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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Conquered Shore (Lodestone, #5) by Mark Whiteway BOOK REVIEW

The Conquered Shore (Lodestone #5)The Conquered Shore 
by Mark Whiteway

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may be the fifth book in the series, but it is the first one that I have read. Normally, I hate to do that. I have this thing about reading books in order. It just happened that I got this book without knowing about the others until it was too late, so I went ahead and jumped in. Let me say this about that, you can do that. This book can easily stand on it’s own very well. I don’t think I missed anything by not reading the others first, although now I want to read them.

Science Fiction has always been a favorite genre of mine. It allows you to think of worlds so far away and so different. That is one of the things I loved the most about this book, the world that it created. This is the story of how the people that live on the planet now actually came to live on the planet and how the planet came to look the way it looks now. It hasn’t always been like this.

You meet Keris and McCann and they are searching for a stolen memory ball, or orb. You will really only see these characters and the now timeline, briefly in the beginning of the book to set up the story, a couple of times in the story and at the end of the story. The rest of the book is what they see in the memory ball of when the people first landed on the planet and what happened to make it what it is now.

I found myself understanding certain characters more than others. Being able to relate to them and wanting them to win out over others. It’s not a typical good vs evil, it is more can two cultures co-exist together on the same planet? I knew pretty quickly where I landed and it was easier to see the reasoning that one side put forth. The beauty of it is that you can take some of the bits of the final ten chapters and apply them to current life. Use them as teaching moments with your teens. I am always looking for books that I can do that with, and I will be able to do that with this one.

It is well-written. The dialogue and descriptions are not too wordy, but give you enough to allow you to picture it in your mind. I would recommend it to adults and teens alike. In fact I have already passed my copy on to my teenage son. This is a great book. If you like science fiction, or even if you think you might like reading about another planet, this is one you should go for.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

AUTHOR: L.A. Banks

Author:  L.A. Banks 
            Main Website                The Vampire Huntress Legend Website

  • Leslie Esdaile Banks, née Peterson was an American writer under the pennames of Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks and L. A. Banks. Wikipedia
  • BornDecember 11, 1959, Philadelphia, PA
  • DiedAugust 2, 2011, Philadelphia, PA

  • The Vampire Huntress Legend
    1. Minion               Author Website            My Review
    2.The Awakening    Author Website
    3. The Hunted        Author Website
    4. The Bitten         Author Website
    5. The Forbidden    Author Website
    6. The Damned      Author Website
    7. The Forsaken     Author Website
    8. The Wicked       Author Website
    9. The Cursed        Author Website
    10. The Darkness   Author Website
    11. The Shadows    Author Website
    12. The Thirteenth  Author Website

    The Crimson Moon Novels
    1. Bad Blood           Author Website             My Review
    2. Bite the Bullet     Author Website             My Review  
    3. Undead on Arrival  Author Website 
    4. Cursed to Death    Author Website
    5. Never Cry Werewolf   Author Website
    6. Left for Undead      Author Website

    Other Books under this name not in a series:
    Vegas Bites             Author Website

    Minion (Vampire Huntress Legend, #1) by L.A. Banks BOOK REVIEW

    Minion (Vampire Huntress Legend, #1)Minion
    by L.A. Banks

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Minion was the first book by L.A. Banks that I ever read. I bought it a couple of years ago, and then life got in the way of my having the time to read it and it got shelved away.
    This was written long before the vampire and werewolf craze that Twilight and True Blood started. It was cutting edge back then.

    After a visit with my sister-in-law, where she loaned me her collection of Sookie Stackhouse novels to read while we were there and on the drive home, I knew I wanted to read more in this type of genre. This being said, I am NOT a Twilight fan, couldn't stand the first book and never watched the movies, but I find some books to be better at this type of story.

    So walking through the house, I rediscovered my copy of Minion and read it! I loved it! It was so hard to put down. I loved the references to good and evil, the backplots and the characters. It was such a good read.

    I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, although it was out at the library the day I went, and so I got started on L.A. Banks other series, a Crimson Moon, the first book being Bad Blood. Now I think I am going to have to finish this one before going back to the other.

    This review was written many years agos, probably over ten years, and it was when I was first starting out at writing reviews, so I know it isn't the best. I moved it to the new blog because I think it is still a good story. It fits with the books that are being written today, yet it was written years ago, and I love the way the author writes.

    Another reason I wanted to move it was because I found out that the author passed away a few years ago. I think she finished the Crimson Moon series and this series but I am not sure. I am going to work on getting that information. She was a great writer and it is a shame to lose her, so I wanted to feature her books again.

    View all my reviews

    Bite The Bullet (Crimson Moon, #2) by L.A. Banks BOOK REVIEW

    Bite the Bullet (Crimson Moon, #2)Bite the Bullet by L.A. Banks

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Bite the Bullet is the second book in the Crimson Moon series by L.A. Banks.

    I loved this book. What could I say, but it compelled me to finish it, I hated it when I had to put it down and actually do something around the house or cook, or whatever. It just pulled me through, there was never a good stopping place, I just kept wanting to read more and more. I could relate to Sasha's conflict between her miltary up-bringing and the shadow Clan way of life, bewteen the old world ways of the clan and the modern day, free thinking of today. I could relate to Max's desire to preserve everything old world and the old ways and the safe, honest envirnoment he thought he knew. I copuld relate to the tension between them, and the interaction with the others.

    The story of Sasha, the miltary agent who found out in book one, she is werewolf, only of the shadow wolf variety continues, along with her helper, Max Hunter, a pure shadow wolf with a little infected werewolf DNA from an incident at birth. Near the end of the book, Shogun, that we met briefly in book one, who is the catalist that allows Sasha to learn the truth about herself, reappears, and hints at a bigger role in the next book, or at least it feels that way to me. Will have to get started on that thrid book to know for sure. There is also trouble from Sasha and Max from the get go, and it seems like it never gets resolved, which, given that there is another book, should only be common sense.

    In this book, we get to see more of Woods and Fisher, from Sasha's miltary team, and Clarissa, Bradley and Williams that we only briefly met in book one, but that were in the lab at NORAD with the team all the time, they play a much bigger role in this book. And I for one, really hope that they continue to play a large role and that we get some more character development in the next book for them. I think that would be a fun side story to add in.

    This book takes us to places, in the modern day world. We visit New Orleans not long after Katrina, yet the world is full of things that humans have no concept of, the myths and legends from childhood, well they are all real, live stories, they aren't fiction anymore. We travel with the Shadow wolf clan, we meet werewolve clans, we learn of Fae and Dragons, of Nymps and Sprites, of Vampires and everything else you have ever heard of, but never thought were real, they are real in this book.

    This book differs greatly from the hoards of Vampire loving books on the market in the recent years. These Vampires remind me more of the LeStat version from Anne Rice, the old world, elgantly born, rich and snooty type that have no problem double-crossing anyone and everyone to get what they want. I loved it. The Vanpires were not made out to be the heros, the ones that have been wronged but we should embrace. In fact, all the Vamps in this book have a slightly French accent, and a haughty air about them, and for some reason I could just really see that. It seemed more natural to me to think of them this way, as back-stabbing, double-dealing, better-than-you type.

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    Bad Blood (Crimson Moon #1) by L.A. Banks BOOK REVIEW

    Bad Blood (Crimson Moon, #1)Bad Blood by L.A. Banks

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    So I was looking for something a little different, not your typical romance, or mystery or action story and I found this series. I don't know, but something about the cover and the teasers just made me go ahead and pick it up.

    It's the Crimson Moon Series and book one is Bad Blood by L.A. Banks.

    This is a werewolf, vampire and other supernatural beings book, interspersed with CIA and FBI and covert military objectives. To be honest this was back before the whole Vampire Diaries and True Blood even started.  This review is actually from many years ago, but I am moving it to the new blog, so I am updating it a bit. This was new stuff to be reading at that timed, cutting edge and it was good.

    The two main characters in Book One are Sasha Trudeau and Max Hunter. There are the other members of Sasha's elite military team, and other members of Max's clan, but it centers around these two, finding hidden truths in their lives and coming together to defeat a common evil.

    I really enjoyed the book. There were some specific things that happened that centered on the werewolf lore, and what was happening was explained so that you could picture it, but not over done so as you were bored. I really enjoyed the mix of everything that was dropped into the book.

    Looking forward to starting book 2 later tonight!~

    As you can tell, this is one of my first reviews, and I was still learning how to balance how to describe the story without giving too much of the plot away. I don't think I did a very good job of it in this review, but I think it would be worth your time to read this book now. Remember this was cutting edge, is was vampires before vampires were popular.

    On a sad update, the author of the book passed away a few years ago. I think she finished the Crimson Moon series, but it is a sad loss because she was a talented writer and I really did enjoy her books.

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    Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare BOOK REVIEW

    Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, Book Two)
    by Cassandra Clare

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    The Clockwork Prince is the second book in the Infernal Devices series, which is a precursor to the Mortal Instruments series.

    In the Clockwork Prince we continue to follow Tessa Gray as she tries to discover more about who and what she is, and the London Institute as they try to find and defeat Mortmain. 

    This book grows each of the characters in age and maturity. We learn more about Tessa and her brother Nate, Jem and Will and even Jessamine. We watch the friendships and affections between the people grow and become more and shape and influence decisions that they make.

    Familiar family names from the Mortal Instruments series can be found in this book, but as the shadowhunters are an elite lineage that should be expected. We find some bad apples in some family trees.

    I found myself hoping for and enjoying the development of a relationship with Tessa and Jem, I found it true and innocent and refreshing, especially in a world filled with demons and conflict.  i long for the next book and the resolution to the story, and the hopes for a happy ending.

    Book One:  Clockwork Angel                         Review Link
    Book Two:  Clockwork Prince
    Book Three:  Clockwork Princess                   
    View all my reviews

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare BOOK REVIEW

    Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book One)
    by Cassandra Clare

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Clockwork Angel is the first book in the Infernal Devices series, which is a precursor to the Mortal Instruments series.  This book and series is set in London area in the late 1800's. All your favorite character types from the Mortal Instruments are there, werewolves and vampires, demons and shadowhunters, it is just more the beginnings. You will also recognize some familiar last names.

    Clockwork Angel revolves around a young girl named Tessa, who has always though she was a normal (mundane) girl and never imagined anything more to life, until her Aunt dies and she moves to London to be with her brother, only all is not what it seems. Tessa is more than what she thought, and someone knows more about her than she does, and they have plans to use her.

    Welcome to the London Institute, where young James Carstairs or Jem and William Herondale or Will are living and training to be Shadowhunters.  They follow a trail that leads them to unknowingly to young Miss Tessa, and she has to decide if they are worth trusting after all she has been through. And is she willing to help them save the world.

    If you have already read the Mortal Instruments series, you will see some similarities in some of the characters. If you haven't then have no fear, you will still enjoy this book. The layers of story that weave throughout are wonderful, it is not all on the top, but there are under currents upon under currents of stories in the book.

    I personally enjoyed the first three books of the Mortal Instruments, which is why i started reading this series, and i find that I like the characters, was glad to see Magnus Bane in this book as well, and find that the struggles are the same this century and last.

    I almost find myself enjoying this series a little more than the Mortal Instruments, and maybe that is the time period, i have always had a thing for historical books.

    Book Two:  Clockwork Prince                        Review Lin

    Book Three:  Clockwork Princess                    Review Link

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    Friday, November 15, 2013

    AUTHOR: Andrea Cremer

    AUTHOR:  Andrea Cremer
    Amazon Author Page Link
    Goodreads Author Page Link
    Author's Website Link

    1. Shadow Days (0.5) Kindle only - written after the series was complete
                                       Amazon Link                My Review
    2. Nightshade
    Author's Website            Amazon Link                My Review
    3. Wolfsbane
    Author's Website            Amazon Link                My Review
    4. Treachery (2.5) Kindle only - written after the series was complete
                                        Amazon Link               My Review
    5. Bloodrose
    Author's Website             Amazon Link               My Review
    6. Aftermath (3.5) Kindle only - written after the series was complete
                                        Amazon Link

    Nightshade Legacy
    1. Snakeroot - available December 2013
    Author's Website           Amazon Link

    Prequel to Nightshade
    1. Rift
    Author's Website           Amazon Link
    2. Stolen Souls - Kindle only
    3. Rise
    Author's Website           Amazon Link

    The Inventor's Secret
    1. The Inventor's Secret - available April 2014
    Author's Website           Amazon Link

    Bloodrose (Nightshade #3) by: Andrea Cremer BOOK REVIEW

    Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3)Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
    My Author Post
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Bloodrose is the third and final book in the Nightshade Trilogy by Andrea Cremer. She has ended every book on a cliff, and finally some closure. Calla, Ren and Shay, the love triangle will finally be decided right?

    This book was awesome! Everything that they went thru to get what they needed, the way they worked together. I loved it and it was so exciting. Ok, so Ren and Shay are still at each other throats, literally in this book, but what can you expect, they love the same girl and they are wolves. I still find Ren to be the one I relate to and like better. I am not that hooked on Shay, he's just a little too full of himself for me.

    The final battle, is huge, and everyone plays a part, and they all have to do something they didn'[t want to do or didn't know they could do. It was great. I loved the meeting of Shay and Calla's father, he wasn't too sure what to make of the kid. Even more, I loved the way Ren and Calla's father fought together.

    Yes I cried, alot at the end of the book. Can I just say I am mad. Yes I wanted Emile Bane to die, but not they way he did, I wanted it to be someone else, or something less, I wanted him crushed to made to know he wasn't all he thought he was. And I cried along with with pack at Ren. I had to, he was my favorite.

    I will have to say that although I was not excepting that ending, it was good. I am not sure what I was expecting, and when she starting leading into it, I still was not seeing were she was going, so I was caught by surprise at the end. That is really nice, to have an author catch you that off guard that far into a book.

    Excellent author, excellent series. There is a prequel series out now that tells how Nightshade came to be, so I have that in my to read pile.

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    Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2) by: Andrea Cremer BOOK REVIEW

    Wolfsbane (Nightshade, #2)Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
    My Author Post
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Wolfsbane is the follow-up book to Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. I couldn't wait to get my hand on this book, because if you read Nightshade, you know that we were left on a bit of a cliff. This book picks up on that cliff.

    Calla awakens to find out that life as she knew it is over, and that everything she had ever thought was right was really wrong, that she has been lied to her entire life. The rules have changed and she has been on the wrong side the whole time. This is a big shock, and it takes awhile to sink in, but the first task is to rescue her pack and Ren.

    Of course Shay is not all that happy about the Ren part, but he is for recusing all the others, and then Shay finds out all the things that he is going to have to do and what he has to be and it is a whirlwind.

    When Calla returns to Vail with the Searchers to rescue the pack, you find some of the horrible things that happened the night her and Shay escaped. You also find out who is still loyal to Calla and the Nightshade and who has flipped over to the Banes.

    This book is full of discovery, and fighting, and finding out who really is in your corner when it all comes down to it. I don't know what it is about the way it is written, but something pulls at me, and I just want to jump into the story and be friends with Ren and Calla and Shay.

    This is so well written and the story flows so well that you will sit down to start reading and the next thing you know the book will be done. It is a great read. Again, since the main characters are 17-18 years old, it's marked young adult, but I think it is good for anyone. I even passed the series on to my 14 year old son, only because of the shape-shifters though but he is enjoying it.

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    Haunted by: Eileen Maksym BOOK REVIEW

    HauntedHaunted                                                       Amazon Link
    by Eileen Maksym                                        Blog Link
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Haunted by Eileen Maksym is the story of three college students who investigate and research hauntings together.

    First you have Tara, the smart and pretty girl, who is studying neurobiology and has access to lab equipment. She has a troubled past that she doesn't talk about to anyone, and avoids most friendship except this little group.

    Second you have Steven Trent, he is a political science major, and has a major crush on Tara, but refuses to do anything about it. He likes the friendship the three of them have and doesn't want to run her off.

    Last, but not least, you have Paul, who is the one who really makes the haunting group because he can actually hear ghosts.

    Now you have an older couple wanting to sell there home, throw in a newspaper article about the house being haunted, and then a group of college students wanting to research it. You have a wonderful little book called Haunted.

    It was very well-written, everything flowed well, and once I started going I just kept going and before I knew it I was done. There were some unexpected twists, but it was quite a cute story. I marked it as Young Adult as the characters are college students. So glad to have had the chance to have read this book!

    View all my reviews

    **In the spirit of full disclosure, I received a copy of the book in return for my honest review.**

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by: Andrea Cremer

    Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
    My Author Post
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    This is the first book in a trilogy by Andrea Cremer, and the first book by this author I have ever read. I fell into it quite by accident. I had an unused book credit on and was looking through some books, and saw this, thought it sounded neat, with only little to go on, and got it sent to me. Now of course I have had a lot going on, and it has sat in the pile for awhile, but I pulled it out the other day, and oh man am I hooked!! Amazon probably loves me right now!

    First let me say, I put this on the werewolves shelf, but the story is NOT about werewolves! The Guardians are not werewolves, they are shape-shifters. They can take the form of a wolf, but it has nothing to do with the moon or night and they are still aware of being human in wolf form. Now, we can move on to the story.

    The main characters are a group of teens, in the 15 to 18 year old range, so it does make this a coming of age, or young adult book, but at the same time, as a mature and older adult who has kids in that age range I still enjoyed the book.

    The setting is Vail, CO; but not the Vail everyone knows. This Vail has Guardians, who are the shape-shifters, and are ruled by a class of people called The Keepers, who aren't really human. Then there are the enemies, The Searchers, and the normal humans in the middle that know nothing of these groups.

    Slowly as we learn about each person, we learn about the world, and the structure of the world and society that they live in and how things work and what is going on. Right away, you find the people you like and the people you dispise.

    Calla is betrothed to Ren, and yet she meets Shay and feels torn between the two. Classic story, but with a huge twist. Now I won't tell you more than that, I will say that I fell for Ren. He is such a loveable guy, acting so macho and sure of himself around everyone but Calla. He is lost, he doesn't know how to act around her, and I find that so sweet and enduring.

    As the story progresses we find that maybe, just maybe everything they have been told all their lives, everything they thought they were protecting and fighting to save was a lie, and maybe just maybe, the Keepers are the bad guys and they have been on the wrong side the whole time.

    This was so well written that I was pulled in and reading and before I knew it the book was done and I was screaming. Amazon probably loves me because I went online that minute and bought everything else in this series by this author, so expect to see some more on this line soon! I am hooked! I loved the characters and I want to know them and I feel for them and relate to them. Even with the age difference, I can remember my own high school experiences and relate to the story.

    This is just a great read!

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