Thursday, November 29, 2012

REVIEW: ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE.

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: August 30, 2011 by Tor Teen
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 316 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Romance

Synopsis:

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
Amazon ๐Ÿ”ผ Barnes and Noble ๐Ÿ”ผ Book Depository

Anna Dressed in Blood gave me FEELINGS.

I bought this last August and since I have procrastinated so much that affected my reading schedule, it took months before I got my hands on this novel. And I tell you, I suppress any feelings of regret for not reading it sooner.

Cas is a skilled ghost killer. He kills all ghosts who bring harm to people using his athame knife. After killing a hitchhiker, he gets off to Canada with his witch mother to kill his next job: Anna Dressed in Blood. She was murdered sixty years ago and dismembers everybody who stays at her house. But she spares Cas' life and Cas can't bring himself to kill Anna.

I was supposed to read this last November, in time for Halloween. I cancelled it because I get easily scared. At first I thought it is something so scary that I wouldn't be able to turn off the lights at night but it is actually more gore than spooky. The cover and the title might be a giveaway but there's more to it. And I really really loved how it took me by surprise.

First thing, I would really like to commend the red font. Whoever thought of it is simply brilliant. It just soothes the eye and makes a huge statement for the novel! Also, I really loved that there's another genius novel out there with a male protagonist as a narrator. Cas is just the perfect character to tell the story because it is easier to get the whole picture. The description of whatever he sees or feel is very crisp and you would be able to imagine everything in an instant. He's so brave that at some point I start to get scared for him. He usually doesn't make plans which is mostly disturbing, but it made the story much interesting. His ability to trust his instinct is one thing I adore about him but Thomas is my favorite. His side-kick role helped Cas' in more ways than I have expected. He is simple yet very intelligent and I can't help but look forward to seeing his relationship with Carmel progressed in to the romance department. Anna on the other hand is a little bit confusing. Her past is horrible and whenever I remember it, I get goosebumps. She knows she's dead but I just don't understand her ways. I haven't been able to truly grasp the part where she falls in love with someone alive.

I've been eluding horror lit for the longest time but Anna Dressed in Blood totally converted me. I liked how simple Kendare Blake have written the novel and managed to preserve a very intense plot. It is dark and intense yet very romantic that would make you crazy over Girl of Nightmares!

"You make me want things I can't have."
"She's my purpose and we're going to save each other. We're going to save everyone. And then I'm going to convince her that she's supposed to stay here. With me."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (17): BOUNDLESS BY CYNTHIA HAND.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

Expected Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Add to GoodReads
The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

I really loved Unearthly and been dying to get Hallowed so hopefully the paperback edition will be released soon! I know deep in my heart that Hallowed would be as ridiculously good as Unearthly so I picked Boundless! Few more weeks to wait for the finale!
What title is it that you picked this week?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

REVIEW: THE IRON KING BY JULIE KAGAWA.

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: February 1, 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 363
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

I haven't had this book that long and I've heard nothing but good things about Julie Kagawa's debut novel, The Iron King, and I badly wanted to get my hands on it the moment I've purchased it. I'm glad its reading schedule is done.

Meghan Chase is a normal teenager living a normal life. She lives with her mom, step-dad and four-year-old brother, Ethan. When she's ready to face her eighteenth birthday and even excited to get her driving license after school, a lot of abnormal things started happening around her: Ethan attacked her and their mom then her best friend Robbie confessed he's inhuman.

Without a doubt, this novel has one of the most beautiful world building I've ever encountered. I loved how magical the Seelie and UnSeelie Courts, Winter and Summer Courts and Nevernever in general. It is very mythical and full of magic that I would love to see it in person.

I've read faery novels in the past and I have not gotten tired of it. Kagawa's writing is brilliant that I wanted to read the series non-stop. However, The Iron King didn't live up to the hype in my opinion. Kagawa incorporated In Midsummer Night's Dream in the novel and you could actually see few similar titles like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings among others. I loved how she was able to come up with breath-taking spin offs but I hoped for more. The first one hundred pages were too slow for me that I almost gave up on it but still, I held on and thankfully, the last one hundred pages didn't disappoint.

Meghan and Marchina are the only characters I hated. Their characters and their past might have been better. I just thought that someone as naive Meghan couldn't possibly defeat someone as powerful as Marchina that easily. It only took one page for their encounter and Meghan wasn't even beat up or something. That part actually made me skeptical, should the verdict be three or four stars. I hated that part. But good thing there's Puck, Ash and Grimalkin. Without these characters, I might have hated the novel altogether. They are endearing and powerful and I wanted to really follow their next adventure.

I may have disapproved on some parts of The Iron King but that wouldn't stop me from loving the world building and the outstanding characters one would only find in this novel. It is truly a heart-stopping adventure in a jaw-dropping world that would leave you asking for more..

... Ash and Puck!

"Combat doesn't have to be with swords... Emotions can be deadly weapons, and knowing your enemy's breaking point can be key to winning a battle."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

STACKING THE SHELVES (06): THE NBSWAREHOUSESALE 2012 EDITION.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that showcases newly acquired books or goodies we bought, received or borrowed during the week.
*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

So last weekend, I went to National Bookstore Warehouse Sale in Quezon City. And here's a glimpse of what happened. Can you imagine the heat? How about the energy spent for traveling and digging books? I was extremely exhausted after roaming around finding books that the next day, I didn't know which part of my body wasn't sore anymore. But every pain was worth it! The total regular price of the books I got would be approximately 6300PHP (150$) but I got these only for whooping 700PHP (approx 17$)! This is one of the biggest hauls I've done and the cheapest! Looking at them, I just couldn't be any happier! Torment will definitely be a part of the giveaway am brewing so stay tuned!



BOUGHT: (National Bookstore Warehouse Sale)
Hardbacks:
๐Ÿ”ผ Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange #3) by Lesley Livingston
๐Ÿ”ผ Sphinx's Princess (Sphinx's Princess #1) by Esther M. Friesner
๐Ÿ”ผ Envy (Luxe #3) by Anna Godbersen
๐Ÿ”ผ The Necromancer (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #4) by Michael Scott
๐Ÿ”ผ Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1) by Diana Peterfreund

Paperbacks:
๐Ÿ”ผ Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
๐Ÿ”ผ Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontรซ
๐Ÿ”ผ A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespear
The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances #1) by Alexandre Dumas
๐Ÿ”ผ The Otherworldlies (The Otherworldlies #1) by Jennifer Anne Kogler
๐Ÿ”ผ Hourglass (Evernight #3) by Claudia Gray
๐Ÿ”ผ Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate
๐Ÿ”ผ Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites #1) by Michelle Rowen
๐Ÿ”ผ Darklight (Wondrous Strange #2) by Lesley Livingston

Thank you so much NBS! Till next year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (16): ICONS BY MARGARET STOHL.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

Expected Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Add to GoodReads

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Margaret Stohl's Icons is just giving me goosebumps! This is another dystopian book that I feel would be fantastic! I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it!
Link me your picks!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

BLOG TOUR (02): TEMPEST BY JULIE CROSS.

I am so happy to be participating again in a blog tour! This would be my second time and the excitement just never goes away! I would like to thank the author Julie Cross for giving us the chance to showcase her brilliant debut novel in the Philippines and Dianne from Oops, I Read a Book Again! for hosting the tour! Oh, and if you wanna HEAR the first chapter, you could click HERE!

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Series: Tempest #1
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: January 17, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Copy provided by PBT
Pages: 334
Genre: Paranormal, Time-Travel, Romance

Summary:

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

Julie Cross' debut novel, Tempest, brings fresh twist to time traveling plot. I like how the synopsis makes me excited to read it and though I haven't really heard of this title, I am just so glad that I was given the chance to tour and review it.

Jackson Meyer is a nineteen-year-old time traveler. He only discovered his ability a year ago and tries to experiment it with his geek best pal, Adam. He have no idea that the day he spends with his clueless girlfriend Holly would be his last day with her. They have been attacked and she has been shot. He is terrified and have no idea what to do, he accidentally jumps to 2007 and unable to jump back to the present.

I loved how the story was narrated by Jackson who happens to be a male. I've been longing for a book like this for the longest time because most of the young adult novels lately are all narrated by a female protagonist. This book only focuses on one POV and I am totally psyched about it. It isn't everyday that we get to see a glimpse of a male protagonist's mind and the way his thoughts flow is just incredible. The way Jackson sees his sister Courtney and Holly is something incredible. One could realize that there's longing, true love and regret that made me all teary-eyed. Jackson's character handled his miseries well that he learns to choose what is best in spite of the painful repercussions and I adore Holly's kind heart, she's the perfect match for Jackson.

The story of time traveling isn't new to the novel world yet this one seems new to me. The fast-phased development of the characters as well as the story just leaves me catching my breath. I love how it made me anxious to know how will the events turn out! It would have been a perfect five-star review if not for the confusion I sometimes encounter on the latter part of the novel when the action and revelation happened. There's just so many things happening at the same time that I started doubting Jackson and I lose track of who jumped when.

Tempest isn't the typical time-travel novel that one would get tired from reading. It is exciting, romantic and a sexy read! I just couldn't wait to read Vortex and see if Jackson really did not have any regrets!

Thank you Pinoy Book Tours for the copy!



Here are the other blog tour stops:
Nicole
-My stop-
Janice
Lyra
Dani
Dianne

Again, I would like to thank Julie Cross for this chance and Diane for letting us sign up for the tour! I had so much fun with the whole process!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

STACKING THE SHELVES (05): THE SUPER SALE EDITION.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that showcases newly acquired books or goodies we bought, received or borrowed during the week.
*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

Unluckily, my book buying ban for the month seems to be ineffective so I'll drop that off for the mean time. Will try my best to be successful about it NEXT time. I was so lucky to come across Powerbooks' mini-sale last Wednesday and found five awesome titles on a discounted price. There were too many titles am not really familiar with and I wish I purchased Luxe series' third book! I also got two classic titles from National Bookstore only for 99PHP each (less than a dollar each)! Awesome stash right?

So here are the books I got these past few weeks:


BOUGHT: 
(Bibliarch Glorietta 3 and Waltermart)
๐Ÿ”ผ If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
๐Ÿ”ผ The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson
๐Ÿ”ผ Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn #1) by J.A. London

(National Bookstore Glorietta 1)
๐Ÿ”ผ Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

(Powerbooks Glorietta 3 Sale)
๐Ÿ”ผ Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
๐Ÿ”ผ Vince's Life The Next Chapter: Getting Over Andrea (Vince's Life #2) by Vince O. Teves
๐Ÿ”ผ Vince's Life: The Wedding (Vince's Life #3) by Vince O. Teves
๐Ÿ”ผ Soulstice (The Devouring #2) by Simon Holt
๐Ÿ”ผ The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight #3.5) by Stephenie Meyer

I want all the books! Thanks NBS and Bibliarch!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (15): UNRAVEL ME BY TAHEREH MAFI.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

Expected Publication Date: February 5, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Add to GoodReads
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

Do I really have to say why I picked this one? After loving Shatter Me, I just wish I could get a copy of this but just like everyone of you (who doesn't get ARCs), we'll just have to wait! I really like Tahereh Mafi's writing!

What titles are you waiting for?

Monday, November 12, 2012

REVIEW: THE SERPENT'S SHADOW BY RICK RIORDAN.

Title: The Serpent's Shadow
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Kane Chronicles #3
Edition: Paperback
Publication: May 1st 2012 by Hyperion Books
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 406
Genre: Mythology, Fantasy, Middle Grade

Summary:

He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

This is the final book in Rick Riordan's Egyptian Mythology Trilogy, Kane Chronicles. I had this for quite some time now and I honestly forgotten about this copy because I've read The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire last May. I was planning on re-reading the first two books first but I just didn't have time so I jumped right to this one. Lucky, I did fully remember what occurred during the first two books.

The last installment basically happened six months after The Throne of Fire. Sadie and Carter still need to find a way to stop Apophis from swallowing the sun and prevent Doom's Day that along the way, they discover ancient secrets about the gods and also about themselves.

This review wouldn't be that long because this probably is the only Riordan book I marked four stars. I loved the adventure, sub-adventures, the mythological aspect, world building and the characters. Riordan always makes sure that his books would encapsulate facts and fantasy in such an educational and fun way that captures reader's hearts. Sadie and Carter's development as characters is just brilliant. Saving the world as teens might probably be too much for them but they managed to let go of selfishness that made them that courageous and heroic. The only thing I actually didn't like about this one is the fact that there were just too many puzzles the twins have to solve first before they could finally face Apophis. I understand the "need" of those mini-adventures to fully give an amazing story but too much of it didn't really work for me.

The Serpent's Shadow is the perfect ending to this series. It is truly nerve-wracking adventure that would make you jump off of your seat! There is just no other perfect ending to this than what Riordan provided and I wouldn't ask for anything else!

Thank you for this awesome Egyptian adventure, Uncle Rick!

"For what it’s worth: trust your feelings. I can’t promise that you’ll never get hurt again, but I can promise you the risk is worth it."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

REVIEW: THRONE OF GLASS BY SARAH J. MAAS.

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: August 7, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 404
Genre: High-fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

The long wait is totally worth it not only for Maas but for me too!

Throne of Glass is the third book I added to my newly created Goodreads back in May because I was really impressed with the synopsis, the whole process of how the story has been completed and getting it published. It took ten years for Maas to get this one done and five agonizing months for me to get a copy. But as I have said, it is totally worth while.

Celaena Sardothien is the world's greatest assassin. After being betrayed then captured by the enemies, she's been thrown to slave at the salt mines in Ednovier for a year. Crown Prince of Adarlan Dorian Havillian, together with the Captain of the Guard Chaol Westfall, offers her a chance to be free by being the King's Champion and serve as an assassin for four years. All she have to do is fight to death twenty-three criminals on a competition. Knowing her capabilities and tasting the sweetness of freedom, she gladly agrees.

The world of Elirea is such a wonderful place. I've been seriously daunted by how magical, powerful and beautiful this place is and I could actually see bits of it from A Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. The mesmerizing Glass Castle is one thing and it haven't even described the forests in full blast yet! The story line is very rich and it is so captivating that three days after reading it, it still lingered and reading another book had been difficult.

Celaena Sardothien started very conceited and arrogant. Without her irresistible wit and hidden kindness, I would have hated her to my heart's content. Though I felt unsatisfied with the little action she've demonstrated still, along the way, she's able to prove she has the right to be overconfident about her skills. Her chemistry with the Crown Prince is just undeniably perfect. They see through each other and with all those teasing and caring that added beauty to the novel, hands down they're in love. But what happens to the ever aloof Captain of the Guard? Will he fall deeper for Celaena? Wishing for book two to come out is really an understatement for me.

Maas' debut novel is my most anticipated book for this year and I couldn't put the rights words to describe how I loved it. Writing this review wouldn't give justice to how much perfect it is. It has always been what I've envisioned it to be - an exquisite one. Joy engulfed my heart when I learned that the series is comprise of six books because a great novel such as this one should never end.

"He won every game, yet she hardly noticed. As long as she hit the ball, it resulted in shameless bragging. When she missed - well, even the fires of Hell couldn't compare to the rage that burst from her mouth. He couldn't remember a time when he'd laugh so hard."
"Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons."