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Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten,
book 1
Genre: YA
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for. 

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.”
The Lost Prince is the first book in the new spinoff series The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten by Julie Kagawa.

If you know me you know I adore The Iron Fey series; when I learned Mrs. Kagawa was coming out with a new spinoff series I ran to mark my calendar for the release date of The Lost Prince, the day couldn’t come fast enough for its release. I knew this new series was going to be from Meghan’s brother, Ethan’s point of view. I met Ethan in The Iron King when he was just a sweet four year old that got kidnaped as a way to lure his sister (Meghan) into the Nevernever (Fairyland). Many years have passed since that incident, he’s now seventeen and still tormented by Them (Fairies). If you can see Them they will always bother you to get your attention or to get you in trouble; Ethan knows this better than anyone, thanks to Them he is known as a bad boy and for his young age has a long criminal record. He has been labeled as a delinquent and has even spent some time in Juvie.
Ethan is ready for a new start in a new school after being blamed for setting fire to his previous school‘s library.
Ethan tries to live by his rules, which in a summary are avoid Them at all cost. He knows getting involve with Them doesn’t bring anything good to his life, but when during his first day he meets a half breed (Todd), he knows his life is going to change, trying to avoid Todd is not possible especially when some new kind of Fairies are trying to get Todd.
Even though Ethan doesn’t want to get involve he doesn’t have the heart to not do anything while he knows Todd’s life is at risk. While Ethan is dealing with Todd and the new Fairies he is also trying to avoid the school’s newspaper editor, Kenzie. She wants to interview the new bad boy of the school for the paper. Trying to get the interview only puts Kenzie at risk when these new Fairies ambush them. Ethan is forced to find help sooner and what a better place than the Nevernever, the place he vowed never to come back again; not only he is back to the place of his nightmares but he has brought Kenzie along with him.

As I said before I adore The Iron Fey series and have big expectations for this book, expectations that sadly weren’t met.

My first problem was with Ethan, he is a teenager full of angst and bitterness; his hatred doesn’t let him see things clearly, for him everything is black and white and nothing in between. He blames Meghan for his problems, he is sulky, rude and all around a very difficult character to like and to connect to.

Kenzie is a force to be reckoned with, sometimes she comes as too pushy but that’s exactly what Ethan needs to give some light to the dark hole that is his life. Kenzie has a secret, I guessed it from the very beginning, this gives her the extra incentive to live her life to the maximum and experience everything with an open mind. I liked her though I didn’t understand what she saw on Ethan.

Another character that plays an important role is Meghan and Ash’s son, Keirran, we heard about him first in The Iron Knight (Fourth book in The Iron Fey series). Sadly Keirran was also a disappointment, I was expecting a lot more from Meghan and Ash’s son, but sadly he comes as an immature and irresponsible guy. He does things without thinking of the consequences, he just thinks about himself and what he wants. Considering how Meghan and Ash are I would have thought their child would have been a better person.

Keirran love interest is the Summer Fey, Anwyln. She is a very bland character without a backbone or anything to make her interesting. She was just a pretty girl and that’s it. Why Keirran was in love with her? I don’t have a clue.

One of the things I liked about this book were the few glimpses we got from characters from The Iron Fey series. We see some of Meghan and the transformation she has go through as The Iron Queen, we also see how she has transformed her Realm. We see some of Ash, he is still the same cold prince we all love and is pretty obvious Meghan and Ash are still as in love as they were when we met them.
Puck makes a brief appearance, he still the same prankster that entertained us book after book.
Grimalkin also has an important role, same as Leanansidhe. I loved to see them again and really hope to see more of them in future books.

The villains are called The Forgotten, they are fairies people forgot about and are fading because nobody remembers them. The only way for them to survive is to absorb the glamour of other fairies. They are abducting half-breeds and stealing their glamour.

The conflict on this book was a little bit all over the place, and it wasn’t as engaging as I was expecting it to be. Mrs. Kagawa set the standard too high with her previous books and sadly in my opinion The Lost Prince didn’t meet the mark. Saying this I’m still planning to read the second book in the series, The Traitor Son (September, 2013), a title that has me on the edge especially after some of Keirran’s actions in this book.

My Verdict: 3 Paws

Other books in the series
The Lost Prince
The Traitor Son (September, 2013)

Other reviews Goodreads

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Mr. Real by Carolyn Crane

Title: Mr. Real
Author: Carolyn Crane
Series: Code of Shadows, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Carolyn Crane
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares. 
Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago. 
Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall - in the flesh - with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness - somehow. 
But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?”
Mr. Real is the first book in the new series Code of Shadows by Carolyn Crane.

Let me start this review by saying that this book is like nothing I have ever read before. Sometimes it was so absurd and implausible that it makes a very entertaining read because you never know what is going to happen next, anything could happen and when I say anything it’s “anything”.

After inheriting a house from an aunt she didn’t know Alix Gordon is ready to prove to everybody that she can be a responsible woman despite what people think of her, if she is honest despite her usual behavior, but she is ready for a change.
She wants to make the house a bed and breakfast; while doing restorations she come across an old floppy disk, wanting to know more about her aunt she converts the data and installs it in her laptop, but nothing happens until one day when by mistake she clicked many times on a picture of necklace and next day the necklace is waiting for her by the entrance of her house.
After inheriting the house she has heard all about her aunt being a witch, but she doesn’t believe it, she needs to make sure that what she think is happening is really happening and day by day decides to order clothes and other things the same way she did with the necklace by clicking many times on their pictures. 24 hours later whatever she has ordered is waiting for her by the entrance of her house.
Alix confides in her best friend, Karen, who tells her to be very careful, she is dealing with something she doesn’t know and it may have serious repercussions. Alix promised Karen not to use her laptop again until Karen can come and check was really going on; but one night after a combination of loneliness and many beers Alix decides to order a Man, but this man is not anyone, he’s the super spy Sir Kendall, a character from the Denali liquor TV ads, what is special about Sir Kendall is that the man that played the character is Alix old martial arts instructor and her biggest crush, Paul Reinhart.

When Sir Kendall shows up Alix realizes she has made a big mistake, she is ready to take responsibility for her actions, but after spending sometime with Sir Kendall she is not so ready anymore. If Sir Kendall wasn’t enough to complicate Alix life the sudden arrival of Paul to her house it sure is.

Mr. Real story is told from multiple points of view, Alix, Sir Kendall and Paul’s. This helped to understand each character better and see what they really have in their heads.
I loved Sir Kendall; the way Mrs. Crane wrote him made a completely unbelievable character believable. It was easy to see that he really was his TV character, a super spy that was seeing plots and complots in everyone and everything.

Alix is a very hard to like character, she is a very insecure woman that thinks she can buy love and attention with sex, I really felt bad for her. Her family and friends see her as a black sheep, she doesn’t like what people think of her but still she doesn’t change her behavior and does things that reinforced their opinions of her.
Alix is also a very stubborn woman, when she thinks she is right she doesn’t care about what others think, even though everybody around her is telling her she is wrong she continues through the same path. I wanted to slap some sense into her more than once, I know in her head her intentions were good, but sometimes she was just too much.

Paul is a broken man who uses a hard fa├žade to protect himself; he suffered a lot when he was a child and after many years he still hasn’t been able to leave his demons behind. Although I liked him I couldn’t understand what he saw in Alix, I really wish I could have seen what attracted him to her.

As I said before Mr. Real is so absurd that it was hilarious and its absurdity worked really well with the story and the characterization of the characters.
Mr. Real is well paced and so full of surprises that you don’t know what you are going to find at the turn of the page. When you think you have everything figured out Mrs. Crane throws you a curveball and leaves you gaping at the pages, showing us once more what a talented writer she is.  

Mr. Real is a fun and entertaining read, one I recommend you to read with an open mind and an awakened imagination.
I’m looking forward to read more about this new world Mrs. Crane created in her Code of Shadows Series.  

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Mr. Real
Friar Jack (2013)
Derangerous (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Stephen Amell

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie is the Canadian actor Stephen Amell
Amell is best known as Oliver Queen on the new TV series Arrow. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Early Review & Giveaway: The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson

Title: The Weird Girls
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Weird Girls, book 0,5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Group
Source: Review copy from author
Format: E-book
“Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they're products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are different from every race on earth—human and supernatural. When human society is no longer an option for them, they move in among the resident vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region. Could this be the true home they’ve longed for? Um, not quite. After the sisters accidentally strip a witch of her powers in a bar brawl, they soon realize the mistake will cost them. Because to take on a witch means to take on her coven. And losing the battle isn’t an option.”
The Weird Girls is the prequel novella of the new series Weird Girls by Cecy Robson.

The Wird sisters (Celia, Emma, Shayna and Taran) are not your normal neighborhood girls; they are the offspring of a cursed couple. Their mother was cursed by her own sister for marrying outside their race. This curse not only made their parents died young but also gave the girls supernatural powers; that wasn’t their aunt intention, it was more the result of the curse going wrong.

Having special powers haven’t made their lives easier, for the contrary it has made their existence a very complicated one because they don’t fit in anywhere.

After living in many different places they come to Lake Tahoe and fall in love with the region. They decide to buy a house and call the area their new home. They hope to finally be able to settle down and live happy and calm lives, but their plans get a bit tangled when during their celebratory night not knowing they get involve in a bar fight with a witch, and when you fight with a witch, you fight with the whole coven.

If they want to be able to stay in the area they need to solve the problem with the very unhappy coven, a coven lead by a very wicked witch that only wants blood.

Celia is the head of the family and the voice in the books, this doesn’t mean we don’t get to see the other sisters because we do, they all have an important part in the story. Mrs. Robson gave them all very different characteristics making them easier to identify.
As I said before Celia is the head of the family, she is the oldest and also the strongest of the sisters, she is a shifter that turns into a Golden Tigress. She has a dark sense of humor that I think she uses as a defense mechanism to protect her soft side, even having her sisters she feels a bit alone because her “nature” make people afraid of her.
Taran is the one that controls fire and lightning and as her power her temperament goes along with the flames.
Emme is the soft and shy one of the sisters; she has the power of telekinesis and can heal people, she also has a very nurturing personality.
And last but not least is Shayna, she is a blade master and can manipulate metals, she is a bit of a tomboy, talks like a surfer and says “dude” a lot.

The Weird Girls was everything a novella should have and more; I can even go as far as to say it reads almost as a full-length novel. Page after page it’s packed with non-stop action, a lot of conflicts and well-developed characters. The Weird Girls is fast paced read, one I can guarantee you you won’t be able to put down.

The Weird Girls is a great introduction to a new series, one that will leave you wanting for more, luckily we won’t have to wait for long, the first book in the series, Sealed with a Curse, will be release in December 31st.
I’m looking forward to read more about the Wird Sisters, I’m sure in the Weird Girls I have found a new favorite series.

I recommend this novella to all urban fantasy lovers.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
The Weird Girls (December 4th)

Sealed with a Curse (December 31st, 2012)
A Cursed Embrace (July 2nd, 2013)

Other Reviews Goodreads

Cecy Robson is offering to one lucky winner a Weird Girls Swag. Fill up the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a Water Bottle, a Dragon Fruit Lip Balm, and Official SEALED WITH A CURSE Magnet.
This giveaway is open internationally. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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