Oct 242014

should you read this seriesThere are so many published series out there and I know you wonder…which ones are worth the read? In this feature, we tell you which series you should start and which ones you shouldn’t. As a ground rule, series in this feature must have at least 3 books published and the reviewer must have read more than half the series. If you want us to feature a series in the future, please ask in the comments.

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SERIES: Riyria by Michael J. Sullivan

GENRE: Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery
BOOKS PUBLISHED: 6 (in 3 volumes) + 2 prequels

s-typeopts13s-typeopts13s-typeopts13crowntower-2-5The Rose and the Thorn (17)

SERIES STATUS: The Riyria Revelations is completed; The Riyria Revelations is ongoing
D.G. HAS READ: 7/8

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What Is This Series About? The Riyria Revelations follows two thieves that get embroiled in the struggle for power of an Empire. A thousand years ago, the Emperor was betrayed. But his son escaped and since then, many factions have been trying to find his Heir and reinstate him, while others have tried to destroy him. In the first book, Royce and Hadrian are framed for Regicide, setting the whole story in motion. Although the series has 6 books (published in three volumes, each containing two books), it’s all one overarching story, with the situations in each book building towards an unbelievable end. The prequel series, the Riyria Chronicles, follows Royce’s and Hadrian’s partnership during the 12 years preceding the events in the Riyria Revelations.

Why Should You Read It? The Riyria Revelations is in the “Sword & Sorcery” sub genre of Epic Fantasy. It’s an amazing story, full of twists, adventures and unbelievable escapes. The world building is excellent, with religion and race at its epicenter – very baldsy of Mr. Sullivan. But don’t fear that there’s preaching or sermonizing. This fits perfectly in a world full of monsters, secrets and magic.

The Main Characters: One of the weaknesses of this series is character development. Many times, characters behave in implausible ways to advance the plot, meaning, they do things that you know they would never do given their personality or situation. Hadrian was supposed to be this amazing fighter but I never believed it – he never seem to have the fire for it and a lot of the times, he would put his weapons down instead of kicking ass. Royce was more believable as a cut-throat and he could be scary but except in one instance, he never behaved in a way that made you think he was irredeemable (which is a big driver for a huge plot point.) The series has several strong women who play key roles but I never warmed up to any of them. With a few exceptions, the characters are just a bit flat and I never feared for them, even when they were in really dire situations. Thankfully, the plot makes up for this.

The Audiobooks: Although I listened to the audiobooks, I recommend you read it in print. Fantasy can be confusing in audio (at least for me) so I only understood some of the terminology and the geography when I read the glossary in the first ebook (this is not available in audio.)

Series Tips: Read the Riyria Revelations first. This is the best story and what makes the whole world special. I made the mistake of starting chronologically and I wondered why people were so impressed with this series. Now that I read Revelations, I know what the fuss is all about.

Series Publication Order
Riyria Revelations
1. Theft of Swords (The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
2. Rise of Empire (Nyprhon Rising & The Emerald Storm)
3. Heir of Novron (Wintertide & Percepiqulis)

Riyria Chronicles (prequel series)
1. The Crown Tower
2. The Rose and The Thorn

Prices: Currently, you can buy each volume for $9.99 for Kindle (but each volume contains two books.)  The audiobooks are Whispersync enabled but there’s no discount with the Kindle purchase. You’ll have to pay an Audible credit for each volume.

Series Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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 Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 9:42 am
Oct 232014
New Release Review: The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz Genre: Gothic Romance Publication Date: October 6th, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: At the remote Marshall School, Gwen Ashby stumbles upon the job—and the man—of her dreams. Stern, enigmatic Edwin Yorke simmers with a heat Gwen longs to unleash. But Edwin knows all too well that forbidden love can end in tragedy…. Angie’s Review – 3.5 Skulls – B- The Headmaster was an interesting, spooky story about Gwen, a lonely woman who finds the man of her dreams while seeking employment at an all-boys school. It’s not long before Gwen realizes that loving Headmaster Yorke comes at [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 23, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 222014
Mini Reviews: A YA Potpourri

I haven’t had a lot of time for reviews lately, but I did manage to squeeze in a few reads.  Nothing was absolutely terrible, but I did find a new favorite or two.  If you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you thought about them in the comments!   A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism Publication Date: October 2nd 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and  Hodder Children’s Books Synopsis from Goodreads: “I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 212014
Review: All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield Genre: YA Realistic Fiction Publication Date: June 27th, 2011 Publisher: Text Publishing   Synopsis from Goodreads: Mim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go — anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won’t get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. She’s set herself rules to live by, but she’s starting to break them. Now Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother. Does this make her a drug runner? Why is a monster dog called Gargoyle hidden in the back shed? And Jordan, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 21, 2014 at 8:00 am
Oct 202014
Review & Trailer: Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann & Melanie Brockmann

Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann & Melanie Brockmann Book #1 in Night Sky Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy Publication Date: October 7th, 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire Synopsis from Goodreads: Skylar Reid is shaken when Sasha, the little girl she babysits, is kidnapped. Scared that the weird dreams she’s been having about Sasha are real—and even more afraid that Sasha is already dead. When a mysterious girl with extreme butt-kicking abilities roars into town on a motorcycle and, well, stalks Skylar things get even weirder. Supergirl Dana tells Sky that she also has abilities – that a hormone in [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 20, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 172014
Review: Pulled Within by Marni Mann

Pulled Within by Marni Mann Book #2 in Bar Harbor Genre: New Adult Romance Publication Date: September 12, 2014 ARC Provided by Author Synopsis from Goodreads: Storms can’t last forever…can they? For five long years, Rae Ryan has lived in a storm over which she has no control. Little by little, everything has been taken away from her—her job, her relationship, her best friend and her home. Plagued by nightmares and a terrible family secret, she carries her scars as much on the inside as she does on the outside. Hart Booker, another disappointment from her past, returns to Bar Harbor and [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 17, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 162014
World of Weir Blog Tour, by Cinda Williams Chima + Giveaway

THE SORCERER HEIR: The can’t-miss finale to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series. The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely. Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series. The Sorcerer Heir is a self-contained story, accessible to readers just discovering the Heir series, but loyal fans will be rewarded by visits from characters they love (and love to [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 16, 2014 at 8:00 am
Oct 152014
Review: Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price

Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price Genre: M/M Science Fiction Publication Date: July 3rd, 2014 Publisher: JCP Books, LLC   Synopsis from Goodreads: Desmond Poole is damaged in more ways than one. If he was an underachiever before, he’s entirely useless now that he’s lost his right hand. He spends his time drowning his sorrows in vodka while he deliberately blows off the training that would help him master his new prosthetic. Social Services seems determined to try and stop him from wallowing in his own filth, so he’s forced to attend an amputee support group. He expects nothing more than stale cookies, tepid decaf [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 15, 2014 at 8:00 am
Oct 132014
Review: Branded by Laura Wright

Branded by Laura Wright Book #1 in The Cavanaugh Brothers Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: June 3rd 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Signet Synopsis from Goodreads: In the small town of River Black, Texas, sits the Triple C—a working cattle ranch that sustains the town. But it also holds painful memories and shocking secrets for the Cavanaugh brothers… When the Cavanaugh brothers return home for their father’s funeral, they discover unexpected evidence of the old man’s surprising double life—a son named Blue, who wants the Triple C Ranch as much as they do. The eldest son, Deacon, a wealthy businessman who [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 13, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 102014
Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham Book #1 in new Veronica Mars mystery series Genre: Contemporary Mystery/Screen to Page Publication Date: March 25th, 2014 Publisher: Vintage   Synopsis from Goodreads: From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series. Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 10, 2014 at 8:25 am
Oct 092014
New Release Review: On Her Father's Grave by Kendra Elliot

On Her Father’s Grave by Kendra Elliot Book #1 in Rogue River Genre: Romantic Suspense Publication Date: October 7th 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Montlake Romance Synopsis from Goodreads: In a small town like Solitude, Oregon, keeping a secret can be murder. Stevie Taylor had left her sleepy Oregon hometown for a more exciting life. But after her police chief father passes away, the LAPD cop returns to Solitude and signs on as a patrol officer, hoping to heal from her loss…and from the horrific things she’s seen in the city. In Solitude, everyone knows everyone else’s business—and, to Stevie’s [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 9, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 082014
Spotlight on October's New Releases

Welcome to our monthly feature where we take a look at the new books releasing this month and offer up our top picks and opinions. We have chosen 36 of our most anticipated new releases. The release dates are on a best known basis and are not guaranteed. Books may get delayed or sometimes even released earlier so please check with your favorite store to ensure availability. Now, on to the books! A Song for Ella Grey by David Alwood – Expected publication: October 2nd 2014 by Hodder Children’s Books A Highland Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear (#15 in Heart of the [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 8, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 072014
Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Genre: Women’s Fiction Publication Date: December 31, 2012 Synopsis from Goodreads: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 7, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 062014
Early Review: Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde

Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde Book #4 in Reapers MC Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: October 7th 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Berkley Trade Synopsis from Goodreads: As Reapers Motorcycle Club president, Reese “Picnic” Hayes has given his entire life to the club. After losing his wife, he knew he’d never love another woman. And with two daughters to raise and a club to manage, that was just fine with him. These days, Reese keeps his relationships free and easy—he definitely doesn’t want to waste his time on a glorified cleaning lady like London Armstrong. Too bad he’s completely obsessed [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 6, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 032014
Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio Genre: YA/Middle Grade Realistic Fiction Publication Date: February 14, 2012 Publisher: Knopf   Synopsis from Goodreads: I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 3, 2014 at 8:39 am
Oct 022014
From Page to Screen: Outlander episode 8

************ ************   I’ve been dreading the mid-season break episode.  Especially after I heard that it wasn’t going to return until April 4th!  Just in case you didn’t figure it out, that is six whole dang months.  Nevertheless, no matter how much I dreaded it, the mid-season finale came anyway.  Thank goodness it was a good one! Generally I hate to repeat myself, but I want to say again that I think Tobias Menzies is one helluva actor.  In this episode we got more of Frank Randall then we have since the beginning.  This time we didn’t just get loving, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 2, 2014 at 8:06 am
Sep 302014
New Release Review: What If by Rebecca Donovan

What If by Rebecca Donovan Genres: New Adult Contemporary Romance Publication Date: September 16th 2014 ARC Provided by Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time? Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago. Except this girl isn’t Nicole. She looks exactly like Cal’s shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on September 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm
Sep 292014
Review: Carrier by Anne Tibbets

Carrier by Anne Tibbets Book #1 in The Line Genre: New Adult Dystopian Publication Date: June 16th 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: Twenty-two -year-old Naya has spent nearly half her life as a sex slave in a government institution called The Line. When she’s kicked out after getting pregnant with twins, she’s got no way to earn a living and a horrifying choice to make: find someone to replace her, or have her babies taken in her stead.A doctor with a history of aiding ex-Line girls, Ric Bennett, wants to help. He runs a team of rebels that can delete Naya’s records [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on September 29, 2014 at 7:00 am
Sep 272014
Early Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer Genre: YA Paranormal Publication Date: September 30, 2014 Publisher: Kensington Teen (ARC provided by Netgalley)   Synopsis from Goodreads: One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time. Michael Merrick is used to pressure. He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way. His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on September 27, 2014 at 8:20 am
Sep 262014
Group Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

New Release Group Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper Release date: September 23, 2014 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction Book provided by NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Synopsis from Goodreads: A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder–and the one boy who can help change her future. Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on September 26, 2014 at 7:00 am