Sunday, May 24, 2015

Giveaway: Beyond series by Kit Rocha


Hello! Slow couple of weeks post wise, but today I have a giveaway for you! The next book in the 'Beyond' series by Kit Rocha comes out this week, so to celebrate, here on The Book Bundle you can win an ebook set of the first three books in the sexy dystopian series. Keep reading to find out more :-)

The new book is Beyond Innocence, about Lili, a former sector leader's wife, and Jared, a high class whore who's been on the edge of the O'Kane crowd for a while now. I'll be reviewing this in the next couple of days, but for now here's the blurb:


For years, Jared has existed on the fringes of both Eden society and Dallas O'Kane's Sector Four gang. He travels between these worlds, protected by his money and power--money he earned selling his body, and power that comes from knowing secrets. He's untouchable—until he starts a new life gathering intelligence for the O'Kanes.

Lili Fleming walked out of Sector Five with a gun, the bloodstained clothes on her back, and an icy determination to survive. She finds herself in a world where people live hard and love harder, and nothing's more terrifying than how much the O'Kanes wake her up, make her feel—especially Jared.

Emotion is a risk he can't afford, and a complication she doesn't need. But neither can resist the lust simmering between them, and the sparks that could either melt the ice around both their hearts…or get them killed. Because the only thing more dangerous than loving an O'Kane is loving a spy.


You can read the first two chapters on Kit Rocha's website, here.
Purchase links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore.

So, on to the giveaway! As I said, you can win the first three books in the series: Beyond Shame, Beyond Control & Beyond Pain.

Enter by leaving a comment and letting me know how you follow the blog!


There is also a bigger competition across all the blogs posting about the release. Just enter using the rafflecopter button below:








Saturday, May 9, 2015

Stacking the Shelves



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's reviews to showcase the books you've received this week. 

I got more books this week that I thought, mostly thanks to the library, so let's get right on to them!


Stormcaller, by Tom Lloyd. I've been considering buying this book for a while, so having found it in the library I'm glad to finally get the chance to read it. 

Squire, by Tamora Pierce (Protector of the Small #3). I've been reading this series recently (check my review for book one) and I'm looking forward to finishing it up this week.


 

Lady Knight, by Tamora Pierce (Protector of the Small #4).
Spies, by Ernest Volkman. This is a collection of true stories from former spies, which my friend leant to me with a recommendation.
The Name Of The Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. Kingkiller Chronicles #1. I've actually got this book already and it's one of my favourites, but this is the audiobook, another library find. I love a good audiobook and I'm very happy to be adding this one to the collection. 


Finally, the one I'm most excited about: I received from the authors an ARC of the latest 'Beyond' novel, Beyond Innocence. It comes out on the 20th, so you can expect my review a couple of weeks from now.


Leave your links in the comments!

~Ailsa

Friday, May 8, 2015

Feature & Follow: What to Read



Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read, as a way to meet new bloggers.

This week they posed the question "How do you decide what to read?"

I think this is an interesting question! Generally if I've just bought a book, I'll start reading it that day, even if I'm already reading something else. If I'm looking for something new from my tbr pile, it's largely dependant on my mood. If I want something lighter, happier, I might go for a historical romance. Steampunk always cheers me up too. If I want my usual, I go for an urban fantasy, I love those. It really does depend on feeling, and which book blurb I think sounds better out of the books I'm deciding between. Sometimes reviews sway me, but the kind of books I'm swayed to buy because of reviews are the kind I'll read straight away!

If you're interested in my reviews, feel free to follow by email, GFC, or on twitter :-)

~Ailsa


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison


Title: The Witch With No Name
Author: Kim Harrison
Release date: September 2014
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Series: The Hollows
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Description: Rachel Morgan has come a long way since her early days as an inexperienced bounty hunter. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channelled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has unexpectedly become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. Rachel knew that this day would come – and now it is here.

To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever-after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything . . .

My thoughts: When you read a series over a number of years, there are always mixed feeling as you hold the last one in your hands. I had hopes, expectations, sadness that it would soon be done, and a little fear that it might not be a 'good' ending, tying things up well. Of course, this is Kim Harrison, and after reading this series for the past 10 years or so, I should know I can trust her.

The main conflict of this book is that Cormel, vampire leader of Cincinnati wants Rachel to solve the problem of vampires keeping their souls in their 'second life'. And he wants her to do it NOW. Rachel's learnt to stand up for herself, but Cormel knows her weak points: her friends.

Things quickly escalate, and soon there are elves and demons mixed up in the problem too. There is some lying, some double crossing, and some very cute moments. Even with all the rushing around in the books, Rachel gets some time alone with Trent and their relationship continues to grow and change.  You get to see pretty much all of Rachel's friends and family in this book, including the werewolves, the elf children, Jenks' family...

I don't want to talk too much about the plot, so let me focus instead on the questions I had before starting. Yes, this is a great final book of the series. It wraps up the big issues and it has a story of its own without being a book-long epilogue. There will be other issues for Rachel and her friends after the book finishes, but we don't see them, and I don't think we need to. This series for me has been a perfect example of excellent writing: characters who grow and change in a clear but gradual way over the series; an overarching plot connecting all the books; individual plots distinct to each book; an engaging romance element; well developed secondary characters; and now - a good, rounded off ending.

If for some reason you haven't read this series yet, feel confident that you can go straight from one book to the next with no waiting now, and that there's a good ending. If you've been holding off reading this last one: it's safe, I promise! Go out and buy it now! :)

I give this book, of course, ten out of ten.

~Ailsa

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Angry Robot edition



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

I didn't have anything particular to post about this week, but then I got the Angry Robot newsletter through yesterday. So, here are two of my favourites coming out soon.



Release date: 5th May (USA); 7th May (UK)

Description: The citadel has long been the stronghold of Highkell. All that is about to change because the traitor, Vasic, is marching on the capital. Against her better judgement, Queen Alwenna allows herself to be spirited away by one of the Crown’s most trusted servants, safe from the clutches of the throne’s would-be usurper.
Fleeing across country, she quickly comes to learn that her pampered existence has ill-equipped her for survival away from the comforts of the court. Alwenna must toughen up, and fast, if she is even to make it to a place of safety. But she has an even loftier aim – for after dreaming of her husband’s impending death, Alwenna knows she must turn around and head back to Highkell to save the land she loves, and the husband who adores her, or die in the attempt.
But Vasic the traitor is waiting. And this was all just as he planned.





Release date: June 2015

Description: Would you deal with the devil to save the world?
Street magician Missy Masters inherited more than the usual genetic cocktail from her estranged grandfather – she also got his preternatural control of shadow and his legacy as the vigilante hero, Mr Mystic. Problem is, being a pulp hero takes more than a good fedora and a knack for witty banter, and Missy lacks the one thing Mr. Mystic had: experience. Determined to live up to her birthright, Missy journeys to China to seek the aid of Lung Huang, the ancient master who once guided her grandfather.

Lung Huang isn’t quite as ancient as Missy expected, and she finds herself embroiled in the politics of Lung Huang and his siblings, the nine dragon-guardians of creation. When Lung Di, Lung Huang’s brother and mortal enemy, raises a magical barrier that cuts off China from the rest of the world, it falls to the new Mr Mystic to prove herself by taking down the barrier. But is it too great a task for a lone adventure hero?

Both of these sound really cool to me, as do several of the others coming from Angry Robot this year. I think I'm going to be buying several of them. :-)

Leave me your WoW links in the comments and I'll have a look!
~Ailsa

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book review: Prudence by Gail Carriger


Title: Prudence
Author: Gail Carriger
Release date: March 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Series: The Custard Protocol, book one
Genre: Steampunk

DescriptionON BEHALF OF QUEEN, COUNTRY . . . AND THE PERFECT POT OF TEA

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Crumpet and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea.

But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

My thoughts: I'm a big fan of Gail Carriger's so I had high hopes for 'Prudence', the first book in her latest series. Thankfully, Ms Carriger did not disappoint. 'Prudence' focusses on Rue, the daughter of Alexia from the Parasol Protectorate series. Rue is approximately 20 years old in this series, and begins the story by stealing a snuff box at a party then shape shifting into a werewolf to get away. Rue has the power to steal supernatural forms by touching the owner - for example, touching her 'uncle' Biffy the werewolf turns her into a wolf until morning, or touching her adoptive father Lord Akeldama turns him mortal while she becomes a vampire. It seems like a pretty cool power to me and I got the impression that Rue had been a bit of a terror growing up.

Lord Akeldama, apart from being a prominent member of vampire society and one of the best dressed men in London, is a bit of a spy-master, always knowing the gossip and news from across London. It's for him that Rue acquires the snuff box, only to find it contains a new kind of tea - from India. When he gives Rue a dirgible, she takes it to India to set up a venture for him with the tea. Of course things don't turn out as planned, and even before they arrive in India, a lioness has tried to steal Rue's parasol and her Navigator and Chief Engineer are refusing to get along.

I loved the group of Rue's friends who end up on the ship with her. There is Quesnel, very French and very flirtatious, who throws Rue in a duck pond at the start of the book. Her best friend is Prim (daughter of Ivy, for those who've read the Parasol Protectorate series, but very unlike her mother) is the perfect hostess and has been involved in all of Rue's best scheme. And there is Percy, Prim's twin brother, who can never get his nose out of a book, even (shocking!) at the dinner table. I can't wait to see what other adventures the four of them get up to. There are some other interesting supporting characters, too, and as the series goes on I suspect some will have bigger roles to play (Lyall, for one).

Although it's set in the same world as Ms. Carriger's other books, you really don't need to have read them before you start this series. I think the story is different enough from the other books that it's definitely going to keep me interested. It also builds up the world very well - I think it's a fine place to start for new readers of Gail Carriger.

Overall, this was a very fun book. I'm already really looking forward to the next book in the series. I'll give this one 8/10.

~Ailsa

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stacking The Shelves



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. 

I'm back staying with a friend who has a brilliant college library. I'm making good use of his library card! So here are the books I got this week. All title links go to goodreads.

Not pictured: First Test by Tamora Pierce. (Check my review here!)


Protector of the Small: Page, by Tamora Pierce. This is the sequel to First Test, and I'll probably read it and the rest of the sequence this week. 

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. This has been a huge bestseller in the UK since it was released last year, and it sounds intriguing with a dolls house making things happen. I thought I would give it a look. 

Honor's Knight, by Rachel Bach. This is book 2 in a trilogy. I read the first one in the autumn and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. It's more sci-fi than I'd normally read but I enjoyed book 1.

The Witch With No Name, by Kim Harrison. The last book in the Hollows series!! Nooo!! I'm really excited to see how things finish for these characters though. 


Prudence, by Gail Carriger. It doesn't have the dust jacket on, so I didn't spot it on the shelf at first! Book 1 of a new series from Ms. Carriger. I love her writing and this was one of my 'Waiting on Wednesday' picks the other week so I was very excited to find it here. I'll probably review this later this week. 

Leave me your links and I'll check out the books you got.

~Ailsa
 
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