Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: Blood Will Tell by Samantha Young

Blood Will Tell (Warriors of Ankh, #1)
by Samantha Young

Genre: Paranormal/Mythology
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 29, 2011
Source: Kindle Store
Age Rating: 17+ (for violence)

Eden is a Soul Eater. While that hasn’t meant much to her in the past, she’s pretty sure any minute now she’s going to go all "Carrie" on her eleventh grade class. Noah is an Ankh. As an immortal Warrior, his purpose in life is to hunt down and kill Soul Eaters.

Eden is Noah’s next assignment. Problem is… this is an assignment with a difference. Eden’s not your average, run of the mill, Soul Eater. Noah’s job? To test Eden for possible redemption. It’s a risky business. Especially if Noah awakens Eden’s inner monster. It would be kind of hard for Eden to listen to the angel on her shoulder when the devil on the other is telling her, her new best friend is a lying, scheming, immortal enemy...

....betrayal is such a bitch. So is Eden when you get on her bad side. 

My Review

I had been trying to find time to read Blood Will Tell for a while, and finally did. This one was SO fast—it was the perfect antidote for having little time to read. It only disappointed a bit, but I found a potentially new great villain character to *cross-fingers* gobble up (pun intended)...

  • Plot: Eden is a soul eater, a type of human-like being that has to eat human souls in order to live. But, she hates the idea of having to kill people just to feed herself and resists the urge to cave into her baser instincts, daily. Her best friend Noah doesn't help much since he's so yummy in more ways than one. But, he's on an assignment from the order of the Ankh—immortal warriors who hunt and kill soul eaters. Eden is a special soul eater, and Noah needs to see if she can be saved from the demonic side of herself before she takes her first soul, or it will be too late.
  • Characters: Eden is a grumpy teenager with a very dysfunctional family, and not just because they're all soul eaters. Her father, Ryan, is even a deviant amongst his own kind, being a sadistic, perverted killer/rapist along with Eden's cousin, Teagan, who lives with her. The only bright spot at home is her older brother, Stellan, who never kills any of his victims. He's a really sweet character, always protecting her, especially from Teagan, whom she must marry at age eighteen. Oddly, enough I liked Teagan the best. He has a kind of sass I find really fun in villain characters. Ryan, although right on the same level of perversion as Teagan, just has no personality other than being a d-bag. Noah is a nice guy, tall, handsome and caring, but when Eden discovers who he really is, it causes major mistrust issues. I like that he and Eden had already known each other for six months when the story began. No insta-love, since Noah's hardly a real teenager, anyway. As if!
  • Writing: It's good, definitely nothing to worry about. I love how it was written in such a way that you could literally read the entire novel in one sitting, although I didn't do that. But, it's a very fast and engaging read. We also get alternating POV's between Eden and Noah, all done in 3rd person, and not confusing at all.
  • Storytelling: I found myself sucked right into this story, even though Eden isn't that likable of a protagonist. She basically pushes everybody away, perhaps in an effort to protect them from herself, since she grows more and more dangerous to the humans around her. I can forgive her for being a teenager and sympathize with her horrible home life. Her dad and Teagan are a couple of sickos. Ryan has a basement in his mansion and brings all his victims there to rape and torture them before eating their souls. It's unnecessary to do any of these things just to eat souls, but he and Teagan relish in being sick freaks. Ryan likes Teagan so much, he promised he could marry Eden (they're first cousins—gag) when she turns eighteen, and Teagan constantly sexually harasses Eden. She completely loathes him. (Although, I like him because he's sassy!) I feel so bad for her life and the pressure she's under to go through with the soul eater ceremony to become one, officially. She doesn't want to, at all. Noah hopes to get her away from her family to join his because she actually does belong with the Ankh, too. It's very interesting how the whole story plays out, and Eden ranges from being an irritable teenager to an overwhelmed girl struggling with unbearable urges to kill innocent people.
  • Overall Quality: Really good. I didn't notice any plot holes or world-building problems. Everything seems to make sense within the world created.
  • Favorite Scene/Moment: This wasn't a favorite scene, but one that stuck out to me. Eden finally went down into her father's torture basement and found a girl her age chained to a bed. She had a chance to save her, but instead, ran back upstairs and vomited in her toilet. I just thought that was a sad, weak moment for her, although she redeems herself of this cowardice later on. Eden is made out to be a pretty realistic teenager who isn't perfect, but still manages to do the right thing, in time.
    I'll be reading the next book, if anything, because I want to see more of Teagan and how he plays out as a significant villain character....*hee-hee*
  • My Score: 4 stars out of 5. (There is some graphic violence, just so you know!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Giveaway! The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Hey, everyone! I thought it would be a really spiffy thing to host a giveaway of the Iron Druid Chronicles books by Kevin Hearne because the 4th novel just came out this past Tuesday, April 24th. 


You can enter to win any ONE of the FOUR books out now in this series:

  • Open internationally (where Book Depository ships).
  • Be 13 years of age, or older.
  • Enter 5 different ways through the Rafflecopter form below.
  • Giveaway ends Thursday, May 3rd 11:59pm.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Legend of Korra Episode Recaps: Episode 3

"The Legend of Korra Episode Recaps" is a book blog feature created by the indubitably awesome Lisa @ Lisa Is Busy Nerding.

I'm back with another episode recap/discussion of The Legend of Korra

Episode 3 "The Revelation"

I gotta say this show is already going far beyond my expectations. It's so clever at developing the plot and the characters all at the same time, like a best-selling novel. Definitely, Mike & Brian (the show's creative duo) are demonstrating that they are not a one-trick pony act. They can continue to kill it even when they write sequels.

Episode 3 basically sets up the complication and introduces us to our main villain character: It starts out innocently enough with Korra training for her Pro-bending match with her teammates Mako and Bolin. She and Mako are still not too chummy with each other. She discovers from Bolin that the two brothers are orphans and have had to scrape by in life. They still struggle to find money, and in order to enter the Pro-bending Tournament, they have to come up with 30,000 yulans. Yikes! 

Korra freely admits that she has never had to earn a living because people have always taken care of her all her life. Mako sounds a bit gruff at the remark, like a bitter pauper. We get to see Korra's mentality, having been the known Avatar all her life. It makes sense that she's been treated extra-specially since her childhood, which is rare for an Avatar (they usually find out they are the Avatar at age 16). 

There's a scene of Mako working at a power plant as he lightning-bends into a furnace with a bunch of other lightning-benders, showing just how common this type of bending is nowadays (it used to be rare). This is a world-building scenario, a clever one that shows us how Republic City is able to run on electricity, since there was none in the first series, and how Mako picks up a few extra bucks here and there when needed. When he returns to his loft home, Bolin is gone and he assumes he has gone across the bay to hang out with Korra (her island is in plain sight out his window).

When he goes to see if Bolin is with Korra, he finds out he is not, and they set out together to find him. Mako knows that Bolin has a knack for getting himself into dangerous situations. They find Bolin getting thrown into the back of a truck, tied up by people who are clearly working with the anti-bending folks--the Equalists. These guys fight and temporarily chi-block Korra and Mako from being able to bend any elements, but the two are saved by Naga, Korra's polar-bear dog.

After that, they spend all night looking for Bolin to no avail. The shipping ensues between Korra and Mako as they are alone together the entire time, but Mako is wanting to keep his distance from Korra, not give her any ideas. We are still left wondering if that's what he really feels about her. (She's clearly fine with him.) Then, they get a lead when they pick up some fliers that advertise something called "The Revelation," which is part of the anti-bending social movement in the city. The Equalists are headed up by a man named Amon, and he plans on revealing something amazing that nobody knows about just yet. 

They go undercover to the Equalist rally and see for the first time just how many anti-benders there are... hundreds, maybe thousands. It's shocking. Amon ascends from the stage and reveals that the Spirits of the Spirit World have instructed him that bending is bad and that the Avatar system is fail. He is supposed to take away all benders' abilities to bend the elements from them, and he can do it. No. Way. That is impossible. But, he shows everyone that he can do it by demonstrating on a notorious mobster named Lightning Bolt Zolt--a fire-bender. Amon holds the guy's forehead and Zolt is left with no bending. It's permanent. 

Bolin is on stage and about to get his earth-bending taken away from him by Amon when Korra wrecks a boiler, causing steam to fill up the arena, which allows Mako to grab Bolin undercover, and they all escape, barely. Korra finally returns to her temporary home with her sifu, Tenzin, who was worried sick about her. She has to tell him all about the new threat Amon poses to all benders, and Tenzin is aghast that the man has learned to do something only the Avatar has ever been known to do. It is a mystery, indeed, how he learned to do something so dangerous. (Although, I do know what he has learned, but it's too spoilery for this post.)

I'm very impressed with this new villain character, Amon, because, unlike Ozai, the villain of the first series, he seems more multi-dimensional. Amon is motivated to take away people's bending abilities because he grew up a non-bender with his non-bending family, and a fire-bender killed them all. He was left with a scarred face that he has to cover with a mask. Of course he would hate benders, and many benders are oppressing non-benders. All of this is really happening, and he wants to take the hard-line approach to fixing the problem. It's just that it's a very severe way to do it. But, I like that he is NOT motivated by greed, but a notion that he is doing good and making life better for people. That's the best kind of villain--one who doesn't know he is one.

What do you think of this episode? What do you think of Amon, the new villainous threat to the benders? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Top 10 Favorite Characters from Books (TTT #16)

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by

 This week's list topic is...


1. Leif Helgarson (Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne)
I have not minced words on this blog about how much I adore Leif Helgarson from IDC. I simply love him! He's just quirky enough to make me laugh, but handsome like a Regency gentleman. He is in fact still “Regency” in his mind, since that time period never really left him. He's an old-timey vampire living in our era, and he just doesn't understand anything modern. That's why he's so much fun to read about!

2. Puck (Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa)
As I read this series, I started out being a bigger fan of Ash than Puck, but after reading “Summer's Crossing,” (a short story about Puck), I realized I loved him more than Ash! He's just too fun. Not that I dislike Ash now, but Puck had hidden wonderfulness I never picked up on until then.

3. Ash (Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa)
See? I still like Ash—only I'd rank him a teensie bit lower than Puck nowadays. But, still he's third on this list. It's hard not to like this pretty ice prince with a warm core.

4. Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)
Silver hair, silver eyes and such a sweetheart of a guy. I love Jem because he's the nice best friend type who is always there for Tessa without being annoying, or in the way. He's a true gentleman and I don't know how anyone could not love him. But, alas, he's always playing second fiddle to Will (I just made the best allusion to Jem's violin playing. I rock!).

5. Oberon (Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne)
This list wouldn't be complete without adding the big hairy telepathic pooch of the Iron Druid Chronicles series. Yes, it's Oberon, Atticus' Irish wolfhound! If you want to get inside the head of the funniest fictional animal ever created, then head on over to these books. As he says, which is very reflective of his one-track mind, <Bacon is the Way and the Truth.>

6. Mr. Charles Bingley (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
I'm one of those weird P&P fans that actually is a bit more partial to Mr. Bingley than I am to Mr. Darcy. He's a character that seems so cute and agreeable to be around, it's a shame he's not in the book more. But, no. Of course, he must also play second fiddle to his heroic superior because, apparently, wonderful men are not interesting enough to young women. I suppose I'm just not that young anymore.

7. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
But, that doesn't mean I don't like Mr. Darcy—of course I do! I'm not immune to his charms and his personification portrayed by Mr. Colin Firth in the BBC television adaptation. For some reason, he still manages to be amazing, even if I still tell myself I'm more of a Bingley woman.

8. Mr. Jingle (The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens)
He is the villain character in this very early novel by Mr. Dickens, and is completely off his rocker. I love how he talks and how he just generally comes off like he needs more minutes in each hour. Is he rushed, or something? He clips off everything he says. I think he would have loved texting had he been written during our day and age.

9. Elder (Across the Universe by Beth Revis)
Yes! It is Ben Barnes in this photo! Anyway... I don't even know why I like Elder so much, but I just do. There's a je ne sais quoi about him that I can't put my finger on, but I think he's a very interesting YA hero. Perhaps it's because he has so much responsibility thrust on him at a very young age. He has to make impossible choices before he's old enough to really understand what the consequences are. Not to mention his unique situation. He's so interesting.

10. Orihime Inoue (BLEACH manga by Tite Kubo)
This entire list, and no ladies so far? I feel the need to include at least one, even though I honestly don't favor the female characters in books all that much. I don't know why that is. So, to include one on this list, I have no choice but to include Orihime Inoue. My favorite female fictional character isn't from a novel series, but a Japanese manga. I heart her SO much! Beautiful, silly, and super sweet. That's my Orihime-girl....

Who are your favorite fictional characters from books? 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

by Lauren DeStefano 

Genre: Dystopia/Sci-Fi
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Source: local library
Age Rating: 16+

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape—before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom. 

My Review

This is an old review I wrote (edited a bit) before I started my book blog, so, obviously I couldn't use my newer review format for this one. I apologize for the lack of my current style....


Wither is a really well written YA dystopian and I loved most everything about it. Great story, very interesting premise and great characters. You feel like you're right there with Rhine every step of the way, immersed in her new horrible situation. She's a sixteen-year-old bride forced into a marriage with a total stranger who marries two other girls along with her, so you can feel how piteous this situation is. All of the wives are as different as can be, and it is interesting to see how the youngest (at age 13) loves her new life, while Rhine hates it, and the oldest wife just waits around to die.

Despite all that works so well, there are some very serious world-building problems. It made it difficult for me to completely "suspend disbelief." As you read this review, you're going to think I mostly hated this book, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Still, I felt the need to address the issues that bothered me when I read it.

In this alternate United States, there is a nationwide genetic problem that causes young people, both male and female, to die in their twenties—or, is it a virus? Both are mentioned as the cause of the shortened lifespans, but they are two completely different things. Which is it? Other things that bothered me were how some of the girls that had been "gathered" (abducted for forced marriages) and not purchased as brides, were shot. Why? The Gatherers shoot them, even though they could sell them alive later on to turn a profit. It's just senseless murder.

On to those pesky starving orphans... They are either so troublesome they require Rhine and her brother Rowan to sleep in shifts every night just to fend them off (before Rhine's abduction), but it's okay for Rhine and bro to both leave home at the same time to go to work. Hard to buy that logic. And, they both go fishing for fish they know they can't eat? Why bother? Why leave the precious basement of your home exposed to those little unarmed orphan pests if they really are such a problem? See, weird logic. How are starving little orphans kids so dangerous, anyway? More weirdness.

There are quite a few things like this that got on my nerves. But, I otherwise really liked this novel and look forward to the rest of the trilogy. I just hope the world-building problems get straightened out. It is as if the author didn't think she needed to invest more time in developing her fictional world completely, thinking everything out so it would make sense.

I have given it a lesser rating as a result. Otherwise, I really thought this book rocked. Make no mistake—this book is very good and worth reading. The writing and story are superb, the characters are interesting, and there is tons of mystery, even the good kind (not just the kind caused by the shoddy world-building). These are just my personal grievances. You may feel differently, so read this one for yourself and see what you think.

Still, I gave it...

My score: 4 stars out of 5.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Blogger Influences: TGIF at GReads! (#4)

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly bookish meme hosted by

Every week book blogger participants answer a different book-related question and share in the meme-y fun with other book bloggers. 

This Friday's Question: 

Has there been a particular book blogger who's influenced what you read? Share with us a review/book blog that convinced you to pick up a certain book.


The answer is yes, there is. I shall elaborate:

When I read this review [here] by Misty Baker @ Kindle Obsessed of the YA fantasy Angelfall by Susan Ee, I knew I had to read it. I had already heard of it before, but had little inclination to actually go buy it. But, when Misty gave the book 5 out of 5 stars, which is unusual for her, I figured the book had to be awesome. 

She was right! Angelfall is a VERY impressive, intense read. [Read my review] It's perfect for fans of paranormal YA and The Hunger Games. I love that a self-published title so easily could have been traditionally published. I think it rivals any of the best YA fantasy novels out there today. 

Go check it out if you haven't already. It's currently only $1.99 on the Kindle

Thank you to Misty for writing up such a great review and getting me interested in it. Book 2 will be coming out this summer.

Read the first 5 chapters for FREE on Susan's website.

Have there been any books reviewed by book bloggers that have convinced you to try a reading a certain book?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...