Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: RORY by Ciye Cho

Far beyond heaven, earth and hell is a city known as Palladino, a place ruled by ghosts and filled with demons, magic, and all sorts of darkly beautiful things. A city where no one can ever escape.

Eighteen-year-old Rory is a cake decorator who makes stunning confections. But no amount of frosting or miracles can save her when a demon kidnaps her—and carries her to Palladino. Here, Rory ends up in a deadly charm school where young women are forced to become companions for the Ghost Lords. And for her to survive, Rory must become everything that she isn’t: graceful, elegant... and perfect.

But nothing is what it seems in Palladino. Not the magic. Not the ghosts. And definitely not Martin Marius, the bizarre Ghost Lord-slash-inventor who is drawn to Rory. For amid a thousand machines and a hundred cats, Martin holds a secret that could change everything. A secret that could either free Rory... or destroy her.

Genre:  YA/NA Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Indie

Purchase your very own copy of Rory:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
I just put my Kindle down and all I can say is "Wowie-wow-wow!!!!  Where's the next book?!?"!  

This is the second Ciye Cho book I've read.  And what I love best about this author is his incrediby imaginative worlds.  Cho's books are amazingly colorful and RORY takes that to a whole other level.  The world of Palladino is so far beyond unique that Alice's wonderland has got nothing on it.  It's scary and beautiful and filled with secrets.  Without slowing the story pace down, Cho is able to paint a fantastical world that fills your mind's eye with wild colors, textures and forms.  I'm floored by Cho's creativity!

Besides the awesome world built by Cho, RORY has an incredible story that grabs you and pulls you in, making it quite difficult to stop reading.  Aurora (nicknamed Rory) has a challenging life to begin with in the human world before being kidnapped and brought to Palladino.  I did wonder why Aurora and her mother were aware of the "demons" who kidnap girls while the rest of the human world seemed oblivious?  Also, why does mom know so much about Palladino?  I'm not sure if these are things we will understand better later in the series, or if this a plot hole issue, but I'm eager to see if mom has secrets of her own.  There's a lot of danger and challenges that face Rory as she begins life in Palladino.  I love the mystery and the sense of not knowing who she can trust.  I also love how the whimsical and the violent are juxtaposed in Palladino.  Rory is both believable and likable: being frightened yet brave, reckless yet caring; she is a memorable character that I immediately could care for and cheer on.  There are many other intriguing characters in Palladino;  quirky and brooding Martin and his many cats, Cookie --whom I LOVE-- the adventuresome ghost cat and Manny the conflicted kidnapper.  It's an outstanding cast in an amazing setting telling a wondrous story.

Really my only complaint was the huge cliff hanger ending.  What the heck?!?  You simply cannot leave a girl hanging like that!!!  So expect a review of book 2 as soon as the author gets the ARCs out.  I will be stalking him until he is done **evil grin**  

Cover Art:
I really love the art the author does for his books.  This is such a beautiful cover which fits the book perfectly!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blog Tour with Giveaway: UNNATURAL by J. A. Belfield

Super excited today for my tour stop for J. A. Belfield's UNNATURAL,
book #4 for the Holloway Pack (you know how I love these boys)!!!

I just finished reading this gem and will be sharing my thoughts with you in the next few days;
in the meantime, let's jump right in for the tour stop.......

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

Purchase your copy here:  Amazon, Kobo and Barnes & Noble

And here's the GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: THE WANDERERS by Jessica Miller

What do you do when you learn your family is the one who's holding all the secrets? Secrets that could get you killed...

Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.

Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her.

When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust.

When she finally learns the truth of her family's deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.

Genre:  New Adult PNR/Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Self/Indie

Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Rating:  *  *  *

I have mixed feeling on this one and have fluctuated between 3 and 4 stars, finally landing on 3.  The book starts off great with wonderful, easy-flowing writing and an intriguing  mysterious supernatural event, but then the pace really slows as the author introduces us to Ella's life.  While I really liked the depth this gave some of the main characters (except for her parents who seemed fairly unrealistic to me), this section suffers with no more mention of the supernatural and Ella's wordy discourse on her being rich, but not spoiled.

Once past this, the middle hits and the book is incredibly hard to put down.  Ella's and Tristan's courtship is very entertaining and romantic.  Their relationship is extremely well done, with the notable exception to Ella's incessant need to argue and call things off.  She was hard to like at times because she was so unreasonable, selfish and unkind.

The book has a great mystery that unfolds and keeps a reader eagerly awaiting answers.  There's a lot of action through the latter part of the book, too, which made for an engaging read.  The ending was intense and emotional with a serious cliff hanger that I'm not so sure I appreciate.  While I don't mind cliff hangers, I could do with a bit more closure.

Overall, I was left with a few questions that may or may not be answered in future books.  For example, I had a hard time accepting that her parents kept their secret from her even before Kyle's accident and that they bothered allowing her to go to college when they had other plans for her, especially with a deadline involved.  I also am confused as to why her older brothers are not called upon first for the thing she's supposed to be do (sorry for being so vague, I try never to spoil).

Regardless of my questions and some concerns I've voiced, this is a very entertaining read and I very much wish to continue on with this series.  I am eager to see where the story goes from here!