Finally found a cure…

So I finally finished a book.

It took me longer than I would normally liked, but I finally got engrossed in a story enough to finish.

It’s felt like this has been my longest reading slump in awhile and I hate to be wasting valuable reading time in the summer, but it is what it is.

With that said….I finally read A Darker Shade of Magic.

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Summary:

STEP INTO A UNIVERSE OF DARING ADVENTURE, THRILLING POWER, AND MULTIPLE LONDONS.

Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

My Thoughts:

I was hooked. That’s all I can really say.

In the beginning, I wasn’t really sure where the book was going, but once it got started then I was completely IN.

I loved the writing style and the world was unique.

I’d easily suggest ADSOM to other adults who loved Harry Potter growing up and need a dose of magic in their reading lives.

However, the interesting thing to me about the book is that although it is going to be a trilogy (book 2 is already out and #3 is out next year), the book wraps itself up. Sure, there is still open ended things, but it could have stood alone if it needed. Granted, I’m sure the next book will have a cliffhanger, but I loved how this book wrapped the story up enough to not have a huge cliffhanger.

I’ve already started A Gathering of Shadows and look forward to more from Kell and Lila.

Funny story, I bought AGoS in HC earlier this week while on vacation in Pigeon Forge. Yesterday I realized I’d bought a signed copy even though the book did not have an “autographed” sticker on it. Little “win” of the week, I suppose.

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Series Spotlight: The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

For Bloggers

Welcome!

Today I want to spotlight the Chronicles of Nick series!

The seventh book, Invision, releases on May 3rd and I’m here with an excerpt from it below. BUT first! If you had over to the GriffinTeen website in the above graphic then you can be entered to win copies of the entire series! So be sure to go check that out!

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Now for Invision…

He’d just gotten comfortable again when the door opened to admit a new student. Something that didn’t happen often in their small private, parochial school. And it wasn’t just because St. Richard’s was hard to get into due to its high academic standing. But rather from the fact that the school had been set up as a place for preters to learn how to mingle with humans and not let the stress throw them into their animal states.
While there were a handful of baretos, or “normal” humans who had no idea that they were attending school with shapeshifters, the majority of the student body here was either shapeshifters or the children of Squire families. Squires who had been in service to Dark-Hunter like Kyrian and Acheron for generations.
As such, the Squires usually sent their kids to private school together so that they could be watched by older Squires to ensure that no one messed with them. Especially since their enemies might want to take their kids hostage, or kill them to get back at their parents or the Dark-Hunters in retaliation for the centuries of protecting humans from their supernatural predators.
It also allowed the shapeshifter families a controlled environment for their children so that they could have playtime with humans where if they had an accident and shifted into their animal bodies, the humans wouldn’t flip out and call the authorities. As Squires or their children, they all knew about Were-Hunters, and they could help cover for them with the humans here who didn’t know about them.
It gave the Were-Hunters a way to practice being in the normal world so that they could acclimate.
Nick had been one of those baretos students at St. Richard’s until two and half years ago when his best friends had turned on him, and Kyrian had saved his life. For some reason that still eluded Nick, the ancient Greek had taken a liking to him and decided to give him a hand up and bring him into this amazing world.
Now he was a Squire at an age that was unheard of since Squires were supposed to be eighteen before they could be sworn in to their oaths. But Kyrian had pulled strings and so here Nick was. The youngest Squire in Council history.
And this new guy they were introducing . . .
He didn’t appear to be a Squire.
Nick glanced to Caleb. What do you think?
Caleb shrugged nonchalantly.
Ms. Pantall cleared her throat as she read his card. “Everyone? This is Nathan St. Cyr. Nathan’s a new student who just moved to New Orleans from New York. I know everyone will be on your best behavior and welcome him in. Mr. St. Cyr, if you’ll take an empty seat, we’ll get started.”
An odd sensation went through Nick as Nathan neared him. Like a wire had been touched to his spine and sent a jolt through his entire central nervous system. Not that anyone had ever done that to him, but that was what he imagined such a thing would feel like.
As Nathan neared his desk, he inclined his head to him, then sat down on the other side of Kody.
Yeah, that didn’t endear him any. You better not be eye-balling my girl, punk . . .
Nick would snatch those blue eyes out of that boy’s head and use them for marbles. The Malachai in him was rising up and breathing fire down Nick’s neck. It was hard to leash the beast when he came calling like this. Every part of Nick wanted a piece of Nathan for daring to trespass on Kody’s personal space.
Especially when he leaned over a second later and, with a charming grin, brushed his hand against Kody’s arm. “Do you have a pencil I can borrow? Mine must have fallen out of my backpack.”
“Sure.” Kody handed him the one she was holding.
His grin turned even more debonnaire as he ran it under his nose and smelled the stylus as if he could still detect her light perfume on the wood. “Mmm, I’ll treasure it always. Thank you for your kindness, my noble lady.”
When Nick started to rise, Caleb caught his arm. Down, boy. Don’t make me smack your nose with a rolled up newspaper.
Nick cut a glare at his best friend to let Caleb know he could be a worthy substitution as a whipping boy if he didn’t let go.
Kody turned toward Nick. Is it me or was that gross?
And that right there saved Nathan’s life. Leave it to his girl to be oblivious.
He was relieved, until Nathan turned back toward her.
Suddenly, Kody’s desk slid four inches closer to Nick’s, and farther from Nathan’s. She turned an indignant glare at him for his audacity.
At the sharp, scraping that made most people cringe, everyone in the room shot around to look for the source of the sudden sound. Nick forced himself not to cringe at the involuntary use of his Malachai powers.
Clearing his throat, he glanced to his teacher. “Sorry. My foot got caught under Kody’s desk.”
“Why was your foot under her desk?”
Nick shrugged. “I’m too tall for the desk and my feet have a mind of their own. You’ve seen me walking down the hall, Ms. Pantall. I never know where my arms or legs are located, hence all the bruises I keep.”
She rolled her eyes. “Keep your feet under your own desk, Nick. Stop disrupting class or I’ll send you to the office.”
Something stabbed him in the leg. Hard. Nick let out a sharp curse and though it wasn’t in English, Ms. Pantall had enough Cajun in her to unfortunately know exactly what the word meant.
“That’s it! Get to the office! Now!”
“But—”
“No buts! Go!”


My Thoughts:

This series is always so fun! I’m definitely looking forward to the latest addition with this book.

With that in mind, just another reminder to go check out http://www.griffinteen.com to check out how to win the series!

-Melanie

Monday Musing: Fairytales and Retellings

Happy February 29!

I always think Leap years are neat for some reason. I get the point of them, but understanding the way the sun and earth rotations work almost feels…magical. So what better thing to talk about than fairytales!

There have been fairytale retellings for YEARS, but lately there seems to be an influx in the number of them. I can only assume that the popularity decided more were needed in the world. Either way, I love this trend

I especially love series like The Lunar Chronicles and A Court of Thorns and Roses that take their story in a completely  different direction, yet still give you a hint about the original story.

Even better- lately there have been different stories getting the retelling treatment. Books such as The Wrath and the Dawn and The Forbidden Wish have provided readers with takes on Thousand and One Nights and Aladdin. Those stories are known, but they’re not remade quite as often as say Cinderella or Snow White (i.e. ALL THE TIME).

Regardless on your feelings on fairytales, it seems as though there is a take on them available for any type of reader!

What recent fairytale retelling is your favorite?

-Melanie

Currently Reading: Kiss & Make Up

I’ve started this ADORABLE book that I got at USM’s Children’s Book Festival last month and am loving it so far. The cover is too cute, but I couldn’t get a good feel for the book just from reading the summary. Thankfully, the author was doing signings at the festival so I asked her about it. She made it sound like the cool book that it really is and I bought it on the spot and got it signed by her. Here’s the summary, but don’t judge it by this!
 
October 2, 2012

Lip gloss addict Emerson Taylor and her best friend, Trina, have declared this year the Year of the Boy and vowed to find boyfriends. But for Emerson, there’s just one problem: she can read the mind of anyone whose lips touch hers. It’s totally creepy—and at first it seems like a curse. But Emerson soon realizes there are perks to her strange talent—like the ability to steal secrets, memories, and most importantly, test answers. If Emerson doesn’t bring up her grades soon, her days at her private school will be numbered. But kissing for grades is stickier than lip gloss, and Emerson’s about to learn some lessons not found in her textbooks—lessons about true love, and real beauty. Oh, why can’t life be as simple as choosing the perfect shade of lip gloss?

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Dirt by KF Ridley

Back of the Book Summary:

“Up until now, my life has been simple, uncomplicated, but because of what I am, everything is about to change. In fact, things are about to get deadly.Faeries are real and they want my blood. To make matters worse, I’m falling for one of them.In a mythical and magical world, I’m about to discover the secrets of my past and the truths of my existence. At least, that is, if I can.”

 

My review:

       I bought Dirt after meeting and speaking to the author about it at local book festival/conference. I know that all of us with ereaders love the free independent books that are out there, but let’s be honest, you never really know what to expect from independently published books. I decided to give this one a try because the concept intrigued me as a fan of YA Fantasy books. I was pleasantly surprised by Dirt! Most of what I read would be classified as YA Fantasy and many of the books run together because of their similarities–especially when it comes to the magical worlds the authors create. Dirt is a welcomed exception to the YA Fantasy norms. Ashe, the main character in the novel, is a girl starting her first year of college and quickly learns that she is half human and half faery. The magical world her deceased mother comes from, Durt, (I promise that isn’t a typo!) depends on Ashe to save them or else the hunt for her will destroy the world because her blood would give immortality and complete power over their world. The Durt world is quite different from the magic worlds I’ve previously read about. It is different enough that I can easily separate it from other books of its genre. I have a hard time sticking with a book that starts out slow, but Dirt starts out exciting and held my attention until the very last page. I bought a paperback copy and ended up reading it on my kindle so that I could go ahead and loan the paperback to one of my cousins. She quickly finished and called me seconds later raving about how much she loved the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes YA Fantasy and cannot wait for the next book in the series. Be honest, y’all know every YA book is a series these days and this one is no exception. You had to have expected more books after the ending—you’ll see what I mean when you read it! 🙂

I’d give Dirt a 4/5, which is basically a 5 for most people because I  VERY rarely hand out 5s. You can find Dirt at Amazon in paperback or for kindle. If you have a kindle and still aren’t sure then the book is also available in the kindle lending library if you have amazon prime. 

Now, really, I NEED book two ASAP!

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