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Monday, September 29, 2014

Tori Review: "Origin" Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout



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Title: Origin
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Published: August 27, 2013
Pages: 364

Synopsis:  

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?







I feel as if my brain and body are exceedingly tired after reading this book. W…O…W! That is all I have to say!

Just kidding, you know I would never do that to you. But I am quite serious in my assessment that this book is extremely high up on the “Holy-Freaking-Moly-Meter.” Upon reading the last line, I had to close the book and slump very slowly in my chair until all my faculties could function normally again. When my chest finally slipped out of panic mode and my fingers finally unclenched, I just sat there slowly shaking my head at the events of Origin.

I know I probably shouldn’t, but I really really want to say it…this book was bad-a**! Epic beat downs, explosions, and searing light beams just seemed to radiate off the pages as the continuation of the story unfolded. Never let it be said that Armentrout only caters to the female demographic. There was enough action in this book to have even the most dedicated naysayers of books with hot dudes on the cover to finally have to admit defeat!

Ah yes, mustn’t forget the cover. I rarely take the time to gush about a cover, as it is such a miniscule part of the book as a whole.  But for Origin, I will bring my inner fangirl forth and let her impart some words of wisdom. The tag line, “He’ll burn the world to save her,” is particularly fitting considering that Daemon will do anything to find Katy and keep her safe and I do mean ANYTHING! The burning scenery all around the cover model is a perfect backdrop to the steely look of determination etched into “Daemon’s” face. 

For all those that are just now popping in, we are entering spoiler territory so you might want to vamoose posthaste. Opal left us all gaping at the closing door that left Katy trapped inside Daedalus and surrounded by Arum. I wanted to scream right along with Daemon who wakes to find that his family has knocked him out and placed him in the Luxen community to ensure that he won’t go storming off after Katy and getting himself killed. Can I even explain the stupidity of that plan? For Daemon, nothing is more important than saving Katy so he happily chooses exile and leaves his family behind to save her.

Katy, meanwhile, is being held in a government facility somewhere in Arizona. As I have said before, her character is indeed one of my favorites in the YA genre. The pain that she endures is so utterly terrible that my skin is walking all over the place just thinking about it. She endures because she must and she knows that at the very least…Daemon is safe elsewhere.

Definitely be expecting some BIG changes in the relationships of all the characters involved and definitely keep an eye out for those that you would never dream would be capable of betrayal. I was certainly floored and experienced the jaw-dropping-to-the-floor-moment far more than once. There are secrets wrapped up in twists and sprinkled with lies in this book. Who is really telling the truth? You’ll just have to dig into this one for yourself. I promise, you won’t regret it.

5 quills my dears! Please refrain from any eye rolls until you have given this series a try. The 5th and final installment of The Lux series is screaming my name. So au revoir!

Until next time,

Tori


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: "Deep Secret" by Diana Wynne Jones

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Title: Deep Secret
Author
: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre
: Fantasy
Published
:
1997


Synopsis:


Rupert Venables is a Magid.

It's a Magid's job to oversee what goes on in the vast Multiverse. Actually, Rupert is really only a junior Magid. But he's got a king-sized problem. Rupert's territory includes Earth and the Empire of Korfyros. When his mentor dies Rupert must find a replacement. But there are hundreds of candidates. How is he supposed to choose? And interviewing each one could take forever.

Unless...

What if he could round them all up in one place?

Simple!






THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK. EVER.


The moment I picked up "Deep Secret" by Diana Wynne Jones, I knew an epic love affair was about to begin. It always takes a chapter or two for me to feel really devoted to a book, if I'm even going to be, but I was already googoo eyed over "Deep Secret" by the second page. It might be because Diana Wynne Jones is my literary angel, a woman I send prayers to when I'm stuck in a rut with my own writing or creative pursuits.

Deep Secret is the exact type of fantasy book that I love. Witty, fun, full of adventure, with a bit of romance and a twinge of sarcasm. Ms. Jones knows how to pull you in to her beautifully developed worlds without going on and on and on about the landscape, or an outfit, or how Mr. Main character holds his lip just so and exactly how long when he's scowling at another character. She doesn't need all that flowery and unending description to make the world and the people completely come alive for the reader. This was Diana Wynne Jones' magic, and it's powerful in this book.

Fantasy conventions, alternate worlds, irritated magicians, ghosts, centaurs, evil plots, and secret heirs to the throne (so secret they don't even know who they are!).  The romance is subtle and unexpected but I was cheering for the odd couple (won't tell you who, read the book) the whole way.

I basked in the realness of the main characters with all of their flaws and mistakes and perfectly reasonable negative reactions to some perfectly crappy happenings. "That's probably how I would have reacted too" was a frequent thought. I felt that I could have been a part of that story and at times I forgot that I wasn't. Looking up from a book and being surprised (and maybe a wee bit disappointed) to find yourself still sitting on the office couch?  Pretty great, really.

I need more fantasy like this. Smart, creative, magical, fast paced, and fun from cover to cover. "Deep Secret" made its way to the top of my list of favorites. How favorite is this book? Well, when the next person asks me "What is your favorite book",  I'll be able smile that little smile that only a Diana Wynne Jones book can inspire and say "Oh, that's easy..."

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Tori Review: "Opal" A Lux Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Title: Opal

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Published: December 11, 2012

Pages: 382

Synopsis: 

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.









In the words of Katy, “Oh, holy alien babies everywhere!” The ending to Opal was…wait have to breathe…insanity! I had to bite back the urge to spit out my raspberry sweet tea when I read the last line and knew that I was going to have to WAIT to find out what happens until I could finish this review. Cliffhanger is an understatement!

So at this very moment my fingers have turned into tiny Tasmanian devils while I curb my enthusiasm to grab the next book in the series (which incidentally is sitting precariously close to my laptop), and calmly explain my continued infatuation.

If you haven’t already gathered from my previous reviews of this series, I am [insert word that sounds a little less creepy than obsessed]. Armentrout continues to amaze as she delves deeper into the relationship between Katy and Daemon and somehow manages to throw in just the right amount of action to keep me transfixed. Seriously my eyes feel like they have just run across almost 400 pages today…oh wait…they did. Thus is the relationship between book and book lover so I’ll take the twitches any day.

There are a lot of surprise returns in this installment that have you constantly wondering what will become of the lovely Luxens (plus Katie a.k.a. Hybrid). If you are dropping into this series in the middle, then you need to slap this review on your TBR shelf along with Obsidian and Onyx and back away very slowly. If not, here is the definite skinny.

Dawson (who we all were secretly hoping would return due to the epic swoon-worthiness associated with two gorgeous twins that together make up one heck of a specimen) has escaped from captivity and his home with his siblings. If you took the time and read Shadows, the prequel to the series, then you know Daemon isn’t the first Luxen to break all the rules for the girl he loves. For Dawson, Bethany is worth everything and she is still imprisoned. So the fight is definitely ON!

Bad news too…Blake is back. Yes, those creepy crawlies under your skin are dancing the cha-cha right now for good reason. Our not-so-favorite Hybrid is back and will be sporting a new and inventive line of bologna and as we all know...bologna in a shiny package is still just bologna.

I give Opal 5 quills! Just face it…I cannot and will not give Armentrout any less on this series. I am far too enamored. Here is where I leave you, book babes!

Happy Reading!
Tori

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: "The Sending" by Jandy Salguero



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The Sending
The Sending

A city's peace is shattered when two university students go missing, and only Daneel and his friends know the shocking truth of what happened. Finding themselves under attack, Daneel leads them in a race to escape the mounting violence.

Mara is willing to kill for the beliefs of the faction that raised her. But as she seeks out her mark, using a rare, mystical form of travel known as the Sending, Mara discovers a powerful connection that challenges the truth of everything she’s been taught.

While Daneel fights to protect those he cares for, Mara must choose whether to cling to the ideology of her home—or open her scarred heart to a searing attraction and the promise of a new life.







Praise for The Sending

The Sending reads like a dystopian Romeo and Juliet where strong, full characters from very different places inevitably collide with passion and conflict. Salguero fills a fresh, vibrant world with a nerve-tingling fast plot. Prepare to be immersed. ~Tamara Ward, author of Hidden Betrayal

The Sending is a thrilling, fast-paced, science fiction-romance that's impossible to put down. Edge-of-your-seat action scenes, and a romantic attraction so intense that it will make you want to turn down the air conditioning, The Sending is a great read that left me hungry for more. I loved this book!
~Sterling R. Walker, author of The Orphan Ship
Purchase Your Copy




Jandy


Author Jandy Salguero

Growing up in southern Louisiana, Jandy Salguero's life was full of friendly smiles, good food and tall tales. She holds a BA in French from Brigham Young University, where she met her husband in the midst of the great Rocky Mountains. She now resides in a small town outside of Raleigh, NC. Her days are full of grade-school antics and underfoot toddler toys-- courtesy of her two handsome boys.

She is currently working on Book 2 in the Senitha's Light series, due out in early 2015.





Excerpt

The First uncovered the bowl, and—at least in this—she knew what to expect. They each leaned in to the intoxicating odor of the paste that clung to the inside of the bowl. She exhaled and inhaled again, taking in several more lungfuls of the penetrating, cloying scent.

It burned in her chest and wound its way through her veins. A light-headed semi-consciousness settled around her, and she no longer felt the soles of her feet where the floor touched them. Long accustomed to inducing the trance, Mara slid into the void where she united with the First.
His voice rumbled, pitched low as if he intended it to be calming. It wasn’t.  “Clear your mind of everything except him. Remember, the Sending will work without a focus on the other end, but to find your target, you need to anchor yourself to him.”

His words rolled around her in the void, smothering her with a sickening, oily residue of fear. She cringed away from it, from the First, and couldn’t understand why his presence in the void would affect her so.

She launched herself in the opposite direction to escape it, picturing him, the target. She saw his long, lean body, the strong features of his face, and the dark blue eyes that anchored them.
But before they could meet, she felt a new sensation. A deep, insistent pressure both surprised and disturbed her. It began in her upper arms, as if angry hands gripped her there. The sensation heightened and the hands became hot, hateful brands that singed her flesh. Her body shook. Mara felt one tentative push before she was thrown violently toward the target.  As she flew forward, the snake-like connection that had formed between her and the man reappeared, bright and fluid as before.

    Then she screamed in agony and was gone from herself.   




Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/13/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



a Rafflecopter giveaway




First of all. The girl gets to be the gorgeous, smoking hot assassin for a change?! YES PLEASE! I was so happy to see the rolls swapped up. Any reader who is looking to experience a thrill ride with a Romance for the Ages type undertone needs to pick up "The Sending". Unique and creative concepts keep a reader enthralled and the danger that Daneel and Mara face at every turn keeps you clinging to your book for dear life.

Wonderful plot concept, and I specifically enjoyed poor Mara's philosophical struggle. "I love my people/support my people but they're telling me to kill someone who doesn't actually seem that bad. Now what?" Mara is suddenly, and uncomfortably, forced to start asking herself questions about what is right and what is wrong, what is real and what is not, and most importantly... what SHE believes to be true, right, and just. I believe a lot of readers will be able to relate (not to the assassin part, you know, at least I hope not, but the questioning your upbringing/personal beliefs part). There are definitely some very intense moments (did you read the excerpt? Yeesh!).

I'm not generally a dystopian fan (I say that too often, I think), but I was intrigued by the plot of this book and I wasn't disappointed. Ms. Salguero's writing style is pleasant, which is half the battle. No lulling (another huge plus) so don't plan on flipping through page after page of "Well, is something going to happen?" Something is pretty much always happening all the time. Our main characters were multi-dimensional, well developed and likeable. My only reservations were on predictability. Despite having a pretty good idea regarding how things were going to go, though, I still very much enjoyed the read.

Any dystopian or teen-romance fan is likely going to have no trouble gobbling this one up!

Certainly recommend.









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