Friday 29 June 2018

Review & Giveaway: Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews
Publication date: June 26th 2018
Publisher: NYLA
My rating:  5 Stars
Pages: 406
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both. 

My Thoughts:
As the description points out, Hugh was Roland’s warrior, but has been cast out, cut off from Roland’s magic and when we first meet Hugh here, he’s in bad shape.  Hurting as he was Hugh didn’t fully grasp his Iron Dogs were loyal to him, not Roland.  Now that they’re being hunted down, and murdered Hugh must get himself together, get his Iron Dogs back in fighting shape to meet the threat. 

Elara and Hugh have things each other need to survive, Elara has a castle, food, and supplies Hugh’s Iron Dogs’ desperately need, and Elara needs protection for the people in her keep.  To make their alliance believable they decide to marry. They hate each other on sight, Elara has already heard the rumors of Hugh and expects him to be a terrible man, and Hugh views Elara a cold harpy.  This is a marriage of convenience, but of course I was hoping for it to turn into more! Love-to-hate relationships are so much fun and loved every verbal sparring match between these two!  Really made things heat up! 

Hugh was quite a despicable character in the previous books, so when I first heard there would be a book centering on him I wondered if I could ever view him as the “hero” or like him.  Shouldn’t have worried because Ilona Andrews pulled it off splendidly!  You don’t have to do this because there’s enough information to get the picture, but I did go back and skim through some of the events in Magic Rises (book 6) and Magic Breaks (book 7) to remember exactly what happened with Hugh, Kate, The Pack, and Roland.  Some of his actions seemed unforgivable, but we were only looking at them through Kate’s eyes.  Here we get Hugh’s motivations, and some important insight about Roland’s influence on Hugh here in Iron and Magic.  It made ALL the difference in my opinion of Hugh and I ended up rooting for the guy!

Elara is likeable right off the bat, she’s completely loyal and protective of her people, strong and intelligent in her actions.  Elara is also a person (?) of powerful magic, but she’s a mystery and I look forward to finding out more about her in the coming books.

The fight/battle scenes were exciting, full of danger, and action, and easy to follow.  I was surprised and thrilled by what’s revealed about Hugh, his skills and powers. Elara is a bit of an enigma, not sure what she is yet, but I have some ideas.  When she steps into a fight you take notice, and I was stunned by a certain villain’s reaction to her in the end!

Iron and Magic was fast paced and riveting!  We get Ilona Andrews at their best, and what they’re known for as writers: exciting action, multi-faceted, compelling characters, interesting mythology, and of course my favorite: romance!  I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!


Connect with Ilona Andrews:

I'm giving away a Hardcover Copy of Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews which features Hugh quite prominently.  The giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.  

Friday 15 June 2018

Mini Review & Giveaway: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Ocean Light (Psy-Changeling Trinity #2) by Nalini Singh
Publication date: June 12th 2018
Publisher: Berkley
My rating:  4 Stars
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love...

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment--taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine...

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back--even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy...

My Thoughts:
The last thing Bowen Knight, the head of the Human Alliance, remembers is being shot and falling into the water.  Now awake he realizes he’s not dead but has been saved by the Black Sea clan and is deep below in their habitat in the sea.  His life has been saved, but the chip that shields his mind from Psy attacks is degrading quickly. He only has a few weeks/months left to live if nothing is done.  However, the Black Sea clan doctor has been working on an experimental compound to neutralize the threat.  The chances it’ll work are very slim, but even if he doesn’t make it the data obtained could benefit the rest of the humans with the same problem, and Bowen realizes he must take the risk. Bowen doesn’t think in all this he’d find a woman who’d so completely capture his heart, but Kaia is unique.  She’s everything warm and protective, but she has a mischievous playful side that speaks to the serious Bowen in a way that’s too tempting to resist. 

Ocean Light had so much grabbing my attention!  An intense, but possibly doomed romance, internal threats and betrayals, and a race fix the ticking time bomb in Bowen’s head.  Nalini’s Singh’s writing is captivating and beautiful, playful and sensual, thrilling and exciting!  Ocean Light is the second in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series, but it’s not necessary to read the previous book to enjoy the story.  Loving this series!

Connect with Nalini Singh:

I'm giving away a Hardcover Copy of Ocean Light by Nalini Singh generously provided by the wonderful people at Berkley. The giveaway is open to US residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Good luck!

Thursday 14 June 2018

Box of Books Giveaway #10

Hello readers! Hope you're all doing well! We've been kind of slow here on the blog because real life has been very time consuming for both Jasprit and me, lately! Sorry we haven't been around lately. I plan on making the rounds tomorrow after work to see what everyone's been up to.
I'm trying to clear my reading shelves and so I'm giving away 10 books this week and I'm going to giveaway another ten by the end of this month. I seriously have way too many books and since I probably won't be doing a re-read anytime soon it's better to send them off to another bookworm to enjoy. So here we go:

Several of the books are signed by the author, but signed to me.

Here's the list along with a link to the Goodreads link:

The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Blog Tour: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Hi everyone today I'm pleased to be taking in part in the Save the Date by Morgan Matson blog tour hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. Before I share my review with you here's a bit about the book. 

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 
Publication Date: June 5th 2018. 
My rating: 4 stars. 
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend before the house issold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect. The only problem? The weekend is shaping uptobean absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge. There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephewis unexpectedly, distractingly...cute. Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

I really do love books which put a family and its dynamics at the forefront, I have to admit I didn’t realise that this would be the case with going into Save the Date, I knew it was a Morgan Matson book and that I had to read it. But it was a lovely surprise, as Matson really made this family for me, yes, the Grant’s like any other family, didn’t come without the ups and downs, but I loved how despite the size of the family (8 if you include the son in law to be Rodney), I came to adore each member in their own way. With the Grant’s it could be hard to get your voice in edgeways, with everyone being such big individual’s, but Matson was able to give each family member their own personality and voice that made them stand out from the rest, but also took the time out for you to get to know each character too which I greatly appreciated. 

With so many quirky personalities, it was hard for me to choose a favourite character, as I said before I adored them all, but Charlie was a great MC, she was the only Grant sibling still living at home, and so was still figuring things out. I liked how through Charlie, we were able to experience this big anticipation of her family all being reunited together, it had been a long time coming. I liked how we were told there were some unresolved family issues but weren’t give insights into what exactly had gone down to bring this about, the way Matson decided to reveal this over the course of the story I appreciated, as it had me constantly guessing about what could have gone down to cause this rift in the first place. 

Save the Date in my opinion had everything going for it, amongst the family antics, there were the unresolved mysteries, heated gardening competitions and of course so much upheaval at Charlie’s sister’s wedding, that I had my doubts that she would even get married. But the Grant’s came through once again and went to show they could withstand almost anything. The Grant family thoroughly reminded me of the Baker family in Cheaper by the Dozen, they always had something going on, nonetheless, the Grant’s made this book a truly epic one!

About the author: ฀Morgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but halfway through a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature. Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children from The New school and worked as an editor for YA novels. She received a second M.F.A. (for reasons that made sense at the time) in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. Her novels have been translated into dozens of languages, and published all over the world. Morgan’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was inspired by her love of road trips, snacks, and the quest for the perfect playlist. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. Her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was inspired by her experiences spending summers in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was the winner of the California Book Award (YA category) and was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, selected for the Oklahoma Sequoya List, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book. Her third novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in 2014, and was a Publisher’s Weekly and international bestseller. It was named to the YALSA Teens Top Ten list, and the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award List. Morgan’s fourth novel, The Unexpected Everything, was published May 3rd, 2016. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Murphy.

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