Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (50)

It's Monday What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. I always enjoy seeing what other people have read and reviewed over the past week. It is also a great way to find new books to add to that ever-growing TBR list!

Books finished:

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal

Such a disappointing book! I will be posting my review next week.

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

I have to admit that I liked this one more than the first, which doesn't always happen with the second book in a series. I can't wait to read the next book!

Books reviewed:

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Currently reading:

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I did make some progress with North and South this week and I am hopeful that I will be able to finish it soon (at least by the end of February!)

What I plan to read next:

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

I've actually already started this but I had to put it aside to read books for review.

Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell

I am in the mood for historical fiction. Hard to believe that I didn't any all month! Hopefully that will change in February. I will be getting The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig this week from the library and Michelle Moran's new book Madame Tussaud will be published.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

What does your reading week look like?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop 1/28-1/31

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted at Crazy-For-Books!

This week's blog hop question:

"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?"

It is almost impossible for me to pick just one this year! I guess if I have to limit myself, I am anticipating the release of City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. I love The Mortal Instruments series so when I found out that the story didn't end with City of Glass, I was so happy! I am looking forward to reading more about Clary, Jace, Simon, and all the other characters.

I am actually having a giveaway of City of Fallen Angels (and some other books I am looking forward to in 2011 like Forever by Maggie Stiefvater) to celebrate my 1st Blogoversary. If you are interested, I hope you'll check it out here.

Other books I am looking forward to this year include: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, Blameless by Gail Carriger, Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Welcome to Reading Extensively, where I read and review mostly YA books as well as some fiction for adults. I hope you'll take a look around and check out some of my reviews while you are here.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can come visit your blog as well. I look forward to seeing your blogs and reading your answers to the question.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: The Iron Witch

The Iron Witch
By Karen Mahoney
Publication date: February 8, 2011

My review:

Donna Underwood wishes she could have a normal life. She knows her life will never be anything resembling normal however because she knows about the existence of the fey. Her dad, an alchemist, died trying to protect her from them and she herself was so badly injured that now she has iron tattoos all over her arms and hands. She hides her tattoos and the supernatural strength they give her from the outside world, including her best friend Navin Sharma. When Navin is kidnapped by the fey, Donna must rely on the help of the handsome half-fey Xan Grayson. To get Navin back, Donna will have to make a terrible sacrifice.

The Iron Witch presents a different twist on fairies by adding alchemists and lore about the philosopher's stone and elixir of life into the mix. Donna as a heroine is an appealing blend of strength and vulnerability. She possesses physical strength from the iron magic and inner strength in her determination to rescue Navin at all costs. At the same time she is emotionally vulnerable because of her tattoos, the loss of her father, and her mother's resulting madness. Donna works through some of this with the help of Navin's unflinching acceptance of her secrets and Xan's empathy. Seeing the evidence of Xan's own painful past helps Donna to let go of her hangups over her "scars".  

Xan is a typical paranormal romantic interest but I like his attitude which reminded me a little of Jace Wayland from the Mortal Instruments series. My favorite character in the book was actually Navin. He is a great best friend with a fantastic sense of humor. He grounds Donna in reality and is very supportive. It is hinted at that he has feelings for her but I really hope (perhaps in vain) that this will not turn into a love triangle. It would cheapen his character.

I did find it a little difficult to understand all of the information that is crammed into the book about alchemists in between the race to rescue Navin. I wish that the information had been presented in  a way that flowed better with the rest of the story. The Iron Witch may not offer anything new or particularly deep to the world of YA paranormal romance but it is a fast paced and entertaining story with a feisty heroine. I would suggest this to fans of Need by Carrie Jones or Julie Kagawa's The Iron King.

Readalikes: The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, Need by Carrie Jones, Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Note: I read and reviewed this book as part of an ARC tour, courtesy of Around the World ARC Tours

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme to discuss upcoming books we can't wait to get our hands on. Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm waiting on:

Eona by Alison Goodman
Publication date: April 19, 2011
Description from Goodreads:
Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon's army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled "Emperor" Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .

I have been waiting years to read this sequel to Eon: Dragoneye Reborn. I will probably need to reread Eon before starting this.

You can win a copy of Eona or the first book, Eon in my 1st Blogoversary Giveaway.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (35)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers this week:

"Megha and her deceitful parents would be taught a lesson very soon. Chandramma would find a rich young lady for her son-someone with a respectable dowry-someone who would show her mother-in-law the respect due to her."

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal

Description from Goodreads:

One sultry night, a young bride overhears an extraordinary conversation. The voices speak of a plot to murder a wife who has failed to produce a child and whose family has failed to produce the promised dowry... Megha is sick with horror when she realizes she is the intended victim. Her husband-the very man who tied the sacred necklace of marriage around her neck-and his mother are plotting to kill her! In the moment of panic, she runs for her life. Frantically racing through Palgaum's deserted streets, her way lit only by the lights strung up for the Diwali festival, her single goal is to escape death by fire. But fleeing from her would-be killers seems impossible-unless she can find someone to help her...To approach her best friend would bring scandal to an innocent woman's doorstep, and turning to her own strict, conservative family is out of the question. Instead, with nothing but the sari she wears and a memory of kindness, Megha finds her way to Kiran, the one man who has shown her friendship and respect. Hiding her in his apartment, Kiran becomes her protector. But the forbidden attraction that grows between them can only bring more danger. Caught between tradition and the truths buried in her heart, a dowry bride will discover the real cost of the only things worth having in life...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bloggiesta Wrap Up

So another Bloggiesta is over. This was my second time participating in the fun blogging marathon.

Hours spent working on my blog: 30

Goals accomplished:

Created a form for my blogoversary giveaway
Finished writing post for blogoversary giveaway
Wrote review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Wrote review of Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Updated sidebar with 2011 challenges
Added link to my Goodreads account
Added link to my Twitter account
Completed the Setting Goals mini challenge
Updated profile
Worked on pages for blog
Linked blog pages and added buttons
Updated reviews on Goodreads
Wrote IMM post
Wrote Monday What Are You Reading post
Wrote a few WoW posts
Found a temporary new look for my blog

There are a couple of reviews that I didn't finish writing. I also wanted to create an About Me page and make a button for another reading challenge I am thinking of hosting (yes I know it is late!).

I had a great time participating in Bloggiesta this year. I do wish I'd been able to write more reviews and participate in more mini challenges. I hope to keep improving my blog this year and look forward to the next Bloggiesta. Thank you to Maw Books for hosting such a wonderful event!

Now it is time for a well earned rest!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (49)

It's Monday What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. I always enjoy seeing what other people have read and reviewed over the past week. It is also a great way to find new books to add to that ever-growing TBR list!

Books finished:

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Misguided Angel by Melissa De la Cruz

Books reviewed:

Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Currently reading:

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

What I plan to read next:

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

What does your reading week look like?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (43)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to share what books you received for review, purchased, or checked out from the library during the past week.

For review:

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Purchased with Amazon giftcard:

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

From the library:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

What did you get "in your mailbox" this week?

Bloggiesta Update

Since I have to work today, I probably won't be able to spend as much time participating in Bloggiesta as I did yesterday.

So far, I have put in 14 hours of blogging which doesn't seem like a lot but definitely feels like a lot. My "comfortable" leather desk chair does not feel very comfortable anymore.

Yesterday I completed the following goals:

Created a form for my blogoversary giveaway
Finished writing blogoversary giveaway post
Wrote a review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Updated my challenges in the sidebar
Updated my profile
Added a link to Goodreads
Added a link to Twitter
Added a couple of reviews to Goodreads
Completed the Setting Goals mini challenge

Today I hope to:

Write a review of Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Write a review of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Work on blog pages
Write IMM post
Write WoW posts
Work on my Monday What Are You Reading post

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Wither

By Lauren DeStefano
Publication date: March 22, 2011

My review:

Rhine lives in a futuristic United States where because of a genetic engineering mistake, people have started dying in their twenties. Men have a life expectancy of 25 and women die at 20. In order to keep the human race going, teenage girls are being kidnapped by wealthy young men and forced to become brides and bear children. Rhine is sixteen when the unthinkable happens and she is kidnapped and married off to Linden along with two other "sister-wives". Surprisingly Linden is not the vile monster Rhine expects but instead a caring and sympathetic person but she doesn't want to be married to him. Rhine does find a friend in Gabriel, a servant, and she also develops an unlikely alliance with Rose, Linden's dying first wife. Rose wants Rhine to take her place and look after Linden but all Rhine can think about is escaping and making her way back to her twin brother Rowan. Escape seems impossible though with the way the wives are watched all the time and Rhine senses danger in the form of Linden's controlling father. It will take courage for Rhine to fight for her freedom and her future, dark as it may be.

Wither is the latest entry in the new trend of YA dystopian fiction focusing on arranged/forced marriage and forbidden love. Rhine is a brave heroine facing a very short life that just became more complicated by her kidnapping and forced marriage. I liked the way that Linden is portrayed as a three dimensional character and even the other sister-wives have depth, especially Jenna. I still did not like his character however because he married such a young girl as Cecily who is barely a teen. Like Rhine, I found that to be repulsive even in light of the shortened life spans. The one character I was disappointed with is Linden's father, Vaughn. He is menacing but we don't know why. Some of his actions kind of surprised me because I couldn't understand his motivation. I am hopeful that the sequel will explain this.

While the novel starts off quickly with Rhine's capture, it slows down once she arrives at Linden's home. This slower pace might be frustrating for some but it allows the reader to get to know the characters and understand the situation Rhine finds herself in. Rhine's relationship with the other sister-wives is explored in depth as is the gradual and confusing friendship building between herself and Linden. I thought DeStefano did an excellent job with this in particular. Rhine's relationship with Gabriel develops more quickly as she comes to trust him and eventually fall for him. I look forward to seeing where this leads in the sequel.

In addition to the character of Vaughn, I also had a problem with understanding the behavior of the Gatherers. A decision they made early in the novel did not make sense when seen in light of the world they live in where people die so young. Aside from these issues, I thought Wither was an interesting and entertaining (though at times disturbing) novel. I definitely plan to read the sequel to find out what happens with Rhine, Gabriel, and the others. I would suggest this book to fans of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Readalikes: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Note: I read and reviewed an ARC of this book as part of an ARC tour, courtesy of Around the World ARC Tours

Happy 1st Blogoversary Giveaway!

Saturday January 22nd is my first blogoversary so I've decided to have a little giveaway.

What can you win?

Your choice of book from one of my favorite series! Each of these series has a new book being released this year and you can pick either the new one or the first book in the series.

Rules and Details:

  1. Winner will be able to pick a book from the list below and it will be ordered/preordered from or Book Depository
  2. Giveaway is International (if The Book Depository ships to your country)
  3. You DO NOT have to be a follower of my blog (although I'd love it if you decided to become one)
  4. You MUST fill out the form to enter (comments on this post do not count as entries)
  5. Extra entry: Respond to my Help Wanted post for one extra entry*
  6. Extra entry: Tweet this giveaway
  7. Winner will be chosen using
  8. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my notification before I choose another winner
  9. The giveaway ends on February 21, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. (EST) 
*If you are unable to leave comments on my blog and wish to respond to the Help Wanted post, you can leave your suggestions on the giveaway entry form
Now on to the goodies:

The Mortal Instruments series
by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (book 1)

Description from Goodreads:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.... Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

City of Fallen Angels (book 4)
Publication date: April 5, 2011

The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series
by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (book 1)

Description from Goodreads:

Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why. Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now. For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

Forever (book 3)
Publication date: July 12, 2011

The Silver Phoenix Series
by Cindy Pon

Silver Phoenix (book 1)

Description from Goodreads:

No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters. But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined. Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help. It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.  

Fury of the Phoenix (book 2)
Publication date: March 29, 2011

The Nightshade Series
by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade (book 1)

Description from Goodreads:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Wolfsbane (book 2)
Publication date: July 26, 2011

The Eon Series
by Alison Goodman

Eon (book 1)

Description from Goodreads:

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and if discovered Eon faces a terrible death.

 Eona (book 2)
Publication date: April 19, 2011

The Parasol Protectorate Series
by Gail Carriger

Soulless (book 1)

Description from book:

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? Soulless is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Heartless (book 4-no cover released yet)
Publication date: June 28, 2011

Contest is Closed

Remember: Comments to this post do not count as entries

Help Wanted! (Or Desperately Needed!)

Dear fellow bloggers,

I need your help/advice!

Blog Designer Needed

First, I am looking for a new blog design and could use some recommendations. I am currently using a free blog background but by the end of the month it will no longer work. I have looked at some other free designs but cannot find something I like. I've been interested in having a custom made design and layout. Which blog designers do you recommend?

Name For New Blog Feature Needed

I also have a new blog feature planned where readers can request book suggestions based on books they've already read and enjoyed or ask for readalikes (i.e. if you liked Matched by Ally Condie, then you might like Delirium by Lauren Oliver). I don't know what to call this feature and could use some suggestions!

A Thank You Gift

As a thank you to all who respond to this post with their suggestions, you will automatically get an extra entry in my blogoversary giveaway (if you choose to enter) that I will be announcing later this weekend. I'm giving away books from series I love including City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare!

If you are participating in Bloggiesta this weekend and you help me with this, you'd also be fulfilling the mini challenge Help a Blogger Out.

So please help me out with your suggestions/advice. Thank you!

Bloggiesta Starting Line

I was supposed to be working today but have to work tomorrow instead but I don't mind at all! The weather here is not the greatest so I am happy to be able to stay inside and participate in Bloggiesta all day long.

My goal for today is to spend about 12 hours working on my blog. I have a list of things I hope to accomplish over the course of Bloggiesta but I don't know how much I'll get done today.

So I'm all set to start with my eclectic music playlists (Glee, Twilight soundtracks, Bollywood favorites) and snacks (Chex Mix, Chocolate Special K cereal, lots and lots of tea). Let the Bloggiesta begin!

My "to-do" list for Bloggiesta:

Create form for my blogoversary giveaway
Finish writing post for blogoversary giveaway
Write review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Write review of Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Write review of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Update sidebar with current challenges
Add link to my Goodreads account
Update my profile
Work on pages for blog
Finalize plans for new blog feature
Update reviews on Goodreads
Update reviews on Shelfari
Write WoW posts

Wish me good luck! Good luck to all the other Bloggiesta participants this weekend. If you haven't signed up for Bloggiesta, it isn't too late! Just visit Maw Books for the details.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: Blameless

By Gail Carriger
Publication date: September 1, 2010

My review:

In this third entry in the Parasol Protectorate series (after Soulless and Changeless), Alexia finds herself unjustly accused of something she didn't do and cast out from the protection of the Woolsey Pack, her job with the Shadow Council, and all "polite" society. To make matters worse, Lord Akeldama, her friend and ally, has left London just when she needs him the most. It also looks as though the vampire hives want her dead. In an effort to clear her name Alexia, along with her trusty servant Floote and her new friend Madame Lefou, sets of for Italy. Alexia hopes that in her father's homeland the Knights Templar will have the answers that she seeks but has she gone from the frying pan into the fire?

Gail Carriger is quickly becoming one of my favorite paranormal fiction authors. Her writing is incredibly funny and her heroine is intelligent. While there is still plenty of humor here, Blameless shows us a more emotional and vulnerable Alexia as she faces quite a bit of personal pain. It was nice to see this side of Alexia's character. She is not entirely friendless with the support of Floote, Madame LeFou, Tunstell, and her dear friend Ivy Hisselpenny.

I did miss the presence of Lord Akeldama for much of the book with his over-the-top fashion and way with words. We also get to see the story through the view of Professor Lyall, beta of the Woolsey Pack, and one of my favorite characters. Lyall reminds me so much of Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes. He may be mild mannered compared to his Alpha, Conall Maccon, but Lyall shares a similar wit and sense of propriety with Alexia. It was nice to see him come into his own in this book.

In addition to the characters I also enjoyed the plot. The story moves from London to France and Italy. New steampunk technology is introduced and we also meet the Knights Templar and hear their unusual views on preternaturals. I am sure we will see much more of them in future books. Once again I found myself highly entertained by this series. Blameless resolves some of the conflict from Changeless but finding out more about preternaturals only presents more questions which I hope will be answered in the next book.

If you enjoy paranormal romance and intelligent characters, you might like the Parasol Protectorate series. I would suggest these books to fans of Sookie Stackhouse (I do consider Carriger's writing to be far superior) because of the combination of humor, romance, and the paranormal. I would also suggest it to more mature fans of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare for the Victorian steampunk setting and paranormal elements.

Readalikes: the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, Julia Quinn, the Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (37)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme to discuss upcoming books we can't wait to get our hands on. Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm waiting on:

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
Publication date: May 3, 2011

Description from Goodreads:

In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.

I loved The Red Pyramid and I am sure this will be just as funny and adventurous. You can read an excerpt from the book here.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (34)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers this week:

"Her attacker gave a surprised cry as she dislodged him and he stumbled backward, trying to keep his balance as he stepped over a fallen branch. Now it was Xan's turn to watch her with astonishment. He wasn't the only one who had hidden abilities and it made Donna feel good that she could take care of herself. It wasn't often she was thankful for being different but now was one of those times."

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
p.100 (ARC)

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma. When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

So far I think this book is very entertaining and an interesting take on faeries. Donna is a funny and strong heroine with a great sidekick in Navin. He is such a fantastic friend. Xan is also a good love interest and he reminds me a bit of Jace Wayland from the Mortal Instruments series. It is hard to put this book down at the moment. I hope it will not disappoint in the end.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Dark Goddess

Dark Goddess
By Sarwat Chadda
Publication date: January 25, 2011 (US)

My review:

In this sequel to Devil's Kiss, Billi travels with the Templars to Russia in order to save a young girl from a terrible fate. Vasilisa's powers as an Oracle have brought her to the attention of the evil and ancient goddess Baba Yaga, who plans to use her to destroy the earth. Billi faces danger from werewolves, gangsters, and traitors but she also finds help from unlikely places.

Dark Goddess is a suspenseful and fast paced read filled with action, terrifying creatures, and a little bit of romance.In Devil's Kiss, Billi suffered some very painful losses and had to make hard decisions. Now she is dealing with the aftermath of her choice. At the same time she has even more challenges as the depleted Templars fight a new threat in the form of werewolves and the powerful Baba Yaga. This makes for another dark story as the title implies.

Billi is a strong yet flawed character. It is hard to believe that she is only fifteen and while reading I tended to think of her as a much older teen.When Billi isn't busy swordfighting, dodging bullets and werewolf bites, she still seems too old for her years except when she is with Ivan Romanov, her love interest. He was raised to be a warrior just as she was only in a much more opulent lifestyle.  Ivan is a member of the Bogatyrs, Russian knights similar to the Templars. (He also happens to be a descendant of the late Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II.) Their chemistry isn't very believable but I still liked Ivan as a character and hope to see more of him in future books.

I liked that this book takes place in Russia and incorporates Russian mythology. With the frenetic pacing, we don't really get to enjoy the setting very much and the developing romance also quickly takes a back seat to the action. Though there is plenty of action there are also thoughtful and more philosophical moments where Billi considers her path in life and the beliefs of the Templars. Something else I liked was a twist involving the werewolves that I was not quite expecting. 

Overall I thought this was a grim but entertaining book. It does have quite a bit of violence so it is not for everyone. However for those who are sick of sparkling vampires and paranormal love, this series might be just the thing you need. I would suggest this to fans of Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels.

Readalikes: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow, Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, Slayed by Amanda Marrone, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Note: I read and reviewed an ARC of this title as part of an ARC tour courtesy of Star Book Tours

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (48)

It's Monday What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. I always enjoy seeing what other people have read and reviewed over the past week. It is also a great way to find new books to add to that ever-growing TBR list!

Lately I've been reading a lot of books for ARC tours so my library books have been pushed to the backburner. This week I'm hoping to get caught up so that I can return some of my overdue books! If I don't read Cleopatra this week, I won't get to read it for months but I may just have to do that. It takes me much longer to read nonfiction anyway. We'll see if I get to it or not.

This week is Bloggiesta and my one year blogoversary so I have a busy weekend ahead and a new contest in the works. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to read.

Books finished:

Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Books reviewed:

Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Currently reading:

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

What I might read next:

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain