I said, there's a lot that happens in this book, and it's one of the more complicated stories with pieces coming in from all angles. Coming in at 613 pages, Dreams of Gods and Monsters has a lot to wrap up and bring together. I dealt with frustrations in the beginning with story lines that felt like they didn't have anything to do with what's happened so far. And that's true to some extent, but mostly they were there to pull everything together for the ending. But it took quite a while for the events to begin to make sense. And most of the time, I just wanted to get back to Karou and Akiva.

Karou is one of those characters that has it all. She experiences almost every emotion you can think of throughout this book and especially over the entire course of the series. Zuzana is still one of my favorite best friend characters, and probably one of my favorite characters period. She brings the humor and I heart her. Akiva...poor Akiva. He's been through so much and Dreams of Gods and Monsters doesn't really give him a break either. Ziri shines in the parts that are focused on him. I was fearful of his affection towards Karou, but I didn’t have to worry. Liraz softens as a character throughout Dreams of Gods and Monsters, and I’m so glad because she was a throwaway character for me before.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters does wrap up all the loose ends so no worries about a cliffhanger. I was especially stressed out about the ending there for a while, but everything worked out in a way that I was completely okay with. This series as a whole has been an extremely enjoyable fantasy and I look forward to going back through it whenever I have a chance—maybe then more of the details will sink in. I definitely recommend Dreams of Gods and Monsters and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series as a whole. Dreams of Gods and Monsters gets 4 stars from me. Have you read Dreams of Gods and Monsters? What did you think? Let me know!

*Having not actually read this book, I didn't see the spelling for each character's name and may have misspelled some above. If you notice any misspellings, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Please Remain Calm

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Please Remain Calm (This is Not a Test, # 2)

By: Courtney Summers

Expected Publication: January 20th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Zombies, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--In this gripping sequel to THIS IS NOT A TEST, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more--people who offer him the closest he'll get to everything he's lost, if they can just hold on long enough.

Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find the girl he lost, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways ...

AH!!!!! A sequel!!!! YAY!!! Loved This is Not a Test! What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

This feautre is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Movies to Spark the Halloween Spirit

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Movies to Spark the Halloween Spirit.

  1. Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman
  2. Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kathy Najimy
  3. 28 Days Later starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston
  4. The Craft starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, & Neve Campbell
  5. The Walking Dead (TV show) starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, & Steven Yeun
  6. Blade starring Wesley Snipes
  7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show) starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, & Alyson Hannigan
  8. The Sixth Sense starring Haley Joel Osment & Bruce Willis
  9. The Village starring Joaquim Phoenix & Bryce Dallas Howard
  10. The Grudge starring Sarah Michelle Gella

  11. And an honorable mention of:
  12. Casper starring Christina Ricci & Bill Pullman

What are the movies/tv shows that you go to in order to get into the Halloween Spirit? Let me know!

This feautre is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Monday, October 27, 2014

All Things Halloween Review - Touch of Frost

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, # 1)

By: Jennifer Estep

Published: August 1st 2011 by K-Teen

350 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mythology, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, The Book Depository, and are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died...

I’m not sure that I have much to say about Touch of Frost. This was a fairly easy read for me to get through. I liked the different take on the supernatural/mythology with this story being centered around an academy to Amazons, Valkyries, Spartans, Vikings, etc. learning how to battle against Reapers and others in an epic battle spanning the ages. I don’t often read about modern day Spartans or Vikings so I appreciated the new (to me) approach to paranormal/fantasy YA.

Gwen was an okay character in the beginning. She’s new to Mythos, and she’s different from all the other students in that she’s a Gypsy and she’s the only Gypsy at Mythos. During the teenage years there’s just about nothing worse to a kid than being different. And Gwen is no exception. She feels like an outcast, but just as much as she blames that on the other kids, it’s her fault as well. Gwen doesn’t seem to have made much of an effort to make friends up until this point. Granted, her mother only passed away six months ago, so we’ll give her a pass for being depressed and antisocial. It was nice to see Gwen branch out and grow over the book, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much more she changes over the coming books. The slow changes she makes in thinking, action, and relationships was enjoyable and realistic.

Because Gwen feels like an outcast in the school, she looks at the other students very negatively. It’s warranted in some cases and in some cases not. Jennifer Estep writes an overly clichéd group of mean girls that are even mean to each other. As a matter of fact there was much of Touch of Frost that felt clichéd to me when it came to plot and characters despite the unique overall concept of descendant-warriors of these ancient groups of people. None of the twists were really a surprise for me, and I felt like the social aspects of Mythos were so stereotypical that I found myself rolling my eyes a good bit.

All of that said, I felt like Touch of Frost was still a decent first installment to a series that I see some real potential in enjoying. Logan, of course, is a hottie even if he behaved stereotypical as well. Touch of Frost gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Touch of Frost? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Post - 120 & Stacking the Shelves - 83

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This week so super eventful. I'm over my sinus infection! YAY! Thanks to everyone who wished me well last week. I started trying to wake up early in order to squeeze my workouts in before work. That's so difficult for me because I have a hard enough time getting out of bed in order to get to work on time every day. I'm not a morning person, but I love seeing how many more calories I end up burning for the day when I workout in the morning versus working out in the afternoon when we get home from work. Husband and I went and had physicals on Tuesday. Friday we had a Halloween party at my brother and sister-in-law's house. I was off work on Friday to get ready for the party, and it was so good that I was. I worked out first thing and then got busy cooking. I made two new recipes that I got from Pinterest. The party was a hit. We played some games with the kids and then ate tons of food. And lastly the adults played a round of homemade Halloween Taboo. It was a lot of work to come up with all of the cards, but I think it was worth it. And everyone seemed to have a good time.

This is the last week of my month-long event, All Things Halloween, full of reviews and features for books and movies paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc.


Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Pretty When She Dies (Pretty When She Dies, # 1) by Rhiannon Frater (3.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten New Series I Want to Start
Wednesday: Waiting on All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Thursday: All Things Halloween Review of Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, # 3) by Robin LaFevers (5 Stars!!!)
Friday: All Things Halloween Review of Passion (Fallen, # 3) by Lauren Kate (3 Stars)
Saturday: 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up


Monday: All Things Halloween Review of Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, # 1) by Jennifer Estep
Tuesday: Top Ten Movies to Spark Your Halloween Spirit
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: All Things Halloween Review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bones, # 3) by Laini Taylor
Friday: All Things Halloween Review of The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, # 2) by Rick Yancey & October 2014 EOM Wrap Up
Saturday: Review of Jane's Harmony (Jane's Melody, # 2) by Ryan Winfield

Don't forget to sign up for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2014 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with a BIG giveaway at the end of the year! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Rowdy (Marked Men, # 5)

By: Jay Crownover

Published: October 21st 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks

400 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--After the only girl he ever loved told him he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and decided he was going to do everything in his power to live up to his nickname. Life was all about a good time, good friends and never taking much too seriously. Rowdy learned his lesson early on, when you care that much about anything it can destroy you, and he never wants to risk feeling like that again. Only now he has a new coworker, a ghost from the past who’s making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in a house with too many rules, too many regulations, and no fun allowed. That never worked for her so she left it all behind as soon as she could, but she never forgot the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been in love with her little sister. Fate and good intentions from an old friend have placed her right in Rowdy’s path and she’s determined to show him he picked the wrong sister all those years ago. A mission that is going along perfectly until the one person that ties them together shows up and could very well tear them back.

The Body Electric

By: Beth Revis

Published: October 6th 2014 by Scripturient Books

482 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Paranormal

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon)

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge - October Wrap Up

It's time for our tenth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Can you guys believe that we're wrapping up October already? Goodness! Since posting the September Wrap Up, I finished Pull (Push, # 2) by Claire Wallis. I will link up when my review posts.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the October giveaway runs from October 25th - November 25th. On November 25th we will use and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Friday, October 24, 2014

All Things Halloween Review - Passion

Passion (Fallen, # 3)

By: Lauren Kate

Published: June 14th 2011 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2011)

420 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels, Demons

Source: Borrowed the paperback from friend, Paula (Thanks PB!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn't need to be that way....

Luce is certain that something - or someone - in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime...going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel...and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames...forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

I borrowed Passion from my friend Paula somewhere around 2 years ago! (More like 3 at the time of this posting.) WHOOPS! Super bad friend, I know. My bad. I was torn between wanting to finish this series and knowing that I wasn’t excited about this book in particular. I initially liked the idea of two people (okay one person and one semi-fallen angel) being soul mates, continually being reincarnated (or the human continually being reincarnated), and finding each other lifetime after lifetime; however, a couple of things have made this subject not as appealing as it once was. 1) Being a Christian sometimes I find it annoying that angels in fiction never seem to behave in reverence to God as I believe they would in real life. Obviously there are true fallen angels in real life, yet that is the difference between angels and demons. And my point being that there for a while it seemed like every “angel book” I read seemed a bit too rebellious and too far fiction for me. 2) YA Paranormal books where something supernatural brings the characters together yet the characters can still choose to fight their supernatural connection began to abound—at least in my own reading. Like the too far fiction of angels vs. demons, I began to question what the point was of having a supernatural connection to another being if those characters weren’t going to end up together. 3) I really hate time travel books. I’m really not 100% sure WHY I hate time travel books, but I’ve yet to read one where I didn’t find it annoying. So all of that sums up how I felt about starting Passion and why I put it off for so long.

Because it’s been so long since I read Torment, starting Passion left me a bit confused. I’m sure I still missed some connections between the previous books and this one, but that’s okay. I got the gist of the story. Truthfully on top of my other hang ups I’ve already discussed, Luce was beginning to get on my nerves with how much she was questioning Daniel and their relationship. Granted, Daniel was never really a fountain of information for Luce and often left her with more questions than answers in the past. But when you’ve lived thousands of years constantly being reincarnated and continually falling in love with the same person over and over again, how do you question that deep down. And also truthfully I skimmed a lot of Luce’s narrations. However, the further I got into the book and the more Luce learned about her past lives with Daniel, the more willing I was to dig in a little deeper instead of just skimming the surface. Luce learns some critical things about her love for Daniel and about his love for her, but it sure seemed like it took her a long time to learn them.

Daniel, on the other hand, I was more able to connect with. I can’t remember if he’s ever really had a narration separate from Luce in the previous books, but I felt like I was able to see him as a character much better through Passion than Luce. I will say that I liked the contrast between Daniel and Luce. Whereas Daniel’s love has continued to grow for Luce throughout each incarnation, Luce’s love for Daniel has had to begin anew each time. Daniel has all the information of lifetime’s past, but Luce is essentially a blank slate. Luce wants Daniel to share his information with her so bad, yet Daniel knows that doing so in the past has essentially caused her death and he wants to get as much time with her in this lifetime as possible.

I pushed myself to continue to read this one when I might have otherwise put it down because I wanted this officially read, marked off my list, and given back to Paula. That being said, if I needed to put this one down more frequently it probably would have resulted in a lower rating. Each incarnation that Luce or Daniel traveled back to was a bit of the same thing over and over. “Oh no, you’re dressed for the wrong time period. Must find you some proper clothes.” “Oh look, there’s your former self.” Watch from a distance or meld into your former self to experience everything first hand. “Oh look, there’s Daniel’s former self.” Make out. “Whoops, you died….again.”

Passion was better than I expected it to be. It wasn’t as bad in all of the areas as I expected. Lauren Kate’s angels and demons, even Lucifer, appear to have a reverence for God or at the very least, there seems to be certain underlying rules that were more true to life than many other YA paranormal fiction I’ve read in the past. Luce and Daniel remain true to their love for each other in every reincarnation which makes their supernatural curse bond serve a purpose. And while Luce’s travels to the past were a bit of an annoyance to me, I’m glad she was able to learn the lessons she needed to learn. Daniel’s trips back were a bit less frustrating in general.

Passion gets 3 Stars from me. I can’t say I loved this book, but it was more bearable than I was expecting it to be. And finally I can cross this one off my list and move on to the series ender, Rapture. Have you read Passion? What did you think? Let me know! *Side note, I really like all the covers for this series, minus this one. I’m not sure if it’s the girl herself or the way the cover was done, but she looks a bit fake in this picture. Anyone else see what I’m seeing?

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

All Things Halloween Review - Mortal Heart

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassins, # 3)

By: Robin LaFevers

Expected Publication: November 4th 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

480 pages

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!!!)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, Book Depository, and are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has.

You guys, I am so sad that this series is over. I have absolutely fallen in love with this series and with these characters. I want more. Robin LaFevers has definitely made my list of authors to check out more of her work. Must do so immediately.

Before I discuss the book itself, I’d like to say that while I’m totally not complaining—I’m truly just happy to have been giving the opportunity to read and review Mortal Heart--but the egalley version I had used a special version of Adobe that I could only read on my computer. This super sucked because I had to put it down a lot more than I would have otherwise. I would have been reading it on my phone and kindle at every opportunity, but with the version it was that wasn’t possible. Again….not complaining….just commenting.

Mortal Heart had everything that I fell in love with in Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph plus some. I love the strong females that Robin LaFevers has created. This convent of assassins dedicated to serving Death. They’re all skilled in so many ways and smart to boot. Ismae and Sybella both have dark pasts filled with abuse from various men in their pasts. Annith has a past that includes abuse, but her abuse didn’t come from any man. I loved how real Annith was. Despite how much love she bears for her sisters at the convent, she’s insanely jealous that she hasn’t been called on to serve Mortain by going out on a mission of her own. When the abbess resorts to sending out a much younger novitiate, Annith decides that’s the last straw. She must confront the abbess as to why she has been passed over.

The answer that Annith is given—that she has been called to be the convents new Seeress—doesn’t make any sense to Annith. She hasn’t shown any particular skill in this area. The abbess is hiding something, but Annith just doesn’t know what it is. We know from the previous two books and the interactions that both Ismae and Sybella have had with the abbess that there is definitely something going on that she’s not sharing. There’s some deception involving her. Once we got to Annith’s story, I felt like the big secret wasn’t that much of a secret, but I wasn’t 100% confident in my guess either. I’m always happy when this happens—when the author can give me enough to let me feel like I’m ahead of the crowd, but keep me from being fully confident in my conclusions at the same time.

With each of these stories, I’ve been impressed with the romantic relationship that develops. Each time the romance has been slow building and based on much more than outward appearance. Substance and relationship is built before any major attraction is kindled or acted upon. Annith was “faster” than either Ismae or Sybella though (and yet slower at the same time). I absolutely loved Annith’s relationship. This whole aspect was much more of a mystery than the previous two books and so I won’t even tell you the name of Annith’s significant other just to keep you in suspense. Just know that I LOVED this part.

As I’ve mentioned in both reviews of the previous two books, Robin LaFevers chooses each word specifically. She doesn’t just write and hope everything fits and makes sense. Each word is handpicked—or at least appears that way. This adds an authenticity to the series that puts it on a whole new level than it would have been otherwise. While period language can cause me to stumble over sentences when reading the classics, this just doesn’t happen with her. Her sentences flow in just the perfect way. I love how much actual history she brings in, yet tweaking it to fit her own needs to move the story along.

But perhaps my favorite aspect of this entire series is the relationship that these girls have with their god. While I’m always hesitant when reading books that aren’t about God, I hate when books throw in the fact that a specific character doesn’t believe in God at all. And the relationship that these girls have with the god of Death is so symbolic that I couldn’t help but think Robin LaFevers was writing about the Christian’s relationship with God. My favorite quotes always revolved around each girl’s interaction with Mortain, and I loved the symbolism that I pulled out of this book (whether it was what Robin LaFevers intended or not).

Once again, here are too many of my favorite quotes--I couldn't stop:

-...Mortain is a far more gentle god than most people give him credit for...

-...compassion is as different from pity as as a feast is from crumbs. Compassion says that I, too, have felt this and I offer you the knowledge that it can be endured so that you may draw strength from that knowledge and survive. Whereas pity--pity makes one feel smaller.

-He simply plucked the arrow from his chest, then bowed and thanked her for reminding Him that love never comes without cost.

-Wholly bathed in sin, and still seeking redemption in spite of it. It puts my own smaller sins in perspective and makes me proud to serve a god who is so forgiving.

-"I am just overwhelmed by the immensity of Mortain's grace. That even if we are lost or wandering, He will find us--always, He will find us--and try to bring us home."

-I try every way I know to lever my body against his, to upset his balance or cause him to shift, even a bit. But every time we touch, it feels far too much like a caress. Every time our bodies slam into each other, it feels like an unspoken promise.

-I do not have a specific prayer I wish to recite to Mortain. I never do. It has always been my custom to simply open my heart to Him so He may see and know all I that I am feeling--the good along with the bad, my grand thoughts as well as my small ones. I do that now, and peace washes through me, clearing me of my doubts and renewing my sense of purpose.

-I pray so that I may know my heart.

-It is hard to tell if that is a note of anguish I detect in his voice or if it is merely my own longings reflected back at me.

-...this cold, calculated desire for revenge I hold in my heart feels much more human than divine.

-As I tell my tale, I realize he listens to me in a way that few others do. I can feel him listening, and I fear he hears things I do not even know I am saying.

-"Jealous? Of that old man? Nay, it is just that if anyone is to hunt you, it should be me."

-"I do not want a love if I must bind it to me in such a manner, for does not the very binding of it make it less like love?"

-And most important, I will teach them how to love, for in the end, that has been the greatest weapon of all. It has proven stronger even than Death.

Mortal Heart gets 5 stars from me. This may just be my favorite in the series, which is pretty odd for me to enjoy the last book better than the first. It was a brilliant series ender that answered all of my questions while leaving me wanting more too. I sense a book hangover because of this one. Have you read Mortal Heart? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on All the Rage

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

All the Rage

By: Courtney Summers

Expected Publication: April 14th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In her hardcover debut, from the author of Cracked Up To Be and This is Not a Test, comes a powerful new young adult novel. 

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous.But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now—but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

I absolutely loved This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, and I can't wait to get my hands on All the Rage.

This feature is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten New Series I Want to Start

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten New (to me) Series I Want to Start.

  1. The Storyspinner (The Keepers’ Chronicles, # 1) by Becky Wallace
  2. The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, # 1) by Melinda Salisbury
  3. Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy, # 1) by Victoria Aveyard
  4. Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles, # 1) by Amanda Hocking
  5. Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, # 1) by Josephine Angelini
  6. Six of Crows (The Dregs, # 1) by Leigh Bardugo (not pictured)
  7. Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, # 1) by Gena Showalter
  8. The Young Elites (The Young Elites, # 1) by Marie Lu
  9. A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, # 1) by Claudia Gray
  10. Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, # 1) by Katie McGarry (not pictured)

There are plenty of other series I want to start, but most of them are old. I already cheated as it was. OOOPS! Oh well. What about you? What new series do you want to start? Let me know!