Friday, 27 April 2018

Review - The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

Title: The Wolves of Winter
Author: Tyrell Johnson
Pages: 321
Publisher: 11th January 2018

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s been forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

But her fragile existence is about to be shattered. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HQ and NetGalley*

Gwendolynn 'Lynn' McBride and her family moved to Yukon when she was young, after war and disease broke out, ending society as we know it. Now in her early twenties, Lynn spends her time hunting and surviving in the snow-covered landscape.
Things change when Lynn comes across a stranger and his dog. Jax brings danger to Lynn and her family.
What secrets will be unearthed?
Will everyone survive the events that follow Jax's arrival?

The Wolves of Winter reminded me of one of my favourite books, Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, in a lot of ways - both are post-apocalyptic/dystopian books set in the Yukon with female protagonists that can hunt. When I realised that there were so many similarities, I was worried I wouldn't enjoy The Wolves of Winter, but it surprised me.
I thought Lynn was a good protagonist and there were several other characters that I liked.
The plot was good and held my attention. There were a few aspects of it that I had read in other books, but I felt they worked well together in this. The action was well-done and there was a little romance (which I liked).
I did feel that it could have been a bit longer because I seemed to read it really quickly, but the pacing was good. Part of me wants a sequel, but I also liked the way the story ended.
The writing style was easy to follow and made me want to read on.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Tyrell Johnson writes next.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway - Evading The Dark (The Cross Chronicles #1) by E.M. Rinaldi

Evading The Dark (The Cross Chronicles #1) by E.M. Rinaldi
Published by:
CHBB Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

High school sucks. It doesn’t matter who you ask; jock, cheerleader, computer nerd, or band geek, they will all say the same thing: It’s a nightmare. But Casey is still wondering how she got the short end of the stick. Just a Sophomore at the prestigious Luthos Academy for Magical Beings, Casey already knows more about heartache and fear than any almost-sixteen-year-old should. Orphaned and left to be raised by the Academy, she spends her days training to become a Guardian, but that dream is looking dimmer with every day that passes.Unlike the wand-waving heroines in all her favorite books, Witches in her world don’t cast spells, they are born wielding the power of nature: water, fire, earth, or air; powers Casey never developed. She’ll be lucky if they even allow her to take her final exams.

She is top of her training class, but that doesn’t keep her from being looked down upon by every other being at her school. All Casey wants is to be given a chance, instead she finds the only life she’s ever known targeted by an unfathomable evil. Thrust into the center of an age-old prophecy, a war is coming with Casey at the reins.

Will relying on her hard earned training be enough for her to make it out alive?

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10 years earlier …

I should have known that something bad was going to happen, but at only six years old, I didn’t know how to put my feelings into words. At least, not those feelings. How was I supposed to tell mommy that something dark was following us; that I could feel its eyes on me while its hungry breath fogged up the window? I knew she wouldn’t understand, outside it was anything but dark. The sun was shining clear and bright and laughter trickled in from the barbeque next door. Why would she believe me, a kid, when what I felt was not reflected around us?
I should have told her anyway. I should have screamed it until she listened, because, as it turned out, she knew the darkness was there too.
Looking back, all the signs were there—blatantly so. It was a Sunday, the day that my mom always took me to the park. I loved those days. She would always have a new adventure planned for us: catching butterflies that we’d pretend were fairies or climbing trees that she made me believe were the tallest mountains.
But not that Sunday. I thought it was weird that she didn’t want to go outside, mommy loved being out with the trees, but I didn’t argue. I had my own reasons for not wanting to go out. And it wasn’t too bad in the house; true to form, mommy tried to play the night out like it was just another adventure.
“We’re really in a secret cave hunting for lost treasure,” she said.
She led me all around the house, making obstacles out of the furniture until we made it to the “treasure”—a fresh baked batch of brownies. The whole time I thought it was just a new game. It was my naivety that kept me from seeing how my mother moved a kitchen knife from its drawer to the counter, or how all the “obstacles” looked strategically placed.
I couldn’t tell then, but now it’s all too clear; she knew that something was coming. Or someone.
They came late in the night. We were halfway through The Lion King when there was a knock at the door. My mom turned off the movie and instantly knelt in front of me to quiet my cries of dismay. There was no explanation for why the movie was gone; she had no chance to give one. The knock at the door swiftly turned violent, with more blows sounding on the back door and surrounding windows.
I was ushered into the dark crevice where our couch met the wall. Almost too big to fit, I managed to squeeze in just as she ran to the kitchen and grabbed the knife. I heard her yell frantically into her phone as the harsh pounding became so vehement that it felt as if the whole house shook. Whether it’s because I was too young or unintentionally blocked it out, I can only remember bits and pieces of what she said.
“Eli, they’re here! Help! … 120 Huckleberry …”
At one point I heard a splintering crack as one of the doors started to break. I crawled further into the crevice as my mom spoke faster.
“… not enough time! … I’m so sorry. Take care of her.”
I never saw what happened next, but I remember every sound: the high pitch of our glass windows shattering, the harsh moan and crack as the already fragmented door gave way, followed closely by my mom’s scream. And I heard what I now recognize as the sound of a fight. I sometimes dream that my mom won that fight and came to get me and everything was okay. But that’s not how it happened.
The fighting ended in an eerie silence. I almost crawled out of my hiding spot, but even my undeveloped instincts could tell that I wasn’t alone. Whoever was still there was looking for something. Before I knew it, it was silent yet again, but this time it was real. This time, it was forever.

Author Bio

E.M. Rinaldi lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her fiancé, Milz, and their slightly psychotic pup, Boone. She works as a Registered Radiologic Technologist,taking pictures of mangled bones for hours on end- then she writes about all the bizarre situations her characters get themselves into while she was away. She is a Second Degree Blackbelt and can’t write a story without at least one fight scene in it.

When she’s not writing or trapped at work, E.M. likes to read (obsessively), clear her DVR, and have all night Buffy marathons with her friends, complete with cookies and cinnamon rolls.

Her love for writing stems from an early age where she would create stories on an old computer program and force anyone within grabbing distance to read them. Not much has changed; be warned: stay out of grabbing distance.

E.M. is a new YA author and her debut novel, Evading The Dark, is available now. ​

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Open to US/CAN


Monday, 23 April 2018

Review - Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Renegades (Renegades, #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 576
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date: 16th November 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

My Review:

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley*

Since stopping Ace Anarchy, leader of the Anarchists, the Renegades - a group of prodigies (superheroes) - have been busy rebuilding the city and establishing order.
Nova, the niece of Ace and a member of the Anarchists, detests the Renegades and everything they stand for. She will do whatever it takes to get revenge.
Adrian is the adopted son of two of the founding members of the Renegades. When a villain named Nightmare mentions something linked to the murder of Adrian's mother - Lady Indomitable, who was a founding member of the Renegades - he has to find out what she knows.
What will happen when Nova and Adrian's paths cross?
Will Nova get revenge?
Will Adrian find Nightmare?

I'm a big fan of the Lunar Chronicles, so when I heard that Marissa Meyer was releasing a book about superheroes I just HAD to read it.
I thought Nova was a good protagonist. I could understand her opinions on the Renegades and I liked that she made inventions.
I liked Adrian as well but not as much as I thought I would. His power was pretty cool and would be very useful to have.
There was some good diversity - gay superheroes, a character who had a bone disease and needed a cane to walk, and Nova was half-Italian, half-Filipino.
Some of the characters in this reminded me of actual comic book characters - Gargoyle made me think of Thing and Dread Warden reminded me of Judge Dread (mainly because of the name). But it must be hard to think of original names and abilities given how many comics there are nowadays.
This was an interesting take on superheroes and villains. I'm definitely planning to read the next book.
While the plot was engaging and interesting, for such a long book not that much really happened.
I have to admit that I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more, but it was still an enjoyable read.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.


Sunday, 22 April 2018

Review - In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira

Title: In Search Of Us
Author: Ava Dellaira
Pages: 403
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 6th March 2018

Blurb from Goodreads: 

The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn's tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie's story is about her search for her unknown father.

This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie's father, James, who was African-American. But Angie's never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.


My Review:
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hot Key Books*

In Search Of Us follows two generations of a family - Marilyn and her daughter Angie.
Angie grows up without a father, but in Marilyn's chapters, we follow her as she meets and falls in love with James (Angie's father).
In Angie's parts of the story, she discovers that her uncle may be alive. Having been told by Marilyn that he is dead, Angie begins to wonder if her father could possibly still be alive too.
Why does Marilyn become a single parent?
What lengths will Angie go to in order to discover the truth?

I was hoping to enjoy In Search Of Us, but I don't think I expected it to hit me as hard as it did.
I liked both Marilyn and Angie as protagonists. I felt sorry for both of them, and also found them to be believable and relatable characters.
Marilyn and James were so sweet together. It was heartbreaking knowing that something was going to happen to stop them being together.
I enjoyed the plot and the alternate points of view. It was interesting to read about a mother and daughter.
I could understand why Angie wanted to find out about her father.
The writing style was easy to follow and towards the end of the book I flew through the pages, both intrigued and scared to find out James's fate.

Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.