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Antigoddess
Kendare Blake
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Sarah J. Maas

The Vicious Deep

The Vicious Deep - Zoraida Córdova Every now and then, I get a craving for mermaids. Thinking that I had read all my mermaid related reads, I was surprised to stumble upon The Vicious Deep. Wanting the read to be a surprise, I decided to skip the summary and start it based on what I could remember, which was something along the lines of scary mermaids. Wrong... sort of.The Vicious Deep introduces us to Tristan, a young man who after a near-death experience with a wave discovers that he is a merman. There is a lot more to it than that, but I don't want to spoil the surprise.In the beginning, The Vicious Deep had a lot of promise. I loved that it was different than so many other mermaid books, mostly due to it being from the male POV. But despite the promise of the read, I was bored. The Vicious Deep had so many basic day to day events leading up to the big surprise / twist that I honestly almost didn't make it there. More than once, I had considered just cutting my losses and moving on. But against my better reading judgement, I decided to keep going, and was rewarded for it.As with many first books in a series, The Vicious Deep was about the foundation. Setting the story. Meeting the characters. Then, finally getting to the action. While I usually enjoy all the set up events, for The Vicious Deep, at times, it was just a struggle to get through. And to be honest, I am not exactly sure why. However, once I hit that half way point, and the action started, I was sold.Final Verdict:The Vicious Deep wasn't perfect, but there was times that I couldn't put the book down. Maybe some of the issues are related to it being the first book. Maybe I am just having an issue focusing on reading lately. I don't know. Regardless of whatever it was, by the end of the read, I found myself scouring my bookcases hoping that I had book two.

The Testing

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau The Testing was one of my more anticipated dystopian reads for 2013. And while the book has promise, most of the read felt like it was holding back.One of the big taglines for The Testing was 'for The Hunger Games fans,' or something along those lines. If you liked The Hunger Games, then I am sure that The Testing will be a pleasing read for you. But bottom line, The Testing is no The Hunger Games.The Testing starts off innocently enough. Readers are introduced to Cia and her town. A town that has students with plenty of potential to be selected for the Testing, but never are. Or at least, have not been for the last ten or so years. Cia was a likeable enough character. Although, readers know early on that the Testing is not quite what it seems, you cannot help but want Cia to be chosen for the Testing.Once the Testing got underway, that is when The Testing's problems really began. The Testing itself is divided into four parts. Three tests of basic knowledge to test your skill set, then one real-world type experience. While I enjoyed the first three tests, the fourth is really where the action is. Also, where most of my problems occurs.Although Cia is a likeable character, I had a hard time relating to her and her struggles. She was just so damn perfect.Character: Oh look, we found water.Cia: Wait, this doesn't feel right.Character: No, everything is fine.Cia: I don't think so. Give me a minute to look around / inspect something.Minute later.Cia: NO!!! Get out of here. / Move... something along those lines.Then surprise, something bad happens.There were so many examples of events like this happening throughout The Testing that it became annoying. Whether it was a trap or how to take care of something, Cia seemed to just magically know everything. Yea, ok, that works.Final Verdict:The Testing wasn't a bad read. In fact, I actually liked it. But there were a lot of elements that never fully lived up to what I thought it could be. The Testing comes close to falling into the 'it was trying to be like another book, but failed to be original in its own right' category. There is plenty of original content in The Testing. But overall, I felt like I had been there done that almost from start to finish.Will I read the next installment:Eh. I am open to giving it a try.

Emerald Green (The Ruby Red Trilogy, #3)

Emerald Green (The Ruby Red Trilogy, #3) - Kerstin Gier,  Anthea Bell Great conclusion to an amazing series. More to come.

The Elite

The Elite - Kiera Cass Was way up too late finishing this one. Completely worth it.

Splintered

Splintered - A.G. Howard Growing up, I have always loved Alice in Wonderland. From the kid-friendly Disney version to the horror story style movies to my personal favorite, The Looking Glass Wars, there are so many different variations to get lost in. With one of the latest variations, Splintered, I will admit that I put this one on the back shelf for a reason. I was afraid of it. Well, maybe not in the way that you are thinking. Of course, I was not scared of the book, but rather the unknown. Would Splintered be a literal retelling or seem like a completely different story? I didn't know. With Splintered, I had no clue to what to expect, and it scared me a little.Throwing caution to the wind, I dived in.From the early pages, Splintered was nothing, and I mean nothing, like I thought it would be. Having not read the blurb in many months, all I really remembered was something about mental illness and Alice in Wonderland. Great way to start a book, huh?The basic concept centers around Alyssa and her mother Alison. Both have what could easily be classified as mental illness due to being able to hear the voices of the flowers and bugs. Although, Alyssa's mother has been committed and despite Alyssa's fears that she may be next, Alyssa feels as if there is something more to the tale of Alice in Wonderland and their family's connection than meets the eye. But only one way to find out, find the rabbit hole.Splintered was 100% awesome. So much so that I am kicking myself for not reading this one sooner. Alyssa and the back story of her family interwoven with the Alice in Wonderland was pulled off flawlessly. By this point, I thought I had discovered all the ways that Alice in Wonderland could be retold, but I was so very wrong. I don't want to go into too many details for fear of spoiling the surprise, but wow, A.G. Howard, what a way to make this tale your own. I am so impressed.Final Verdict:Looking for a dark, twisted version of Alice in Wonderland? Look no further. Splintered is destined for your favorites shelf.Will I read the next installment?Yes! A million times, yes. The romance of Splintered was completely left open. Sure, we know who Alyssa has picked for now, but Morpheus is still waiting in the wing. (No pun intended.)

Abandon (Possession, #3)

Abandon (Possession, #3) - Elana Johnson The Possession series has been an interesting one from the beginning. Special powers. Mind wiping. Rebellion. Since I first read Possession, I feel in love with this world, and all of its unique qualities and quirks. Abandon is no different.One element that I have loved / hated about this series is the constant change of POVs. This time around, we are taken into the minds of Jag and Zenn. While both characters have enough personality to carry Abandon easily, I found myself wanting to get back to Vi's POV again. Maybe it is the lack of the female POV that I miss, or maybe just her wit and spunk. Honestly, I don't know. Whatever it is, I miss it.As you may know, the Possession series also carries a pretty heavy love triangle. Personally, I like both boys, but have always favored Zenn for one reason or another. With Abandon, I found myself rooting again for Zenn. It isn't that I don't like Jag. I do! But there is something about Zenn. Maybe it is the underdog effect? Who knows. Abandon wraps up the love triangle in a completely different way than what I was expecting. Do I like it? Yes and no. Is it kinda heartbreaking? Absolutely.What about our other characters… Gunner and Raine? Have no fear. Abandon has not forgotten them. Gunner and Raine play a decent part in Abandon. However, in a similar fashion to Surrender, they are more in the background. After three books, if I had to voice one major complaint about the series, it is the POV / main character swaps. In Possession, Vi, Jag, and Zenn were the focus. In Surrender, it was Gunner and Raine. With Abandon, it is back to Vi, Jag, and Zenn. While I love having all these characters, it does feel a little overhelming sometimes having to keep up with so many.Final Verdict:I have loved this series since the beginning due to its unique qualities. Abandon fell in line pretty much how I expected it to, with plenty of twists added in that I did not expect. Especially in regards to the romance. All in all, a solid read that was fast-paced and a great addition to the series.Will there be more?Abandon wraps up nicely, but honestly, I am a little confused. For the longest time, I have been under the impression that the Possession series is a trilogy. However, the ending was a little bit more open than I had expected. Does that mean there will be more? Maybe. I guess I will have to wait and see.

Wasteland

Wasteland - Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan To be honest, I have a lot of thoughts about Wasteland. While I wish they could all be positive, they are not. In fact, looking back at Wasteland, I sometimes think it was a miracle that I finished this one at all. Which is really disappointing due to its interesting concept and potential.In Wasteland, no one lives to see age 20. Life is bleak. Water and food are scarce. It is survival of the fittest. In small town called Prin, they make due... surprisingly so.From the beginning, Wasteland drew me in with the promises of rebellion and post- apocalyptic setting. While some promises were met, Wasteland as a whole bordered on pretty disappointing. From its lack of world-building to superficial everything, Wasteland is a whole lot of details with very little depth. Now, I don't need to have everything explained to me, and not every question will have an answer. However, in a world like Wasteland, there has to be at least a little something for me to work with. Yet, Wasteland didn't give me that. No explanation to how this world became the way that it did. No explanation for why it is expected for everyone to only live to age nineteen. Honestly, no explanations really of any sort. While that may work for some reads, sadly in Wasteland, it does not.As for our characters, here I am conflicted. Told in the third person, Wasteland, at times, felt all over the place. Giving glimpses into each character whether major or minor. While I appreciated to seeing a little bit of each person, it also takes away from really getting to know any one character. Making it hard to relate or even care from their situation or what they were trying to achieve. This lack of depth for our characters is most apparent when it comes to the romance. Esther and Celeb had potential to be a great romantic force. Instead it came across as...Caleb: Wow, you looking like a person I would want to get to know.Esther: Yea, you too. We are fighting for the same thing. Let's team up!Chapters Later...They kiss.Pages Later...Caleb: I love you. Want to be my partner / mate?Esther: I love you too! Yes! Let's always be together.The romance didn't exactly go down like that, but I think you get the idea.Final Verdict:After finishing the last pages, I was glad that I finished Wasteland. Are there faults to the read? Um... yes! However, I did finished the book feeling satisfied and with a smile on my face. So, that has to count for something.Will I read the next installment?The blurb states that Wasteland is the start of a trilogy. For me, I have no idea why. The ending of Wasteland was solid with no real hint of what could / should happen next. Personally, if this is truly a start to a trilogy, I would be open to reading more, but only if I can get a back story or something.

The Pirate's Wish

The Pirate's Wish - Cassandra Rose Clarke Last year, The Assassin's Curse blew my mind with its creativity. I have been waiting on pins and needles for the next installment, The Pirate's Wish, ever since I finished that last page of The Assassin's Curse.The Pirate's Wish starts off right after the events of The Assassin's Curse. Ananna and Naji are still trapped on the island looking for ways to get off of it, as well as ways to break Naji's curse. Sure, Ananna knows (or at least thinks she does) one way to break one of the three impossible tests. But I guess it is called 'impossible' for a reason. With Ananna stuck strictly in the 'friend zone' with Naji, and the other tests still a complete mystery, time may be running out for both of them.There is so many thoughts floating around my head regarding this read. On one hand, I loved, loved this book to pieces. I mean The Pirate's Wish is in the running for best book of the year, in my opinion. Or at least, best sequel. I laughed. I cried. I yelled. I cried. Then laughed and cried some more. The Pirate's Wish brought out so many emotions in me. So much so, that I was an emotional wreck. I was so emotionally invested in these two characters and their journey. I didn't know how much more I could take of all the tension going on.However, The Pirate's Wish wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Ananna (at times) was the foil to my emotional response to this read. In the beginning, she was the fantastic, strong female character that I remembered. She even gave probably the best inner monologue speech about not needing a boy to happy that I have ever read. Seriously, this book needs to be read just for that conversation alone. I literally wanted to give her a fist bump for it. It was that amazing.Then, strangely along the way, Ananna changed. Personally, I am not 100% sure why it happened, it just did. In a matter of chapters, Ananna is transformed from a girl who doesn't need a boy to be happy to a girl whose whole happiness is dependent on the boy liking her back. Yes, there is a bunch more to it than that, and I know I am giving it a generalized description, but it was crazy weird for me as a reader to have her basically do a complete personality flop. Does it take away from the read over all? No, not really. I just wish she had been a little more mature about the whole situation.Final Verdict:The Pirate's Wish was beyond amazing. I cannot remember the last time a book had me so glued to its pages. I literally was up to about 4 a.m. reading this one. I would not let myself stop until I was finished. If you liked The Assassin's Curse, then be prepared, The Pirate's Wish is ten thousand times more amazing. If you haven't read, The Assassin's Curse… stop what you are doing, and go start it.Will there be more?Yes and no. I was really surprised and happy to find that The Assassin's Curse series is a duology. Great, because I don't have to wait another year for another installment. Horrible, because I simply adore our characters and this world. However, I have discovered that the amazing Cassandra Rose Clarke is working on more books set in this world! What this means… I am not sure yet. But hopefully, there will be more Ananna and Naji in some shape, form, or fashion.

The Rules (Project Paper Doll)

The Rules - Stacey Kade In Ariane's life, survival is determined by five simple rules.Follow these rules, and Ariane can get want she wants: a normal life. A life where she is not constantly looking over her shoulder, or making sure she is following the 'human' norms. A life that does not involve her being trapped in a box because she is half alien.There are some books that you know right away that you are going to love. The Rules was not one of them. I loved the concept. I loved Ariane. Yet, in the beginning, my reading experience with The Rules hovered somewhere around light boredom. Why? The plot line moved so slow for me.The Rules started off with a basic introduction for Ariane, her 'father', and her current life. As The Rules progressed, there were some light flashbacks to Ariane's life before, and how horrible it was. Personally, there was nothing wrong with how the beginning was set up. It was more or less how it moved along. I was having a really hard time trying to put my finger on where this book was going, and when it would start making that turn from basic information to bam! plot changing moment. To be honest, it took a while to get there. So much so, that a one point, I almost decided I was going to mark The Rules as DNF.But I stuck with it, and was really glad that I did. Once the main game changer came into play, it was like all of the pieces for The Rules fell into place. The plot picked up. The action began. The romance bloomed. The last two thirds of The Rules was like night and day from the first third. Final Verdict:The Rules is probably my third alien read in the last few weeks. I have to say that I am really enjoying seeing this trend gain momentum. The Rules, while not perfect, was a great blend of light science fiction and a swoon-worthy romance.Will I read the next installment?Yes, I think I will. Honestly, I am not exactly sure what to expect in the next installment. But I am hoping for more Zane.

Rush: Book One of The Game

Rush - Eve Silver Rush is a read that I have a hard time putting my finger on, or even really wrapping my brain around. It all basically starts with a car accident and a game that is really not a game. Miki is a normal high school student until one day when for the greater good, she sacrifices herself for a younger student. From the moment of that sacrifice, Miki is pulled into what the others refer to as the game. A life or death battle against some crazy creatures.From early on in the read, Rush felt all over the place. Sometimes in a good way. Most of the time, not so much. I knew the basic concept prior to reading Rush, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. But Rush was one of those reads where the summary was a bit misleading. For me, the most confusing element was the why. Later on in Rush, a lot of questions get answers, which is great. But some of the answers left like they should have been earlier in the read to make it flow better. Additionally, I am not quite sure I ever understood how / why these kids got pulled in the first place. If the event causing the pull never happened, would have they have been pulled in the first place? As for our romance, I will just say, it took time to grow on me. Miki was a great character. I adored Luka. And Jackson… was Jackson. Part of me wants to say I liked him. Part of me wants to say he was too much. The constant, 'I am not a good guy' or 'You shouldn't trust me.' stuff over and over and over again really was a bit overdone. Final Verdict:Rush took a while for me to warm up to it. Am I in love with this book? No, not really. But by the end, I was sold on the concept, the characters, and wanted to know more about everything. Especially after the crazy cliffhanger.Will I read the next installment?Probably. There are a lot of questions that I still need answers to. And I gotta find out what happens next. But the series is on a bit of shaky ground with me, so only time will tell how I feel about the series overall.

Reboot

Reboot - Amy Tintera Wren is a 178. The top of the top in a group of reanimated humans. The longer you are dead, the more deadly you are, and Wren is deadly. At 178, Wren is faster and has higher senses than most other Reboots. And she like it that way. When Callum, a new Reboot, enters into the Reboot program as a 22, it seems that he is done for. To make it as a Reboot, the higher your number, the better your chances. But Callum isn't give up so easily.It never fails. Mention robots, dystopian, and / or post-apocalyptic something and I am all over it. Reboot is a prime example. Based on the premise, I HAD to read it.Reboot starts off really strong. I loved Wren right away. Her strength. Her differentness from most other female characters. Even when the romance started, Wren stayed pretty true to who she was from the beginning. Oh sure, there is a bit of a softening, but it wasn't like she changed into a completely different character just because of a boy. As for Callum, it was hard not to like him. A little goofy, to be sure, but a nice balance to Wren's seriousness.The only really issue I had with Reboot was the pacing. One moment, plot build up. The next action. Then details. Then more action. It had enough action and plot to keep me entertained, but some of the down moments were a little flat for me. However, by the end, which is a cliffhanger by the way, I was totally on board with this being a series.Final Verdict:There are parts of Reboot that I loved. Then, there are parts that I was bored. Combined, Reboot was a decent read that left me wanting more by the ending.Will I read the next installment:If the cliffhanger had not been set up as it was, I am not sure this would have been a series that I would have wanted the next installment to. While I did like the read, it wasn't one that I loved every moment of. So, yes, thanks to the cliffhanger, I think I will try the next one.

Arclight

Arclight - Josin L. McQuein Words cannot describe as amazing this one is! More to come.

Pivot Point

Pivot Point - There are books that you know that you are going to love, then there are books that you expect the worst from but totally take you by surprise. Pivot Point was definitely the latter.Addison Coleman is a searcher. A person who can look into the future to see what outcome a certain choice will bring. Should she go out with the cute boy from her class? By taking a quick peak into her future she can see what happens if she say yes. When Addie discovers that her parents are getting a divorce, Addie knows that deciding which parent to live with is not an easy choice, and knows that her talent will enable her to make the right decision.Pivot Point looked to be a contempory with the little twist. For the most part, it was. There is a definite emphasis on the kid's talents inside the Compound, and its backstory. However, if you are looking for a supernatural read, Pivot Point really doesn't deliver in that regard. Did the lack of supernatural elements throughout effect how I felt about Pivot Point? Yes, but in the best possible way. Instead of wondering about every little detail due to the talent defining Addie, I was able to focus more everything else: the other characters, the romance, the family dyamic.At its heart, there is so much depth to Pivot Point. I absolutely loved this read to pieces. Told through two different Addies, I guess you could say, it was really interesting to see how one decision can change you as a person. While Addie with her mom and Addie with her dad were basically the same Addie, but there were apparent differences between the two. But with both, I throughly enjoyed getting to see the depth of Addie's character. If I have had to make one complaint, it would be that it took me a while to figure out when Pivot Point had moved into the alternative futures. Just a hint: It tells you in the chapter titles.Final Verdict:Pivot Point hands down is probably the most surprising read for 2013. Going in, I thought I might like it, but definitely had some reservations. By the end of Pivot Point, I was an emotional wreck, and loved it so much I was ready to start reading it again. From a heart stopping romance to fantastic characters throughout, Pivot Point is one read you cannot ignore.Will I read the next installment?Although Pivot Point seems pretty straight forward, there is a bit of a promise for more with that ending. Personally, I like the ending the way it was, BUT really, really wanted to see what would happen next. I loved Pivot Point so much that I cannot imagine skipping the sequel or anything else that Kasie West comes up with. She has a reader for life in me.

The Ward

The Ward - The Ward was one of my most anticipated reads for 2013. Boy, did I want to read this one.From the very first page, I knew that there was something different about The Ward. Starting with its lush world, I though that The Ward would be a book that I wanted to curl up with and never let go. And at first, I did. But in the back of my mind, there was something off. Something that I was having a hard time putting my finger on. What it was exactly, I could not say. However, as the book continued, that nagging feeling that something wasn't right started to become more and more apparent.Despite how much I really had wanted to read and love The Ward, in a lot of ways, The Ward was divided read for me. The world. Some of the characters. The Blight. I loved all of that. But the descriptions and even some plot elements were off.To start off, Ren was a great character. I loved her drive and commitment to her sister (not biological) throughout the story. The Blight has effected Ren in a number of ways, she she keeps on fighting, keeping on surviving. Plus, she is a woman trying to make it in the man's world of drag racing. What was not to love. But her love life was another story. Personally, part of me wishes that there was not a romance at all. Or at least wish it could have been another character. I am not going to go into full details since it would ruin some key plot details, but let's just say, I wasn't a big fan.Final Verdict:There is a lot I really would love to go into detail about with this read, but for spoilers sake, I will just be vague. The overall concept for The Ward was great. The idea of the world being overrun by the Blight and all that it entails was really interesting. The romance and some details, especially concerning the drag racing, was a bit over my head. I didn't hate the romance per say, however, I didn't really care for it either. All in all, The Ward was a middle ground read for me. Parts I really liked. Parts that I wish either could have been done better, or changed a bit.Will I read the next installment?A firm maybe.

Also Known As

Also Known As - Robin Benway Cute and unexpected (in a good way).

Stung

Stung - Wow. Oh, wow. With so many post-apocalyptic books floating around, Stung looked on the surface to be just another book in the crowd. An interesting concept to be sure, but would it deliver? The answer: hell, yes!There is so much about Stung that I loved. So much so that I am have the worst time putting my thoughts into words.Let's start with the premise. In the future, the bee population has disappeared. No bees equals no food. No food equals chaos. To advert chaos, the world's best minds came up with a solution, genetically engineered bees. Only one problem, the virus.In our current society, bees populations declining makes the news every now and again. For the most part, I sit there and may be interested for a minute or two, then move on to something else. I know the importance of bees, so to have a dystopian read tackle the subject was really interesting. Do I think we could get as extreme as it does in Stung? Who knows, but whatever the future holds, Stung presents us with one very realistic possibility.Fiona was a really unique character, very Sleeping Beauty like. After awaking from a coma, Fiona is lost and alone. Thinking that she is thirteen, Fiona is scared to find all that she can initially remember changed. No parents or brother. The house is a wreak. Dust and debris everywhere. To make matters worse, there are tattooed creatures on the loose. These creatures add a lot of tension to Stung. A tension that I didn't think would be there. I loved that Stung kept me on the edge of my seat discovering more about these creatures and how everything was connected.Final Verdict:From the very beginning, I was captivated with Stung. Is the book pure perfection? No. I did have some issues with a plot twist or two, but overall, Stung blew me away with its creativity. I loved the almost fairy tale like quality of Stung, and being able to follow Fiona in her journey of self-discovery. All in all, Stung does what few reads can... instantly grab me.Will there be more?Throughout Stung, I thought it was a standalone. But with the twist ending, now I am not so sure. I have seen talks about a sequel / companion novel, so it looks like Stung may not be a standalone after all. Personally, that makes me really excited. I would love to jump back into this world and discover more.