Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Enemy Through the Gates - New Review

P.J. Stone, like most eighteen-year-old girls, is a little boy crazy and somewhat obsessed with finding the perfect boyfriend. Some days she feels like she might be the last remaining virgin in her entire high school, and maybe even the entire tri-state area.
After a traumatic night at a friend’s party, P. J. realizes what she truly wants has been right under her nose all along. Bryn O’Bannon, her best friend and partner in crime since age five, is head over heels in love with her, and she feels the same about him.
But P.J.’s life isn’t that simple. She’s a member of a separate society that exists secretly among the rest of the world; the society raises gifted individuals to protect the world from interdimensional interlopers, and P. J. was taught to put duty before her heart. She is expected to choose a suitable mate in order to perpetuate the Seer line. Unfortunately, Bryn is a Guardian and is forbidden to date—let alone mate with—a Seer such as herself.

As if figuring out her love life isn’t complicated enough, P.J. begins having visions of a threat to her world only she is able to perceive. Now, she must concoct and execute a plan to avert world disaster while at the same time avoiding the dissolution of her love life.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly, this books is amazing! Enemy Through the Gates is a refreshing paranormal story that only gets better while you are reading it!

The story presents a world where a different kind of human exists. This is very innovator because I haven't read that many books about this, Guardians, Gatekeepers and Seers. It may look like a lot of names but it's very easy to understand.

PJ is one of those female characters that you can easyly relate with. She's very strong, and with her head on the ground. She grows through the story and becomes the great female character that the series will need. BUT... at some point during the book some of her reactions or choices really made me a little angry! I wanted to just slap her or give her a shake. However, if you think about it, it's good, because if a character has the ability of making you feel all those feelings, and you can be happy for them, or laugh, or in my case you want to punch them, it means that the book is getting you out of your comfort zone, is making you connect with your feelings. This is AMAZING! Every book should be able of do that! It only means that the writer made a good job!

Then we have a lot of sexy guys, Bryn, Jeremy and Khol! I only want to say that THEY ARE HOT! They really made the whole thing better. Specially Bryn and Khol, their fight and the tension between them is really good. I think that Khol is one of the characters that should be or is going to gain more importance during the second book.

There were many things that I didn't expect, every new page brought a new addition to the story! It just keep surprising me every time! And some of the things that the author added are genius.

However there some things I need to clarify, this book has a few or many sex scenes, wich in my opinion are according to the story and really are part of the world that it develops, and some behavior could look a bit shocking if you are not very open-minded. But when you see it all together, you understand why is that way!

I really can't wait for the second book! There are so many things to solve that I don't think I can wait!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jailbirds - New Review

Hi people! Tuesday it's almost here and I got a new review!

Jailbirds (Alaska Teen #2) by Samantha Steele

From Goodreads:
A few months ago, Zac committed his second murder to save a girl he thinks he loves. His mother refuses to bail him out, so he spends the months before his trial locked in a prison cell. At first, the guards feel sorry for him, but after a fight with his cellmate, Zac is put in solitary confinement.
Enter Blaise, the Soul Searcher. Introduce The War, the Ghost Boy, the Signs, and most notably the Corrupted.
And Zac finds his calling.
Samantha will die.
If only the human justice system would get out of his way.

MY REVIEW:     My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book starts where the first ended and leaves you wanting for more.  Jailbirs is told by the point of view of Zac, who becomes the main character in this one. He really evolves since the first and is one of the strongest characters (not to mention a hot guy). The importance given to him in this one, creates and answer a few important things in the storyline.

Samantha keep submerging us in a world of Gods, goddesses, Signs, different powers and a fight for free will. It may look a bit confusing, but she has the ability to tells us the story in a way that allows us to keep the step. All the new characters only add more drama and action to the story, and we finally get to understand a little more the prologue of the first book.

Unlike the first one, where we have 6 or 7 characters telling the story, here we have less switches, so we have to read mostly from Zac point of view. And the intervention of the tales of others is perfectly placed.

However, there were a few chapters in the middle of the story that felt unnecessary, I think the trial could pass a little more fast, maybe just felt that way because I really want to know what next.
I can't wait for the next one!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shades of Grey - New Review

Hi everyone! I was supposed to post this post on Monday, here it's already Tuesday. But I had a busy weekend and my niece and nephew were at home so it was kind of crazy this past few days!!
Also I been partying, because as you may not know I'm a big football fan (soccer in USA) and this Saturday was the Finale of the Champions League, and my team won!! :)
I'm a big Chelsea fan! CONGRATS TO CHELSEA!!!
Unfortunately the team I support locally, lost its match on Sunday, but I'm still happy because of Chelsea.

And now... my latest Review! Thanks Michael for contacting me! I really liked your book. It only took me 2 days to read it, but it was a nice change.

Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill
John is not a very nice man. He works for the government. So who has tied him to a chair and what do they want? James is a British soldier during WWII. Tom is a young boy with a terrible secret

Three stories. Three very different people. All of them battling to survive.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t know what to expect of a book with three stories in it that at first look a bit different. Luckily, I ended up enjoying a book mainly about life and about survival, fear, death and our conscience.
In Shades of Grey we found three short stories. They are very different but similar stories, about men at a breaking point of their lives. At first it may look like they don’t have nothing in common but after you finish I think you would find out that they share a lot of characteristics.
They are united why the way they see life and death. They share the fact that they have their past really present in every move they made. Each one of them deals with death in a different way. Their stories show us things that sometimes we believed are wrong, without trying to justify them. The purpose of the book is tales us about these men (although one is a little boy) and what’s going on inside their heads, but without act like a redeemer for them. You never feel like somebody is trying to find a reason of why they act this way.
The author have the ability of transports us into each one of the stories. You can feel yourself strapped out to a chair, in a hole during a war and as a child trying to deal with life. Every feeling is really well described and I found a couple fragments very funny.
My favorite one was the last one Down the Rabbit Hole; in this one the author really makes a good job. Tom as a little kid still has that innocence where he doesn’t distingue between good and bad. Tom doesn’t understand yet the idea of taking some choices that would bring consequences, and has his imagination as his ally.
In the other two we found John and James, the first one is sort of a spy, which I love, and has a really interesting mind. Everything he says sounds funny. And then we have James, who is in the World War II, I really like his story. I’m a fan of historical books, but in this one we focalize in him and how he sees war.
Overall, a great book, that proves us that what matters is quality, not the length of the book.

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Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Teenagers - New Review

Hi guys! So today I finish this book I received as part of R2R in Goodreads.
It was a little tricky at first but then it got better!

Teenagers by Samantha Steele
All her life, Samantha has felt a little awkward, like she belonged somewhere else - certainly not the cold blue mountains of Alaska. Her feelings are confirmed when a Ghost tells her a little story about her past and who she really is: a Sign.

But the Palace is in danger, and its leader must know the story that Samantha has forgotten. The story about Zac and the high school Samantha attended. This is that story; this is the beginning


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teenagers just as it title says is about this group of teenagers. Although at first the book presents Samantha and her story as a Sign, when she began to remember this is put to one side. This is the story of everything that happened way before she found out what she is.

At first it was a little hard follow the change of narrator, because we read from every character's point of view (and there are more than six of them). But after you get all the characters and understand who is who, the story becomes really interesting and evolves really fast. This proves that you really HAVE TO GIVE EVERY BOOK A CHANCE, don’t give up in the first pages or you will miss the best part.

The contemporary scene is very good written. Is hard to find a book that really captures the teenager essence, but of course, the author is a young woman and she has inspired in her real life, that is way the dialogues and the plot always feels natural. Everything they do is just real and it is easy to feel like you are hearing a friend telling you something that just occurred to him or her.

This is one of those fast reading books because is a short one and it leaves you wanting for more.
I think is a great strategy to use your own life as inspiration. You can’t be wrong when you write about your true feelings and even though many of the facts are not real (I don’t think the author is really a Sign) Samantha made a really good job capturing the “teenage spirit”. 

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Happy Reading!
Don't forget to visit my blog tomorrow, I'll be posting a great giveaway!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hope's Daughter - New Review

I just finish Hope's Daughter (by Melanie Cusick-Jones). I'm still surprised and wordless because IT'S AMAZING!!
I can't thanks Melanie enough for the opportunity of reading her book. I was really excited when I received a message from her, in which she asked me if I wanted to review her book. Of course I said yes, but I didn't expect to feel like I do now.
I can't put in words how much I liked her book. I 'm not saying this just to be polite or anything. I really LOVED the story. It's probably the best I read this year. I always enjoy the genre of dystopia, but this one is so different to the ones I read before. Cassie and Balik are great characters, not to mention how SEXY Balik is. I really recommend you this one.
I can't wait to read the sequel.
I also want to thank Melanie for writing "Taking Flight", this short chapter that fits before the epilogue of Hope's Daughter.

Life should be simple for Cassie.
For the small population of Earth survivors who live on the Space Station Hope everything they do is planned and scheduled, down to the cyclical food menus, their roles in the station, even how many children they have.
Despite rigid controls directing her life, Cassie feels more out of synch than ever and worries she won’t find a place for herself within the station community. Perhaps that’s because she’s hearing things inside her head that can’t possibly be real. Or maybe it’s the regular elopements of her peers, heading off to a romantic future in the Married Quarter of the space station, whilst she’s never even been attracted to a boy – no matter how hard her best friend Ami pushes them at her. Then there are the odd questions her work placement partner Balik keeps raising. His questions are just as troubling for her as his distracting smiles and eyes that seem to see inside her.
As Cassie draws closer to Balik she finds that everything else in her life begins to shift. He tells her things that call into question the system they live within. She can't believe he is right, but at the same time she finds it hard to deny the sincerity of his ideas. Could there be a connection between Cassie’s problems and Balik’s questions? The truth will drag them both to a terrifying and deadly conclusion beyond anything they could have imagined.




My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“What if the world as you knew it, wasn’t what you thought it was?”
Cassie and Balik start to question the world they live. This will only lead them into the discover of a terrifying truth.

From the cover and the prologue, I was dragged into this amazing story. Not only a well argumented dystopia but also a story about love, self-discovered, survival, and above all humanity. About those things that makes us who we are. I couldn’t put it down and I wanted to know what’s next as I continued reading.

The life in Hope’s Station is planned from the foods to the behavior expected from the population. Anything that not goes according to these is an anomaly and as such it won’t be a good thing.

Cassie is one of those great female characters you love from the beginning. But unlike other female characters, she is very strong and determined from the start. She discovered some facets of her personality through the book but it’s not like she was totally naïve before anything happened. Since the start it was easy to relate with Cassie and the way she feels about her role in the station. How she feel out of place and her worries about her future are something anyone can understand. And as the story evolves you really feel you know her and want to join her along the way.

Balik… what to say about him? HE IS SO SEXY. And he is a great character. A fantastic male partner to Cassie, that complement her perfectly. All about him is perfect, how he feels about Cassie, his curiosity, his temperament and how he sees the world.

The action develops in the perfect amount to keep you wanting for more. Every chapter brings a little bit more of the story and adds a little more to the anxiety that was growing inside me.
The last few chapters managed to describe what need to be explained and surprised me to the point that I was speechless.

This is an excellent book. The kind of book that makes you wonder a lot of things and makes you experience a roll-coaster of emotions as you read it. An original dystopia with a few twists, that will keep you wanting for the sequel.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jericho Solus - Blog Tour stop

Hi people! It's time for another blog tour stop.
This time I had the pleasure to interview Jeffery Moore, the author of Jericho Solus.

A little about the book:

“They watch me—the feeling as acute as a sharp, cold blade against
my skin. I may have lived an ordinary existence, but I can fight.
Though my memory is like a beast cowering in the shadows, I
know in my core I can fight, as if it’s what I’m wired to do.
Her breaths echo in my dark cell. Is she real? She fills my
emptiness with heat, and God help the people that harm her.
I am the Solus. My name is Jericho, and killing is what I do best.”

Jericho’s captivity begins a journey to a forgotten past, forgotten comrades, and forgot
ten love. His remembrance pulls him back in time to reveal an unexpected metamorphosis to his current state. As memories move Jericho back through history, his captors propel him forward into a surreal world, until both timelines combine to expose who and what Jericho is.


About the Author:

Jeffery Moore writes speculative fiction. His stories transcend genre boundaries, making them difficult to categorize. He writes what he likes to read and the stories that entice him most are stories with character displacement, characters that for whatever reason are thrust into alien worlds or environments. Though in broad terms his stories may be categorized as Fantasy, you will read none of the Middle Earth or vampire themes and characters—he feels these are done to death. Moore strives to introduce concepts into his stories that haven’t been done.

Jeffery was born in Germany. As a military brat, much of his childhood was spent abroad, growing up in Germany on military installations. He subsequently enlisted in the military and served for ten years as an army pilot. While in the military, he lived in Italy and South Korea and deployed to many European countries. He has traveled to Australia, Japan, Singapore and most European countries. His experiences and contact with many different cultures helps form some of the elements in his stories. He currently works for a global IT company and lives in Massachusetts.
Jericho Solus Blog.
On Goodreads.

1 – What was the main inspiration for write Jericho Solus?
I got the idea for Jericho Solus four years ago while in an online writing class. We had a simple assignment to brainstorm three book ideas. This idea started from the notion of a man waking in a cold room alone without a clue how he got there. When I began writing the plot outline, I wanted to have the readers suspect it was the old ‘alien abduction’ cliché and then move the story to something unique. As with my previous novels, I have a play on memory and how they play in Jericho’s self discovery. This is a theme I really like and if I had to pinpoint inspiration of this concept it would be ‘The Madness Season’ by Friedman—I love the way her character struggles for his memories at the beginning of the book.
2 – Were you inspired by some real people?
I belong to a little writing group and we’ve been very active since we all linked up about three years ago. Each of us are avid writers and I attribute our critiques to fueling our passion for writing. They are great writers and I thrive off their encouragement and criticism. The single most helpful piece of advise I can give a writer, especially a new writer, is to find a few folks to trade chapters with and critique each others work.
3 – I can’t help but to compare “The Three” (Jericho, Sensum and Insid) with the important of number 3 in some religions. The Three have any connection to that?
The triumvirate is common throughout history and within fiction. I did not intend them to represent the “Son, Father, and Holy Spirit”, but the overtones are there in that the intent of the three is to make a whole. I think they are more along the lines of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Others are the lion, scarecrow, and tin man. I don’t think the theme is uncommon (courage, logic, reason) and I had a lot of fun with it.
4 – What actual places inspired the Geography of the Red Waste? Or is all just a product of imagination?
It’s really just my imagination. I wanted an environment that if something changed, it meant something big was happening. Wastelands are not uncommon in fiction, but I thought the rains and the desert lake were different. I also wanted to show the changes as really a foreshadowing of the events of 10,000 BC on Earth…when it is theorized that large meteors impacted Earth, causing the end of the ice age and the extinction of many large mammals.
5 - While you were writing some of the characters, Did you end up being angry, upset or disappointed of him or her?
Nice question. Yeah, sometimes Jericho took me in a different direction I didn’t want to go. One thing many writers will say is that the characters will grow legs and run in a different direction than what is intended. Finishing some chapters that I feel really ‘click’, I’ll do a fist pump, but I never really get upset with my characters.
6 – Jericho is one of the most interesting character I ever read, perhaps because he has lived so long. How did you choose which historical moments to write about?
It was more difficult for me to find historical moments than to write them. I wanted to fit the historical episodes into a story of themselves that still fit with the main story. This was really challenging. It would have been easy to pick just random historical events. If a reader reads the episodes in reverse a story will be there that they may have missed (i.e. the gradual assimilation into humanity).
7 – Did your experience living around the world help with anything to create the world of Jericho?
I think the stories I write are all influenced in some way from my travels. More so in ‘The Bounds’ trilogy, which is a melancholy story that I started when deployed and away from my family for 18 months. Some of the mannerism in the alien cultures are derived from my experiences. Simple things like the way the Brin nod in ‘The Bounds’ is something I observed while working in Greece.
8 - How was creating characters who had no human experience? Was it difficult to imagine such characters?
This is really perhaps the most difficult thing to do. My rant against the Fantasy genre is all the different races of characters (i.e. elves, dwarfs, ogres, etc…) are nothing more than humans in costume. They have the same human values and characteristics, they just look different. I really want to give my races some distinguishing quality that is not human. Alien races can still laugh, desire, love, and hate, but there should be something different other than physical appearance—case in point is vampires, although they are overdone to death. The story I’m currently working on showcases the ‘Nilas’, a wraith-like race that change form from a process called ‘clutting’.
9 - Can we wait for a sequel? And if the answer is yes, what can we expect to find in it?
With the historical fiction aspect of Jericho Solus, it would be fairly easy to have dozens of spin-off stories. There is a ton of material. Each historical episode can be weaved into a fleshed-out story. I must admit that I have thought about doing a follow-up of the Marrigan and her relationship with the Kurrin (how a human woman births so many insect-like creatures). I really wanted to investigate that part of the story more, but it just didn’t fit Jericho’s story line.

I really want to thank Jeffery for taking the time to answer my questions!
I really hope you enjoy his book as much as I did.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever feel lost? Jericho Souls didn’t know who he was, where he came or what his purpose was. He woke up one day in a strange place and found out he was heading someplace else and somehow this reactivated his memory. Through several flashbacks we discovered Jericho’s past.

This is a great book, an excellent science fiction one to be more specific. To be completely honest the first two chapters were a little hard for me to read, I felt a little like Jericho trapped in the cage and not knowing what was going on. But fortunately, it only got better, especially when he started to remember his past I felt in love with the story. A great example of why we should give every book a chance.

I never read this kind of science fiction before, one that involves alien people and other world creatures. But the characters and the surrounding are so well described that you feel you are actually seeing them. This proves the great ability of the author to translate to words, all the things that were in his imagination.

The way the author changes from the first person to a narrator, gives the story the sense of movement that requires for us to really feel we are part of the story. Every time a new piece of the puzzle is revealed we surprised as much as Jericho and Gebal. The action takes place a lot during the story and is a resource very well exploded, because it feels natural and goes according to what is happening.

The thing I loved the most is the lack of humanity in some characters, which probably wasn’t an easy thing to write. Generally when some writes about another type of being, it tends to have some similarities to humans. But here the author makes a wonderful job by showing us how they didn’t have these humans’ characteristics before, and then, why and how they incorporated them.

Jericho Solus is one of those characters that you love, then you don’t like and then you love again. At the end of the book you ended up really understanding him and his actions. Is through him that we can experience much of what makes us humans.

In conclusion, an excellent book very recommendable.

Thanks to Jeffery Moore for let me being part of this!

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