30 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Timepiece by Myra McEntire

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


Timepiece by Myra McEntire

June 12th 2012

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

Hourglass was a great thriller with a nice love story, so I can't wait to read this sequel.  I'm really loving the time-travel trend that keeps popping up in new and different ways!

28 May 2012

Perception by Kim Harrington

When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

Once again Harrington has delivered a wonderful mystery. I loved the plot line, how it was interwoven with Claire’s life, and how it kept you guessing until the last moment without feeling like the ending was totally out of left field. I did feel like some of the newer characters fell flat, but there were so many more of them introduced in this book and many of them were well-fleshed out so I excused the few who couldn’t get more “face-time”. Claire herself is a wonderful character, and the book is full of flavor from her voice. I also really liked Mallory, she had a uniqueness all her own and was relatable to me (as someone who considered herself a geek outcast in high school). There is a bit of unresolved love triangle left over from Clarity, but it resolves quickly and doesn’t have nearly the presence it had in the first book so it is a lot more tolerable. In all this book was a great read, and I devoured it in a day. I bet you can’t put it down either!

25 May 2012

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a "free agent," with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?
I really loved this twist on the Harry Potter-ish trope of magic users hidden among us. A bonus addition is the setting of the book: Nigeria. It was fun to learn about daily life and the culture of Nigeria, and then be plunged into a parallel world with all the culture plus a liberal dash of folklore and religion. Sunni’s place as an outsider, both as a girl, an American transplant, and as an albino, which serve to make her outcast even among her own family. The new world of magic is the first place she fits in, and watching her shine for the first time is really what makes this book.

One thing that I was really surprised about is how passive Sunny is as a character. She makes few actual decisions and actions in the book. Mostly people and things act on or against her, pushing her along the plot. Usually this would make for a pretty boring read, but Okorafor really makes it shine by focusing on Sunny and her emotions, especially how out-of-control she feels (probably because she is). I think it’s very relatable, many teens (and adults) feel that they are being pushed along a path with no real ability to make decisions of their own.

I really loved this book. I loved how the dialog had a distinct character and felt “foreign” (I hope authentic to Nigeria, but I really have no reference to judge), it really helped to remind me the whole time I was reading that I was in another culture. I also loved Sunny, how strong she was even as she was being pushed along. The one thing I didn’t like was the big bad. He was so shrouded in mystery and kept secret that I really didn’t know much about him up until the climax, which didn’t feel as climactic as it should have. Watching Sunny finally be active and use her power, though, was more than worth slogging through it.

23 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 

   For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
June 12th 2012

It's Hell on heels--again.
Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

I think Diana Peterfreund is one of my great author crushes.  I absolutely loved her Unicorn series, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with Sci-Fi and Jane Austen!

21 May 2012

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
In my mind Kristin Cashore can do no wrong. So I think it is unsurprising when I say this is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I enjoyed it from front to back, and even though it was a long time coming it was totally worth the wait! Bitterblue is definitely different from Fire and Graceling, though. Where Fire and Katsa are active participants in the book, fighting for a place, Bitterblue has been handed a place she doesn’t know what to do with. The book is much more in Bitterblue’s head than Fire and Graceling were, and there is much less action, and when there is it mostly happens off-page. There is much more concentration on puzzles and ciphers, and untangling all the threads of plot and intrigue. It’s a totally different concept from the last two books, and yet totally absorbing and interesting in its own way.  I didn’t mind that there was less action because Bitterblue’s struggle with herself and finding her way to become the person she wants to be was fascinating and more than active enough to keep me engaged. Bitterblue is complicated and her life is complicated, and that shows throughout the book in her actions. Even the plot of the book is complicated, and I love how it’s not wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end, showing that life is messy and sometimes things just can’t be made to work out.

16 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Sirenz Back in Fashion by Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 

   Sirenz Back in Fashion 
by Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman
June 8th 2012

It's Hell on heels--again.

When Shar tries on a ring from Hades, it activates an obscure contractual clause that puts Shar and former-frenemy-now-friend Meg in Hades' service once more. Shar is whisked away to the Underworld to prepare a ball for Persephone, while Meg is sent to retrieve the errant soul of spoiled rich girl Paulina Swanson and send her to the abyss. Just when it appears the girls will be doomed to serve Hades for eternity, Shar meets two possibly helpful demi-gods who also happen to be gorgeous. Can the girls finally ditch the Lord of the Dead once and for all?

I LOVED Sirenz and I'm so excited about getting a sequel!

09 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 

   Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
May 29th 2012

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

If you like Angel books you have to be looking forward to this one!

04 May 2012

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift. And a curse. When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case—but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother—who has supernatural gifts of his own—becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

This was a great, fast read, and I’m not usually a fan of murder mysteries. I loved how Clarity’s powers worked and were explained, I didn’t feel like I ever had information dump or implausible rules, just a simple statement of fact and rules on how things worked that were well followed by the author. It was really great because it let you dive right in to the mystery of the story. The mystery is great, too, because Harrington knows exactly the right pacing in exposing the clues and bits of the mystery at just the right time to turn all your theories upsidown. I did hit upon the killer a couple of times in my round-about of suspects, but I was left guessing and re-guessing right up until the end, especially with why someone would do such a thing. I was also left guessing with the love triangle, which was a good place to be because it wasn’t so prominent that it took over the mystery and yet it was just entertaining enough to make me want to see it resolved. It wasn’t, really, but I’m satisfied with what did happen because it was realistic and true to character for everyone involved. And, speaking of characters, Clare is a great female lead. She’s witty and resourceful, and she has just enough power to make things fun and just enough limit on that power to make things frustrating. Her mouth often gets her into trouble, but she’s smart and gets herself out of it almost as much. Even when she’s in trouble Clare’s no damsel in distress, and the lead characters spend much time supporting and saving each other so there’s no real feeling that she’s always the damsel in distress. In fact, all the female characters in this book are well put-together as people, not stereotypes, with their own motivations, hopes, and dreams. In fact, if anyone fits even barely into the damsel in distress stereotype it is Perry, Claire’s older brother. I like twists like that.

02 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Endure by Carrie Jones

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 

  Endure by Carrie Jones
May 8th 2012

It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

I loved the prior books in this series and I can't wait to see how it ends!