Friday, April 28, 2017

Double Book Review: Bloodlines & The Golden Lilly



Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Released: August 23rd, 2011
Read: April 2017
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: Hardcover, 421 pages
Series: Bloodlines No. 1

Summary from Goodreads:

I wasn't free of my past, not yet.

Sydney's blood is special. That's because she's an alchemist - one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.


The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside - and within - the school grounds. Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

Review:

This was one book that satisfied an itch. After Vampire Acadamy, I was itching to relive the excitement that was the world of the Moroi. And after a while of procrastinating and reading other stuff I finally read Bloodlines. While it is different, BELIEVE me, it is just as good! The beauty of it, is that it isn't a carbon copy of it's mother series, and it actually stands on it's own. One may even argue that you could read it without prior VA knowledge. But I digress, this book was superb. I grew really attached to Sydney (our heroine) and how dang smart she was. It was refreshing to have a main character that is smart and sees no need to rush to get a boyfriend. Her character had a lot of emotional depth, and the dilemma she faces at living with a vampire makes her quite human. Unlike the original series, there are real conversations on whether or now vampires are human, what makes us human, and how can we coexist (man I make it sound like vampires are real...). Sydney is conflicted because of her Alchemist beliefs and it makes for an interesting read. Plus this book also brings back fan-faves Eddie, Jill and Adrian. I had no idea how much I loved Adrian and his self-destructive ways until I read this book. Rose clearly didn't know what she had when she was with him. All in all, this book is amazing, as it feels familiar enough to VA to feel like home, but it still holds it's own.

Favourite Quotes:
“Mmm. O positive, my favorite.” 
― Richelle Mead, Bloodlines

“The greatest changes in history have come when people were able to shake off what others told them to do.” 

― Richelle Mead, Bloodlines

Rating:
8.5/10

8709523The Golden Lilly by Richelle Mead

Released: June 12th, 2012
Read: April 2017
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: Paperback, 418 pages
Series: Bloodlines No. 2

Summary from Goodreads:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she's been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California - tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formorly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and her sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi - the fiercest vampires, the ones who don't die. But it's her fear of being just that - special, magical, powerful - that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Braydon, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else - someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney's loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists - or her heart?

Review:
So as you may see, I am kinda on a Richelle Mead kick right now, specifically the Bloodlines novels. While I am always wary starting book two (given shitty histories of sequels, hello Insurgent?) this book picked up right where book one ended and it just keeps getting better. Sydney is same as ever, and this time she GETS A BOYFRIEND! Yes you read that right. Who would've thought? And for once, this boyfriend is OK with her being genius-level smart. However, what makes this book is the arrival of two well known VA characters: Sonya Karp and Dimitri Belikov (swoon!!). This new gang is ready for everything, and it feels as if it's in this book that the series has found it's way in the post-VA world. I truly loved this book, but for one very specific reason. You could tell from page one that there was some sexual tension between Sydney and Adrian. And oddly enough, I loved it. It seems that they would be really good together! The plot for this is a little darker (vampire hunters!) but the balance between that and high school life is perfect; not too much, not too little. This was a really strong sequel, and I am already getting my hands on book three!

Favourite Quotes:
“Adrian ordered a martini, earning disapproving looks from his father and me.
'It's barely noon,' said Nathan.
'I know,' said Adrian. 'I'm surprised I held out that long too.” 

― Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

“Why not see which is brighter: your aura or the sun?” 

― Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

Rating:
9/10

Perfect for people who love: Vampires, teen books, romance, drama, supernatural, drama

Let me know what you think!
Happy Reading,

Mari

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Release Week Blitz: Blood Road



We are so
excited that BLOOD ROAD by Amanda
McCrina is available now and that we get to share the news!

If you
haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Amanda McCrina, be sure
to check out all the details below.

This blitz
also includes a giveaway for a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate courtesy of
Month9Books and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in
the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.



About The Book:
Title: BLOOD
ROAD
Author: Amanda
McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25,
2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback,
eBook
Pages: 329
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon
| B&N | TBD

Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He
knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an
Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.

Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens
and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who
tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken.
Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.

Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the
Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a
desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.

Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he
will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice
in an empire that seals its borders in blood.

Exclusive Excerpt
He touched her arm. She tensed but did not move away. He took off his
glove and traced her cheekbone with two fingers, brushing the tears from her
cheek. She drew a shivering breath. He turned her head and held it between his
hands and brushed the tears from her eyelashes with his thumbs. She stood very
still and silently while he did it, her eyes closed, her lips tight. He bent
his head and buried his face in her black hair—and she slipped in suddenly
under his arms, looping her arms around his neck, resting her cheek on his
chest. Then she twisted against him, tilting her head back to look up in his
face. “It’s no good,” she said. “I can’t feel your heart beat.”

“It’s the plums. I think I’ve suffocated.”

She laughed. He felt it echo through her body. He felt her muscles
loosen. Her breath was warm on his neck. “If that’s all,” she said.

They sat below the boundary wall. She unbuckled his helmet and cuirass
and held the cuirass for him while he shrugged it off. She sat against him with
her knees folded up on his lap, her shoulders under the curve of his arm. She
unlaced his jerkin and bent her ear to his chest. “Better,” she said. “And
this—just to be sure.” She leaned into him and pressed her lips gently to the
pulse in his

He kissed her. He sat up from the wall, cupping her head in his hands,
and he bent his face to hers and kissed her lips, her eyelids, her forehead; he
lifted her chin with his fingers and kissed the hollow at the base of her
throat. Her arms were around his neck and her cheek against his and her tears
running on his face. He tried to lift her to look at her. She shook her head.
Her lips brushed his ear. “Don’t,” she said. Her voice was thick. So he put his
arms around her waist and held her, his head and shoulders braced against the
sun-warmed stones of the boundary wall, his chin on her shoulder, and he
listened with his eyes closed while she cried.

He opened his eyes at the smell of wood smoke. They were smoking the
hives over in the bee field. Over Ceno’s shoulder, he watched the smoke trail
away southward toward the city. He could see the Hill just visible above the pines
in the hazy distance, the Palace and Senate buildings in delicate white-marble
miniature—and the moment shattered against it, and there was nothing but Tasso,
and the orders in his saddlebag, and the cavalry column mustered and awaiting
his command on the parade ground at Vione.


About Amanda: 


Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and
currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from
the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories
that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks
far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey
season.
















Giveaway
Details:


1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck on the giveaway!
Your Friends,
The Autumn Bookshelf

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Release Week Blitz: The Sky Throne


We are so
excited that THE SKY THRONE by Chris
Ledbetter is available now and that we get to share the news!

If you
haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Chris Ledbetter, be sure
to check out all the details below.

This blitz
also includes a giveaway for a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate courtesy of
Month9Books and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in

the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


Haven't heard of THE SKY THRONE? Check it out!


Title: THE SKY THRONE
Author: Chris Ledbetter
Pub. Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 292
Find it: Goodreads
| Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks
Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.


When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.


Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.


Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.


On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.





"Destined to have a sequel or two, young teens will appreciate the story, and teachers will appreciate that it instructs readers about the pantheon of gods."--Kevin Beach, VOYA Magazine







Exclusive Excerpt

The Oceanids descended upon the campus from their barracks like a wave
crashing against the shore. Telesto, the most beautiful sea nymph by several
stadia, smiled at me for the first time since I’d been going to the school.
Okay, it wasn’t a full smile. The corner of her lip twitched upward as she
flipped her wavy, aquamarine hair over her shoulder and glanced past me. But
that counts, right?

I backhanded Anytos in the chest. “You saw that. That’s my opening. If I
don’t make my move, she’ll be gone to the upper school next year.”

“Pssht, she is beyond the Mediterranean beautiful. Completely
unattainable.”

“Did you see that come hither stare she flashed me?”

“Looked more like indigestion.”

“You are as wrong as you are false. Cover my back. I’m moving in.”

I crossed the courtyard in a flash and caught Telesto’s arm as she
reached the weather-beaten front door to the main school hall.

“Telesto, you look as if the sun radiates from you.”

She paused and leaned back against the doorframe. “You’re just saying
that because I wore my yellow tunic today.”

“You shine with such brilliance; you should wear yellow every day.”

She folded a strand or two of stunning teal hair behind her ear and
twirled the ends. “But what happens when I wear my purple tunic?”

“A tunic hasn’t been invented that could dampen your beauty.”

She giggled and turned away from me for a moment. “Zeus, is it?”

I nodded, surprised she even knew my name.

“You’re the one who pulled that massive prank on my mother, Headmaster
Tethys, aren’t you?”

Oh, that’s how she knew me. Not invisible after all. I bowed. “I am him.
He is me. One and the same.”

“Crazy. She was so mad.” She shook her head, stifling a smile.

“As far as I can tell, language arts must be your favorite subject. Your
tongue is spectacularly sharp-witted.”

“Not really. But I am feeling a little inspired right now.”

Several strands of her hair fell to cover half her face. “Are you going
to the bonfire at the beach tomorrow night?”

“I wasn’t invite—”

Several of Telesto’s broad-shouldered, dark-haired brothers bumped into
me from behind. “Those are uncharted waters, boy. Careful now,” One of them
called over his shoulder. Those were the first words they’d ever spoken to me.
Telesto rolled her eyes. “Pay them no mind. They’re harmless. You were saying?”

“Those bonfires are an Oceanids and Potamoi thing? It’s kind of a secret
club that you have to be born into, right? Being brothers and sisters, children
of Headmasters Okeanos and Tethys… young water deities in training… masters of
rivers and streams…”

“I guess. But you should come out any way. It’s all night, under the
stars. Eating, drinking, stargazing… What’s better than that?”

Gazing into her mesmerizing, iridescent eyes, my mouth fired before I
could stop it. “Kissing you under the stars. That’s better.”

“Sprint much? You’re a fast mover.”

“I just go after what I want.”



“Well … ” A pink tint rose on her high cheek bones. “We shall see. But
first you have to show up.” 

Her lips twitched gain. “I have to go to class. See
you tomorrow?” She disappeared inside the school hall.







About Chris: 

Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville,
VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he
promptly “walked-on” to the best drum line in the conference without any prior
percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his
back is not very happy about now.

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion
University and 
earned his degree in Business Administration. He’s worked in various
managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. He taught high school
for six years in Culpeper, VA, and also coached football.

He has walked the streets of Los Angeles and New York City, waded in
the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and climbed Diamond Head crater
on Hawaii and rang in the New Year in Tokyo, Japan. But he dreams of one day
visiting Greece and Italy.





Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.



a Rafflecopter giveaway













Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
4/17/2017- Rockin'
Book Reviews
Guest Post
4/17/2017- Reading for the Stars and MoonReview

4/18/2017- LILbooKloversInterview
4/18/2017- Sophie RiggsbyReview

4/19/2017- Don't Judge, ReadInterview
4/19/2017- Book Review BeccaReview

4/20/2017- Month9BooksExcerpt
4/20/2017- Zach's
YA Reviews
Review

4/21/2017- YA and
Wine
Interview
4/21/2017- Kim
Harnes, Author
Review

Week 2:
4/24/2017- Jennifer
Eaton
Guest Post
4/25/2018- So Few BooksInterview
4/26/2018- Never Too Many To ReadGuest Post

4/27/2018- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
4/27/2018- I am not a bookworm!Review

4/28/2018- Mundie
Moms
Review


Enjoy and let us know what you think!
Your Friends,

The Autumn Bookshelf