Category

Adventure

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I originally rated this book 4.5, but then I was thinking about exactly what it was that deducted half a star and I honestly couldn’t come up with a single thing I didn’t like about it. It was even better than the first one, I just loved it!

So our friends have just finished with the Ice Court and have been betrayed. Inej has been taken, and they need to get her back. So begins an exciting tale of mystery, intrigue, romance, laughter and the classic twists and turns that have made this series so entertaining and unique.

So sad that this is the last one, and it is EXTREMELY RARE for me to say that about a series because I much prefer stand alone books usually! However, two is a very readable number, and I highly suggest you check this series out!

Again I listened to the audio version, and this time it got straight into it. I didn’t need to be introduced to the characters one by one like the first book, and it was WHAM BAM! The audio version was great, yet again. But this time it didn’t feel slow at all. The story was already set up, the characters already known and loved. So it was just my job to sit back and enjoy the ride.

It had more action, more intrigue, more betrayal, and more excitement than the first one. I actually couldn’t stop listening to this book. Ended up stayed up extremely late for a few nights even though I had things on in the morning! I was UPSET THAT AN 18HOUR AUDIOBOOK ENDED!!! UNHEARD OF!

Although I did pretend the characters were older like I did in the first book. It just made it much more enjoyable to me than imaging a bunch of 15 and 16 year olds doing all of that. Seriously!

Anyway, absolutely one of the best reads of the year!

Would I recommend Crooked Kingdom?

YES YES YES YES!!! If you enjoy fantasy and don’t mind YA (or can just be like me and pretend its not YA because it DOESN’T WORK) then you will LOVE this series. Its so unique, has a surprising depth to it and I will be absolutely checking out her other work set in this universe!

I purchased the audio version of Crooked Kingdom on audible.com at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AUDIBLE | Kindle US | Kindle AU


If you enjoy Crooked Kingdom, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows

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Daintree – Annie Seaton

Daintree – Annie Seaton (The Porter Sisters #2)

Daintree

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 Another quality rural romance by Australian author Annie Seaton! Around this time last year the first of the Porter sisters novels was released “Kakadu Sunset” and I fell in love with the writing, the romance, and the setting. It wasn’t until after my review was up, and I had a chat with the author that I discovered she actually lived in the same town as me when I was growing up, and actually taught at my high school! Small world!

In this instalment, Emma Porter is living up in the Daintree rain forest. She is an emergency doctor who is happily living her life working and taking care of the community, when new doctor Jeremy enters the scene. He is an old flame and their relationship had ended abruptly and confusingly. As well as the old romance, Emma is trying to deal with some strange events that are occurring in the rain forest, ones which have put her life in danger.

Firstly, can we just take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book. Absolutely beautiful! Great choice! I think it was a perfect cover for the atmosphere of this book. The setting was fabulous! I thought Emma was a great character and I really enjoyed the mystery and adventure. And of course, the romance was lovely.

There are not may negatives! The only things were I felt that a few things in Daintree were a tiny bit rushed, and I was a bit disappointed about the way it went with Jeremy’s family. It felt a bit unresolved to me. I also figured out the final twist and the identity of the bad guys very early on, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the thoroughly wonderful story! So much more positive than negative! I thought it was just wonderful!

Would I recommend Daintree?

Absolutely! For any romance fan, and who doesn’t love an Aussie rural romance to get away from life for a few hours! I can’t wait to read the next one!

Many thanks to author Annie Seaton and Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW of Kakadu Sunset | Q&A with Author

PURCHASE:

PAN MACMILLAN AUS | KINDLE US | KINDLE AU


If you enjoy Daintree, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   The Peppercorn Project

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Starflight – Melissa Landers

Starflight – Melissa Landers

Starflight

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was SO MUCH FUN! I know in a lot of reviews for this book they compare it to Firefly, and I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but it is definitely like the YA version of Firefly. It does have a lot of similarities, however I found it original enough to not care at all! Just so much fun!

Solara is looking for a new life on the outer realm. She has a piece of land with her name on it. She just has to get there. She must indenture herself to a wealthy traveller in order to pay for the 5 month passage. When her old school nemesis Dorin is the only one to offer her passage in exchange for her servitude – she RELUCTANTLY accepts. And when they find themselves stranded, the only opportunity they have to get there is to jump aboard the Banshee, a run down, ugly ship with an interesting and hilarious crew who have a lot of secrets.

I loved all the characters, they were all so funny and entertaining. And I ADORED the banter between Solaris and Dorin. A slow burning romance that was worth EVERY TORTUROUS SECOND!

I loved the bad guys, I loved the action and the story. I loved it all!

I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Amanda Dolan and I thought she was FANTASTIC! My main problem with a lot of female narrators I have listened to (sorry to be sexist), is their portrayal of male characters. So many times I have commented that they sound all the same and totally robotic and annoying. Not in this one my friends, Dolan does a great job making all the characters unique, and of course the writing helps with that too. I didn’t get annoyed once at the portrayal ANY character, and that is saying something. Superb!

Would I recommend Starflight?

Yes, if you are a sci-fi fan with an addiction to the TV show Firefly like myself, you will absolutely enjoy this. If you haven’t seen Firefly, if you area a fan of sarcastic humour, light-hearted comedy and space-action, with a splash of romance, give it a go!

I purchased the audio version of Starflight from audible.com at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AUDIBLE | Booktopia AU | Book Depository


If you enjoy Starflight, you may enjoy:

Zero World   Fortune's Pawn

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Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Well, this one is a MAJOR contender for my favourite book of the year! This book was right up my alley, I love nerdy science stuff, and the concept of this book really appealed to me. I was trying not to expect too much as it is very hyped. But in the end, I was totally swept away by this fabulous sci-fi adventure.

Think Schrodinger’s cat as a novel if you can… Jason Dessen is a brilliant scientist, leading a very happy, yet average life as a science professor, wondering what would have happened if his life led him on a different path. He is abducted by a masked man at gunpoint, drugged, and awakens in a world that is not his own. His house isn’t his own, his wife isn’t married to him, and his son doesn’t exist. What the hell is going on?

This is all the plot I am going to give you. It gets strange, then weird, then weirdER, then FREAKING CRAZY!

I listened to the audio version of dark matter and i LOVED IT! Jon Lindstrom was the absolute PERFECT narrator for this book, he made every minute of listening to it extremely enjoyable.

This book made me think, it made me laugh, it made me go WHOA!!!!! Absolutely bloody brilliant!

Its not often i’m finished talking about a book in only 200 words, but I’m done. I don’t want to ruin anything else for you, read it or listen to it. ASAP! Its absolutely fantastic!

Would I recommend Dark Matter?

YES! Even my friends who HATE sci-fi absolutely LOVE this book, and that’s saying something! Highly recommend the audio version, but I am sure it would be just as good with words!

 I listened to Dark Matter through audible.com, at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE | AUDIBLE AUPanMacmillan AU


If you enjoy Dark Matter, you may enjoy:

The Fold   14   Ready Player One

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Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was a lot of fun! I listened to the audio version of this as I was unable to read actual words due to debilitating morning sickness, and the narrator was absolutely fantastic!

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Brought up as a child in the “Orphan Program”, Evan has some killer James Bond/Jason Bourne skills. Since the orphan program was disbanded, he uses these skills to help people in need. People in extremely desperate situations. Unfortunately someone is tracking him… Someone as dangerous as he is.

Well, this one certainly sucked me in. Perhaps it was the fact I was so sick and needed another world to escape to, but it was exactly what I needed to listen to at the time. I was completely hooked. I loved the story, I loved the narrator, the romance, the action, the violence… Loved it all.

But… The reason I give this 4.5 and not a full perfect score, is the predictability aspect. Of course I’m fairly sure that 99.9 % of people figured out who the boss was, and at least 50% could also guess the big twist right at the end. There was only one or two people it could have POSSIBLY been right!? It was so extremely predictable I was BEGGING for there to be some other spin or twist which would make it less obvious, but alas – I was disappointed. For me to deduct only 0.5 Stars however is saying something, because I usually deduct a lot more for something as major as that. But I just liked it so darn much, so it didn’t really take much away from the story for me. There were also a few minor twists that also held me.

The narrator Scott Brick was a FANTASTIC choice. And there is a sequel coming out! I may have to listen to the audio of that one too and hope that Scott is doing the sequel!

Would I recommend Orphan X?

YES YES YES Lots of fun! I can easily see it being made into some sort of blockbuster action flick which I would happily pay to see at the movies. Thoroughly enjoyed!

I listened to the audio version of Orphan X on audible.com, purchased at my own expense. Well worth the credit!

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE |


If you enjoy Orphan X, you may also enjoy:

Yeagers Law  The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson   Zero World

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Nexus – Ramez Naam

Nexus (Nexus #1) – Ramez Naam

Nexus

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I listened to the audio version of Nexus and let me tell you, it was 13 hours of nerdy-fun-brilliance!!!

It has an intricate plot, basically it is set in the not too distant future. Technology has surpassed what we could have ever imagined. The new nano drug Nexus works by linking minds together, it is also extremely feared and illegal. Young budding scientist Cade is caught improving it, and is made to work for the government as a spy, to bring down others who would use and distribute this technology. But not is all what it seems. Are the government the good guys? How can linking human beings together be a bad thing?

What a ride! It was exciting, thrilling, action packed and so darn interesting! The technology in this book is WOW, however still not incredibly far fetched. There is so much action in this book! It doesn’t really let up! The way that the characters all communicate in their heads and use their brains as an internet of sorts, allows the plot to develop in really unique ways. It was SO MUCH FUN!

The characters are all fantastically written! They have depth and all have other special qualities, whether it be physical upgrades, or if they have surpassed human intelligence all together. I thought Cade was a great character, however I felt he didn’t have quite the depth as some of the other characters. Sam was my favourite character, and we find out a lot about her and where she came from, and why she is the way she is. I enjoyed the way the story was written, with extracts, interviews and articles in between chapters to set the scene of the technologically advanced world and the challenges that it has encountered.

I thought the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels was FANTASTIC!! I loved the way he portrayed all the characters and at times it really felt like I was watching an action movie in my head because of his talented and gripping narration. If you are looking for a good audio book I would highly recommend you try this one!

Would I recommend Nexus?

YES! If you like sci-fi I am almost certain that you will enjoy this book! Loads of fun and there are two more! YAY!

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If you enjoy Nexus, you may enjoy:

Zero World   The Darwin Elevator   14

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The Second Path – Virginia King

The Second Path (Selkie Moon Mystery #2) – Virginia King

The Second Path
4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

I really enjoyed the second instalment of the Selkie Moon series! I fell in love with ‘The First Lie’ and was so excited to see where Selkie’s adventures would take her next! I absolutely recommend reading The First Lie before this one. I feel you will lose the majority of the essence of the story and the characters if you do not.

After washing up naked on the beach a whole two weeks following her disappearance, and unable to remember anything from that time, Selkie feels like she is missing something. Her journey of self discovery takes her halfway across the world to France. Will she find her true home? What of her friends and her relationship with the elusive Alastair? And where on earth was she for two weeks?

There was just something so magical about The First Lie. Something about the writing and the atmosphere. It was truly something that I had never encountered before in a book. It was thoroughly captivating. The Second Path didn’t quite grab me like The First Lie did, however I think that is because I have started getting used to Selkie, and the unique writing of the series. By the time I got into this one, I was in the groove already.

However, even though it didn’t grab me exacltly like the first one did, I still loved it. Selkie is just the most amazing character. I loved how she was starting to get used to her intuition and the bizarre things that were happening to her and around her. I just adored all the other characters, especially the fleeting ones. I thought it was a fantastic plot idea to bring her and Genevieve into each others lives. There were many twists and turns and it took me to places I had no idea we were going!

Love the relationship between Selkie and Alastair! Man, the TENSION! Love it!

I am extremely interested and excited to see where the next book takes Selkie. I feel she still has a lot in store, and a lot to learn and accept.

Would I recommend The Second Path?

Absolutely! This series is so unique, I can’t even explain it! So very different to anything I have read before! Highly recommend that you give it a go!

So much thanks to author Virginia King for a copy of The Second Path in exchange for my honest review! I can’t wait to read the third one!

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VIRGINIA KING

When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came Virginia King Portrait by Amanda Thorson 200 KBto create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a strange woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard until Selkie Moon turned up. All she had to do was jump, the first sentence said. Soon Virginia was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.

Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

 

Authors Website   Authors Twitter   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook

 


If you enjoy The Second Path, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I was expecting to enjoy this one more than I did. I felt quite underwhelmed unfortunately. It had an extremely promising start but for some reason it started to fall a bit flat for me. However, I still mostly enjoyed it, what nerd like me wouldn’t enjoy a story about super villans and super heroes?! Now I know a LOT of people adored this book, so please don’t hate me if you are one of them!

David was only 10 when the world changed. “Calamity” came, and the Epics arrived. Supervillians with terrible powers, all evil and murderous. Steelheart was the worst. He killed David’s father, and now David wants revenge. He has to somehow join the resistance known as the Reckoners to bring down the epics. And destroy Steelheart.

Points to the audio version narrator MacLeod Andrews. He was fantastic! I am glad I listened to the audio version for this one. I think he made it more enjoyable in my ears than I could have made it in my head!

This is the first Sanderson book that I have read and I didn’t realise that it was YA. Not that I would have had a problem with that, I love a good YA. However I think maybe I should have stuck with his more adult fantasy books.

I found the main character David to be exceedingly annoying. He was a pompous little upstart and I just couldn’t bring myself to like him. When he wasn’t doing stupid things, he was dreaming about a girl. Because that’s all YA characters can do you know… Its all superheroes and girls. The language that all the characters used was the most annoying part of the whole book for me. “Calamity” and “Sparks” are the new swear words, and they just made it sound so stupid. Whenever I would hear the narrator say “Calamity!” I would roll my eyes.

Sure, some of the epics were well plotted, however I was still a bit bored. There was just something missing for me. Perhaps it was the atmosphere. It didn’t feel like humanity were slaves to epics now and the whole world had changed. Maybe it needed more than the viewpoint from some annoying young character to give it a bit more depth for me. People died but the atmosphere didn’t really relay that. It felt like all the awful things that happened in the book were superficial. If that makes sense.

There were a few redeeming factors, besides the awesome narrator… It had a good twists at the end. I totally saw one of them coming but the other one blindsided me. Despite the “Calamity” and “Sparks”, it was fairly well written. It was easy to get into and had a great premise. The other characters were not quite as annoying as David, and I enjoyed the way the whole thing ended.

Would I recommend Steelheart?

Maybe… If you don’t mind the corny language and annoying main character you may enjoy it more than I.

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If you enjoy Steelheart, you may enjoy:

image    Poison    The First

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Zero World – Jason M. Hough

Zero World – Jason M. Hough

Zero World

5 Stars (5 / 5)

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! Oh what fun!!!!! This book is the reason I love Sci-Fi! I can’t believe it is not more popular! It was AMAZEBALLS! I only found out about Zero World through GoodReads Sci-Fi recommendations, and I am so glad I bought it! I listened to the audio version on Audible and it was FABULOUS! – One of the best I have ever listened to!

Peter Caswell is a secret agent. A super-spy! He is altered and advanced so that he can do a lot of cool stuff thanks to an implant in his brain. However this implant also activates after a set time, to wipe the memory of his mission. So when he is sent to find a scientist who escaped a space ship after killing the rest of the crew, he only has a short time before his brain is wiped and he forgets doing it. However the scientist seems to have disappeared through a wormhole near the sun, and once Caswell is on the other side, he soon learns that everything is not what it seems.

Oh man this book was an awesome ride!! Full of action, adventure and mystery! The audio version with Gideon Emery was FANTASTIC! I LOVED his voice and his portrayal of all the characters! They all had a different distinctive voice and man, I could listen to that voice all day long! I am going to find other audio books he has done!

The characters were FABULOUS! I loved Caswell and the premise of him not being able to remember his previous missions. And with a HUGE twist at the end I had NO IDEA was coming! Loved it! And Melnie, with her spiky hair and purple eyes!

I loved the twists and turns through the book, the thing I love about Sci-Fi is that it can be as unimaginable and unrealistic as the author wants because anything is possible! Without giving too much away, it was a great story, had loads of science elements and was SO IMAGINATIVE! Hough created an awesome universe and I really hope that he does more with the premise and this isn’t just a one off! I WANT MORE!

My ONLY criticism is that there wasn’t enough romance! There was SUCH opportunity for a bit more romance, and that would have made it even better for me, cause I love that crap!

Would I recommend Zero World?

ABSOLUTELY! For any Sci-Fi fan, or any Sci-Fi novice who wants a great place to start! Thoroughly enjoyed it! One of the best books I have read (or listened to) this year!

*I purchased Zero World myself on Audible.com

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PURCHASE

Zero World does not appear to be available on Audible AU! Bummer! But check out the kindle version.

AUDIBLE US | AMAZON | AMAZON AU | PAPER


If you enjoy Zero World, you may enjoy:

14    Fortune's Pawn

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Vanquished – S.E. Green

Vanquished – S.E. Green

VanquishedTourBanner-1

I don’t do many blog tours, but when I saw the cover of this one I had to check it out. It has an amazing rating on goodreads and the synopsis grabbed me, so I decided to go for it. SO GLAD I DID!!!

 

Vanquished

Goodreads Summary

Where society’s elite go to explore their darkest desires. And where promises of freedom are just manipulative lies.

For a price, the world’s most powerful people can have their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean, they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.

Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.

Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.

After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.

But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .

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My Review of Vanquished

Well, that totally took me for surprise in a fabulous way! I absolutely LOVED this book! WOW!

Think Hunger Games meets Sparticus! Valoria wakes up in a strange place and is auctioned off to the highest bidder. There she must become a warrior, and fight for her freedom and the freedom of her sister, who has been sent off to be a sex slave. Valoria must meet multiple foes and fight to the death. She must also figure out a way to escape this horrible place with her sister.

I don’t want to give too much away, but AWESOME!!! Note though, this is NOT YOUNG ADULT! Don’t go letting your 14 year old read this! There are explicit raunchy scenes and a HUGE amount of gruesome violence! Also, if you are sensitive to the topics of violence, slavery and other atrocities, you may want to think twice about this book. However I actually think the author did a really good job writing those horrible scenes quite tactfully.

I want to mention that I was REALLY glad this book was not the first of a series. I was expecting it to continue on and end in a cliff-hanger like most of these types of books do, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that it ENDED. Sure, there is always the possibility of a sequel, but it had an extremely satisfying ending! And the fact it was a stand alone was so great! Sometimes you just want the story to end, you don’t want it dragging on for 3 books and 4 movies!

The characters were awesome! I really got engrossed in the relationships that Veloria had. I absolutely LOVED the romance! GOOSEBUMPS!!! I think the author pulled it off really well! There is something about forbidden/hopeless love… And the twist near the end? Genius! Didn’t see that one coming!

There were a few good themes in there that were explored too, slavery, ownership, the class system, violence as entertainment, humanity etc etc.

Would I recommend Vanquished?

Yes! For any fans of adventure/violence/thriller/gory novels that keep you up ALL night to finish them in one sitting! Loved it!

Many thanks to author S.E. Green via XPRESSO blog tours for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

5 Stars (5 / 5)

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | Barnes and Noble |

Click below to enter to win an E-Copy of Vanquished, or an AMAZON gift card!

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Click below to see the Vanquished blog tour schedule, thanks to XPRESSO tours!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SE

S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of several novels including the teen thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, and the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.

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If you enjoy Vanquished, you may enjoy:

Kraken Rising

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