Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Body Electric by Beth Revis (ARC)

The Body Electric
Beth Revis
Pub.: October 6, 2014

The Body ElectricThe 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?

Ella's life wasn't completely easy. Her father died in a terrorist attack and her mother has an incurable illness that's slowly withering her away. Ella soon learns that her mother's invention - a machine that allows users to relive their happiest memories - no longer works to give her mother peace. So Ella doses herself with an insane amount of nanobots to allow herself to hook up and help her mother through the process. But now her body seems to be able to do things she never should've been able to, like staying underwater for way too long without breathing.

Once the government realizes what Ella can do with her mother's machine, they enlist her help to read the mind of a man they suspect is aiding a terrorist organization. The internal hacking leads Ella to the name of a man who used to work for her father, who is also suspected of leading the terrorist group. But when Ella finally comes face to face and mind to mind with him, she discovers the awful truth - that not only does that man have intimate moments of the two of them together that she can't remember, but that he nor the government leader she's been aiding are what they seem.
 
I really enjoyed Beth Revis' Across the Universe books, so I figured I'd probably really like The Body Electric too. This dystopian society relies heavily on technology to advance their lives, hence the nanobots circulating their systems. Ella thought she had a relatively low number, but soon learns that she has way more than she thought possible without suffering from bot brain, which basically makes your body go kaput. And once she learns it's probably because of her own father's research, her life will never be the same.

Reading through this, there were a few things that were obviously coming, and a few things that actually surprised me - and I'm hard to surprise. I think my one dissapointment was with the ending and its lack of closure on the romance front. It was left in a way that wasn't satisfying for me. These two characters had a past and I would've liked to see them acknowledge it a little more and choose a path before cutting me off, but other than that it was a pretty interesting novel. So if you're into mystery science fiction, this is a pretty good one to pick up.
 
3.5 dreamcatchers.
 
 
ARC provided by Scripturient Books for honest review.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

99 Cent Sale!

Now through November 12th, you can pick up all my individually released novels for just 99 little pennies. Snatch 'em up while you can. Some are sweet, some are dark, some are dirty, some are supernatural, and all are sassy. ;)
 


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Crane by Stacey Rourke

Crane (The Legends Saga, #1)
Stacey Rourke
Pub: May 26, 2014

Crane (The Legends Saga, #1)The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.


Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

Ichabod Crane's descendent has returned to Sleepy Hollow, and the moment she does, residents suddenly become victimized by beheadings. And the residents aren't shy about showing their distrust of Ireland and her familial connection to their small town. But when a mystery dude from the past shows up and her dreams start becoming a little prophetic, Ireland Crane is forced to believe that maybe, just maybe, those murdered were selected on her behalf. 
 
I thought I was really going to like this, as I love the Sleepy Hollow storyline in general, but I guess I felt this particular version was lacking as I read through it. I will say it's got a pretty cool cover, which is what drew it to me to begin with. Crane takes readers back and forth between Ireland's present to the past with what happened on Ichabod's end, and I dare say I actually preferred Ichabod and company to the modern day story. So much I would've liked to have had the first book dedicated to the past and a second following up with Ireland, just so their stories flowed more smoothly. I wasn't a huge fan of how someone from the past awakened in the future as the Horseman became active again, because it was too similar to what's been done with the popular TV show. But I will admit I enjoyed Rip's character immensely. He definitely stole the show from the alternating main characters.

Though it was an interesting story, I felt several things were left unanswered. Like why did a Crane have to return to Sleepy Hollow in order for the character responsible for the Horseman to suddenly make itself known (I'm using it to hide the gender). Did Ireland's presence set off a chain reaction? Did it need a Crane around, or did he or she just want to inflict more pain on that family, for messing with it in the past? I didn't think Ireland being there had anything to do with the magic that caused that spell, so I'm just left to wonder why this particular spirit didn't try the spell whenever it wanted, long before a Crane ever returned, because this second time around, the Horseman didn't seem controlled by this individual. Or was it? It wasn't clear as I read through. Also, I found the romance a bit underwhelming, both between Ichabod and Katrina and Ireland and Noah. Ichabod and Katrina seemed a little silly, but given the historical time, their behavior and attraction was probably pretty close to what happened back then, so I found myself forgiving that they seemed ready to have each other soon after meeting. But that's no excuse for Ireland and Noah, who hardly interacted at all before he confessed his willingness to love her despite the evil lying within her. I don't know...just this day in age, it screams insta-love and was just put there to make the two time periods mirror each other.  And Noah is so nonchalant about suddenly sharing a bed even though the Horseman could rise as she slept, no matter how much she claimed she had a hold on it. I sure the hell wouldn't be able to sleep so easy! Or in the same house! And I'm not even sure of what to make of the fiancĂ© Ireland left behind. Forget me asking why she was ever involved with such a snooty douche to begin with, but what relevance did all that drama have to the storyline, other than giving the Horseman someone to play with? All this so-called romance was just plain frustrating.

If you're into Sleepy Hollow or other suspenseful horror stories, might be good to go with Crane. Lots of people have four and five-starred this, so don't let my ho-hum-ness deter you from checking this out. It certainly had some moments here and there that were pretty entertaining.

This is more like a 2.5 for me.

 
Novel provided by Anchor Group Publishing for honest review.
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Friday, October 17, 2014

UNBREAKABLE and UNMARKED by Kami Garcia (ARCs)

Unbreakable (The Legion #1)
Kami Garcia
Pub.: October 1, 2014

Unbreakable (The Legion, #1) I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Life was normal and easy-going before Kennedy came home to find her mother dead. She thought it was natural causes until she awoke to find her possessed cat sucking the life out of her. And the only reason she survived? Because two brothers were close by keeping an eye on her, and when she screamed, they came running in to help. They claimed to be part of a legion of modern day ghostbusters, a group which the next successors are chosen by the five current members. When all five were killed by the minions of a demon named Andras, the brothers and two others were activated. And so was Kennedy, if she could believe their wild tale. Though not entirely convinced, having a poltergeist blow up your home is pretty good motivation to give their crazy story a chance.

Enter Alara and Priest, the other two members of Legion. Going through their predecessors journals, they learn of a weapon called the shift that could take Andras down, but it's been separated into several pieces and left in the possession of vengeance spirits. Following the clues left at each site, the members one by one kill a vengeance spirit using their specialty skill and earn their fifth of the Andras seal on their forearm. But once Kennedy fulfills her part, its not the seal she earns for killing the ghost and completing the weapon, but something none of them could see coming.

If you're looking for paranormal story that reads a lot like the hit show Supernatural, you'll probably be happy enough with this novel. There is the workings of a love triangle between Kennedy and the twins, but still pretty light on actual romance in this first installment. Unbreakable was a really fast read that'll keep your attention from beginning to end, so check it out if ghostbustin' tops your genre list. 


ARC provided by Little, Bfor honest review.


Unmarked (The Legion #2)
Kami Garcia
Pub: October 1, 2014

Unmarked (The Legion, #2)He is here... and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us–a demon she accidentally set free.

Now Kennedy and the other Legion members–Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared–have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?

Kennedy Waters would love nothing more than to hide away and pretend she wasn't directly responsible for releasing a horrible demon from his entrapment, but unfortunately, no one will let her - including the other members of Legion and Andras himself, who continually kills girls who resemble Kennedy. The Legion is at least willing to share in the mistake, but Kennedy is stubborn to let go. All they can do moving forward is to figure out why she hasn't gotten her mark, so the Legion seeks out clues to Kennedy's family past. 

Turns out her family lines clash - she's both Legion and Illuminati, and though she wants nothing more than to be Legion with her newfound friends, it's impossible to taint their line with Illuminati blood, so what's an Illuminati girl falling in love with a Legion boy to do? And to make things even more difficult, Andras has taken possession of someone who's become dear to her heart.

Unmarked was another quick read by Kami Garcia, but lacked a little in the action department compared to Unbreakable. It was good to get a better idea of where this series is going, but I didn't feel this installment was written in a way that resolved anything other than learning why Kennedy didn't get her mark, which happened long before the story ended. I don't know...this novel and it's direction was just weird for me. 


ARC provided by Little, Brown for honest review.

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis (ARC)

Stitching Snow
R.C. Lewis
Pub.: October 14, 2014 TOMORROW!

Stitching SnowPrincess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
 

Stitching Snow was a fresh take on the popular fairy tale that had a cool Star Wars kind of vibe to it. Essie (Princess Snow) has been in hiding the past eight years in a remote part of Thanda, a mining planet where only those in need of work ever travel. She's learned to survive by tinkering and stitching her own set of robots which are used to help keep the miners from going too deep into dangerous territory, and for extra money, Snow takes part in fighting matches with the men transitioning through.
 
Essie was good with this life. It was predictable, and in a way, safe. At least until a ship crashed nearby. With no mechanics nearby, it's up to Essie to stitch up Dane's ship to get him back in the sky. But he's not who he seems, which Essie figures out all too late, and she's forced to return to a dangerous world where everyone has a hidden agenda and the royals are only all too happy to pick up where they left off - needing Princess Snow dead.

Unique and engaging, Stitching Snow will keep you glued to the pages as Essie tries desperately to survive this messed up universe of greed and power, all while struggling with these romantic notions suddenly sprouting for the most unlikely suitor. And best part of all, it's a standalone so no pesky waiting period to see how it all unfolds.


ARC provided by Disney-Hyperion for honest review.

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