Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

How, how, how had I thought I had already posted a review of the lovely THE KISS OF DECEPTION only to find out I never did!  Oy!  Let me start off by saying, if  you’re a fan of fantasy and epic adventure than you best not miss Mary E. Pearson’s amazing magical skill at writing!  Definitely one of the top 10 for 2014 IMHO, Pearson will build you a kingdom so rich and full and then throw in fantastic characters that you will love to hate and fall in love with and to top it all off she will tell you a story so amazing and lush and then she will strategically place little twists and turns that will not only keep you engaged but on the edge of your seat!  This is definitely not one to miss… Don’t trust me? Read on…

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
Okay so let’s start with the cover, because we all know I DEFINITELY judge my books by the cover and this one DOES NOT disappoint! First of all look at that sky!  We’ve all been there and trust me when I say, that sky spells brewing STORM! I mean really, and check it out, our girl Lia staring right into the eye of the storm even with pursuers clearly in the background! 

As if the cover hadn’t been indication enough let me just say, this book is….FREAKING AWESOME! Seriously though, this novel was amazing and well written.  Definitely well thought out.  What was my favorite part?  Well beyond the princesses and arranged marriages it was the CHARACTERS!  Omg!  I fell in love with our little heroine.  She’s our princess, but not dainty and simple minded and liking everything pretty but rather this courageous ball of spunk that decides, “no I will not marry if not for love” and sneaks out and finds herself in a world that she can call her own…that is until they come for her.  She is so headstrong and capable at the same time.  She and her AMAZING servant Pauline set off on the adventure of their lifetime and because of courage, wit and smarts is able to really do quite anything the set their minds too…too bad the prince and the assassin are also fairly intelligent. 

Honestly though, the characters are truly amazing but the setting is nearly just as brilliant!  Pearson’s world building is seriously crafted to near perfections.  I can taste and smell the tavern and on the dusty roads I was there too!  It was like reading a movie with your eyes but feeling it in your body.  So well done.  I cannot say enough good things about this novel.  You really need to try it out yourself. Seriously, you will not be disappointed.  So what are you waiting for?  …GO! ☺


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)

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

It's that time of the week again, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY! Hooray! Anyway, this week I am eagerly waiting on Rick Yancy's The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)! For those of you who've been following for a while you know how much I ADORED The 5th Wave and let me be the first to tell you my anticipation is just growing for this second installment! I mean come about a CLIFFHANGER and if you're like me, you're probably dying to know what happens....Come on September!!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

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.

Right?! Amazing! Oh I just cannot wait. This sounds Ah-Ma-Zing and oh that's just GORGEOUS! Love everything about it from the font choice to the colors EVERYTHING! I may even have picked up a poster that I will be giving away on my Twitter account (@allbookedupya) if you're not already following there, check it out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Jewel (The Lone City #1)

Wow! Wow, wow wow! If you're looking to lose yourself in a beautiful dream-like world that is so horrifically lovely then The Jewel by Amy Ewing is the book for you!  I was so looking forward to this read and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Amy Ewing will get you...hook, line and sinker! 

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

We meet Violet, #197 of of the elite - top 10. She is not a name but rather a number, a slave of sorts breed and trained to be the best that money can buy. Violet's fate lives in the surrogate system but all is not as it seems...will she be able to survive the Jewel and save herself before it's too late? Violet plays several different roles/faces within this novel...she is daughter, sister, friend, surrogate, love, damsel in distress, musician but most of all survivor. She has smarts, talent, beauty and strength but can she overcome the Jewel?

The plot is amazing and moves at a wonderful pace...not too slow but not rushed either. I absolutely fell in love with Violet and the world she comes from and the world she lives in - although horrific as it may be, it's fantastically built! The overall idea of this auction for surrogates is really quite horrible. It is not fully explained what has caused the royals not to have babies (bad water, toxins, inbreeding) however it does say that they are unable to have children thus the need for the surrogates. 

I instantly fell in love with this GORGEOUS cover.  Love the way her face shines in all of the many faucets and how it almost hugs her in a little nest.  She looks trapped, exposed, alone but none-the-less stunning. Just breathtaking.  
I will warn you, this leaves you with the mother of all cliffhangers and I for one cannot wait to read the next installment! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

So I must be honest, I've been extremely good about READING books this summer but entirely too bad about POSTING reviews about them. So slowly but surely I am catching myself up! This next review up has been receiving a ton of praise and the movie rights were just recently purchased by Warner Bros and already signed is the famed Emma Watson. Yes, that's THE actress from the beloved Harry Potter films and what's better is that the producer is none other than the Harry Potter director, David Heyman! So without further delay, let me introduce you to Erika Johansen's The Queen of the Tearling!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.

Let me start by saying that I am always a little skeptical when a novel has film rights before it's even out available in book form. I mean come on right? How do you know this will even be any good or that the public will support it, but let me tell you, all of that worry is for nothing. The Queen of the Tearling is an EPIC adventure that includes magic, a thrilling chase, intrigue, a fierce intellectual heroine and loyal sub characters who you will fall for in an honest and heartbreaking way.

The plot is absolutely phenomenal. The pace isn't dragged out and as the story moves along it's almost as if puzzle pieces click into place. I love, love, LOVE stories like this! And what I loved even more? The Queen of the Tearling is one of the few novels that I remember where the main character is not devastatingly beautiful and Kelsey actually is described as "carrying a little extra weight." So realistic and refreshing. I know we all love a beautiful future queen/princess but honestly, this is just one of the many reasons why I fell in love with Kelsey. She is so perfectly imperfect and wields the power to make change in this flawed future that is so wonderfully laid out. Johansen really does a superb job world building. From the first page until the very last the Tearling Kingdom and Mortmesme are masterfully built and imagined by this glorious author! What sorcery is this?

Now, I know I've been saying nothing but praise for this lovely novel and really there is not much in my mind that I would change but I will warn, that in this world where we are presented with so many novels filled to the brim with love triangles and epic romance stories this one is definitely lacking. That is not to say that I felt like anything was missing, but if that's something you're looking for I will warn you that this element is barely there. There are hints here and there, but this is at the other end of the romance spectrum.

All that being said, this is definitely a series to keep you eye out for! What an original story with engaging characters and an incredible world that I cannot wait to dive into in the rest of the series!