Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Review & 6 Things you didn't know about The Diabolic universe by SJ Kincaid


The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: 1st November 2016
Pages: 416

Simon & Schuster Children's
ISBN 9781471148392 | 
November 2016
List Price
AU$ 19.99
NZ$ 22.99


The DiabolicSynopsis: A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. 

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
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Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid has the most uniquely wonderful premise which I was intrigued about instantly. I am pleased to be a part of the Simon and Schuster blog tour for this amazing title.

Diabolics are not human, they are creatures designed to be utterly ruthless and dedicated to only one individual, they are to serve as lifelong bodyguards, usually for the imperial families – they can’t feel empathy or kindness. Nemesis has been engineered to be strong, cold-blooded and deadly and to protect Sidonia Impyrean, the Senator von Impyrean’s daughter, Nemesis is to give her life for her should the need arise.

When the Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in an uprising, he summons her to the Chrysanthemum. The only way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia is to masquerade as her in a place filled with bloodthirsty and corrupt politicians, it was a true test of her deadly nature.

Nemesis was an interesting character, I didn’t know what to make of her initially but she really surprised me with her strength of character and the feelings that she showed. I came to really like her character growth, she wasn’t without flaws but because of her genetic makeup her behavior was expected.

We have a small amount of romance and I was pleased that it wasn’t at the forefront of the story. Tyrus Domitrian is a supposed madman of the ruling family, he is the nephew of the Emperor and will one day inherit the throne. But he has many secrets, I won’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers but his character surprised me.

The fast paced plot is filled with friendships, politics and how Nemesis fits into the diabolic world, she shows feelings that she isn’t meant to have. We see a lot of personal growth as the story progresses and I can’t help but wish that this was a series, I love the sci-fi world that Kincaid has created, it’s unique and very creative.

The world we come to know is captivating but also very brutal, Nemesis was kick butt but there were many scenes that were quite gory, there were quite a few deaths and admittedly some weren’t necessary.

Overall, The Diabolic is well-written, entertaining and engaging; I am definitely eager to read more books by SJ Kincaid. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for the opportunity to be a part of The Diabolic blog tour.



About the authorAbout the author

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.


6 Things You Didn’t Know About The Diabolic Universe

1)        I tried writing the universe of THE DIABOLIC from Tyrus's point of view first. I couldn't do it. I needed a break from writing from the viewpoint of boys after my INSIGNIA trilogy.

2)        Next, I took the basic idea of an I, CLAUDIUS YA and tried writing a humorous, reverse-THE SELECTION of sorts, where a mad Emperor is selecting his bride from among a number of girls and they are all desperate not to wed him. There was humor to be milked from the girls engaging in increasingly ludicrous ploys to seem more unattractive than each other, but I tired of it quickly and stopped writing it.

3)        Next, I tried writing the universe of THE DIABOLIC from Sidonia's point of view. It was in space, the tone was serious, but I couldn't get any traction. (There was no Nemesis in this version).

4)        THE DIABOLIC in its current form all sprang from one single page I don't even recall writing where Nemesis and Sidonia first meet. I kept coming back to that page, because something was there, yet I just didn't know what…

5)        Doubts plagued me the entire time I was writing THE DIABOLIC because I kept thinking my main character was too ruthless, too hard, too invulnerable for anyone to truly relate to her. This suspicion was reaffirmed when my first agent response was a rejection because Nemesis was too cold, the second a rejection because the very first chapter - and Nemesis's introduction - was too violent. Fortunately, I then connected with the best agent I could possibly hope for, and the rest was history.

6)        I finished this book, suspecting it would not sell.
            It sold in two days.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Review: Midnight Hour (Shadow Falls:After Dark #4) by C.C. Hunter

Midnight Hour (Shadow Falls: After Dark #4)Author: C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls
Pages: 416
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Release date: 25th October 2016

About the book:
Over one million readers have already fallen in love with CC Hunter’s Camp Shadow Falls between the Shadow Falls series and the After Dark series.  Now comes the conclusion of Hunter’s massive saga MIDNIGHT HOUR (St. Martin’s Griffin; October 25, 2016), a thrilling finale involving a missing sister, a heart in quandary, and a growing tattoo no one understands. Whether you are discovering Shadow Falls for the first time or have been following the series all along, this young adult novel will draw you into its otherworldly plot.

Being a dyslexic witch is a curse in itself, but Miranda Kane’s time at Shadow Falls has helped her harness her magical powers. Now, just as she’s finally mastered them and is preparing to graduate with her friends, a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

Miranda awakens in the hospital with a mysterious tattoo that no one can explain. As she struggles to make sense of it – and questions her feelings for a certain irresistible shape-shifter and a hot new guy – the strange markings begin to spread all over her body, leaving her desperate to find answers. But before she can solve that problem, a new one arises: her sister is missing. Has her sister been kidnapped? Miranda will risk her life to find out. Will she live to share the day she’s worked so hard for with her friends? When the clock strikes midnight, will Miranda make it to her graduation at Shadow Falls?

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

I think Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter might be my second 5 star rating all year! I am so sad to see the Shadow Falls: After Dark series come to an end, it’s been one of my favorite YA Paranormal series.

Midnight Hour is our favorite kind-hearted, lovable and at times ditzy witch Miranda Kane’s book, she has to go through many struggles in this but along with the other characters we have met throughout the series and their unwavering support she got through it all.

Miranda is having to contend with a few mysteries – an explosion that almost killed her and her sister Tabatha, a strange creature and ghost following her around, an odd tattoo that appears and disappears at will, new abilities, her conflicted feelings about Shawn and Perry and of course passing her exams so that she can go to college with her best friends Kylie and Della. A lot was fit into this book and I loved every moment of it.

There was so much happening which kept the pace flowing at a fast pace, I was excited to find out what was going to happen and I wasn’t disappointed, there was action aplenty.

The romance was done very well; I have always loved Miranda and Perry together so when she was ‘sort of’ with Shawn, despite him being great I wasn’t completely happy so I was eager to see how everything would play out; I won’t reveal who she chose to avoid spoilers but it was all done very well.

The secondary characters are all fabulous! I love the friendship that Miranda shares with Kylie and Della and the respect she shows for Burnett and Holiday. All of the characters play a pivotal role in the overall series.

I adore C.C. Hunter’s writing style, the dialogue, humour and the banter always keeps me amused. The gripping story-line kept me flipping the pages, of course we have the bad guys but they are all written to perfection and as an added bonus we get a few POV’s from Perry and also Shawn. Everything came together well and I was extremely satisfied by the conclusion.

I am saddened this series has come to an end but I am excited for what C.C. Hunter comes up with next! I’m sure it will be just as amazing.

Overall, I love the mix of paranormals we get in this series, vampires, witches, shape-shifters, fae etc. The mystery element is always done well and the characters are wonderful! I highly recommend this series to all YA paranomal fans. 


C.C. HunterAbout the author:

C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. 
www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com

Praise for the Shadow Falls series:
“Ms. Hunter handles this series with such deftness, crafting a wonderful tale. I highly recommend this series filled with darkness and light, hope and danger, friendship and romance.”
Night Owl Reviews (Top Pick) on the Shadow Falls series

“Jam-packed with action and romance . . . Hunter’s lifelike characters and paranormal creatures populate a plot that will keep you guessing till the very end.  A perfect mesh of mystery, thriller, and romance. Vampires, weres and fae, oh my!” —Romantic Times on the Shadow Falls series

“The newest in the super-popular teen paranormal genre, this book is one of the best.  This one is going on the keeper shelf!”
Fresh Fiction on the Shadow Falls series


Monday, 17 October 2016

Review: Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

Anti-StepbrotherAnti-Stepbrother

Author: Tijan
Series: -
Publisher: Allusion Graphics
Release date: 22nd August 2016
Pages: 321

Synopsis (Goodreads)

He told me to 'settle, girl.' 
He asked if 'something was wrong with me?' 
He said I was an ‘easy target.’ 
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks. 
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha. 

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother. 

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming. 

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

I had seen this book around the blogosphere and I was quite intrigued so when I hit a reading slump I downloaded it and devoured it in a short amount of time.

Our MC is Summer Stoltz, a college freshman who has been in love with her step-brother Kevin for years. When she goes off to the same college she thought things would be different between them but when she catches him in an awkward position she soon realises that her feelings are most certainly not reciprocated.

Summer was a great character, she was a little lost navigating college life initially and her pining after Kevin was a little frustrating but she was a kind, quirky character that I came to adore.

Summer literally runs in to Caden Banks, the anti-stepbrother and smexy as hell! Caden was an all-round nice guy, kind, caring and really sweet! I loved the way he looked out for and protected Summer, I also love the way they had a friendship first, they complimented each other well. His back-story was interesting and dealt with well.

Kevin on the other hand wasn’t a likeable character, his hot and cold frustrated me as did his attitude, and I couldn’t see the appeal at all.

There is a fair amount of drama In this book which I usually can’t stand at all but I didn’t mind this; we have unresolved family problems, a love that shouldn’t be and also one that should – there is heartache and pain but there are also sweet friendships, a blooming romance that was slow to build and a resolution that was believable and not instantaneous.

This was my first Tijan book and it won’t be my last, it was well written with an interesting storyline, I was initially hesitant because a step-brother possible romance isn’t for me but with a great cast of characters and an even pace with enough drama to keep things entertaining, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Review:The Dead Boyfriend by R.L Stine (Fear Street relaunch)

The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. StineThe Dead Boyfriend

Author: R.L Stine
Series: Fear Street relaunch
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Release date: 27th September 2016
Pages: 288

Synopsis (Goodreads)

R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong. 

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Colin, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Colin may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Colin. When Caitlin approaches Colin with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Colin is dead - and she has killed him. 

But if Colin is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party? 

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.
 

Review: 2 out of 5 stars (me) & 4 out of 5 stars (my son)

My son has recently started to read the R.L. Stine Goosebumps series which he has thoroughly enjoyed so we decided to do a read-a-long of this title but unfortunately it failed to wow and impress me, my son on the other hand thought that it was pretty awesome (his words).

A lot of the book is told in the synopsis so I won’t recap, we do get a lot of freaky moments, the typical mean girl, an unusual mystery and a freaky weird romance gone wrong!

The MC Caitlyn is crazy weird, she is unusual and impulsive as is gothic girl Deena Fear! The only normal characters seem to be Caitlyn’s best friends.

My son asked many questions as we were reading along and I was constantly shaking my head wondering WTF but thankfully Stine had answered the questions by the end of the book.
We also get a small twist but it was quite obvious and didn’t have us going oh wow as we have in the Goosebumps books. The ending though I felt was a  huge let down and definitely not what we expected but we really should know better after having read so many of Stine’s books.

I think this is a great book for a teen, my adult self couldn’t really get into it but my son enjoyed it immensely.

*ARC Provided by St Martin’s Press via NetGalley

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Review: Letting Go by Kate L. Mary

Letting GoLetting Go

Author: Kate L Mary
Series: -
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release date: 8th November 2016
Pages: 304

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Some people like a little chaos. Not Sarah. Growing up in a house of humiliating filth means she has three crystal-clear goals:

1. Get through college, however she can.
2. Keep her three-year-old sister away from her mom's hoarding.
3. Never, never let disorder take over her life.

Of course, studying, working, and taking care of a toddler mean Sarah has no time for fun. Until she meets Zac.

He’s sweet, he’s funny, they have compatible plans for the zombie apocalypse. But Sarah can’t let him in. It’s not just his three drooly, sloppy dogs—with him in her life, the pristine future she’s working for would be shredded before you can say 
Down, boy!

Sometimes falling in love is really all about letting go

Review: 2 ½ out of 5 stars

Thank you to Lyrical Shine via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Letting Go by Kate L. Mary.

I was initially intrigued by the premise of this book, it interested me but unfortunately the MC and the easy resolution at the end let it down for me.

Sarah’s mother has a problem, she is a hoarder and it made for a difficult childhood for Sarah and now her younger sister, it’s caused her embarrassment and pain so she left home at an early age and now lives with her best friend, trying to get through college, work part-time and be the primary caregiver for her sister.

When Sarah meets Zac, things start to look up but there is a problem; Zac’s life isn’t organised and she is extremely put off by his three dogs.

I found Sarah to be a judgmental, critical character; for someone her age she never really let loose and had any fun and when she did it was always a whingy negative; I couldn’t really take to her personality. Zac on the other hand was a fun, easy going character and was pretty wonderful in the way he was with Sarah; he had the patience of a saint. I suppose they complimented each other well but I wasn’t a fan of her negativity.

I couldn’t fault the authors writing style and she touched on some difficult situations, it was engaging and dealt with realistically. The pace was slow for me up until the ending where the resolution was sorted with little complication, I felt that it was too ‘easy’.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read but my feelings towards the MC let it down for me.


Kate L. MaryAbout the author: Award-winning author of WHEN WE WERE HUMAN and the Amazon best-selling BROKEN WORLD series, Kate L. Mary writes everything from post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to new adult contemporary romance. A mother of four and an Air Force wife, her days are divided between keeping her household in order and creating new worlds for readers to get lost in.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Review: Shadow of a Girl by Shannon Greenland

Shadow of a GirlShadow of a Girl

Author: Shannon Greenland
Series: -
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: 19th September 2016
Pages: 238

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Use cash and keep moving.

After I ran away from home, these were the two rules that dictated my life. Scoring a job as a roadie fit perfectly for what I needed. Traveling, cash, and life out of the spotlight. But when my path collides with West, the lead singer of Bus Stop, I can’t seem to stay out of his spotlight—especially since we’ll be touring together for an entire year.

West is determined to break down my walls. He won’t give up. And little by little they come crumbling. But if he knew what lurked behind them, he wouldn’t be so eager to get rid of them.

The more time we spend together, the more the lines of our friendship become blurred. He makes me dream of things I never thought possible. But while our friendship has been evolving into a romance, my secrets have been closing in. And just when I’ve decided to reveal my past to West, I’m confronted by it. The cost of my freedom could ruin the life of the guy I love...

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s going to be difficult to review this book without revealing too much.

Our MC, Eve has lived an interesting, yet abusive life and as the book progresses we find out just how hard things have been on her. With the help of her best friend, Eve runs away from her home and gets a job as a roadie for a band known as Bus Stop.

West is the lead singer of Bus Stop and an absolute delight of a character! I adored his patience, his kindness and the strength he showed with Eve; things weren’t always easy but the way he treated her melted my heart.

With books like this comes secrets and deceit, not always intentional but needed and along with it there is drama; I felt so sorry for Eve, my heart broke for her but her determination and courage was wonderful but we also saw her fear and her distress; as the book progresses you really see a positive change in her character, she went from strength to strength and this was thanks to her best friend and West.

We see slow development of romance between Eve and West, their lives couldn’t be more different but they interacted well and had a sweet friendship and eventual relationship that was filled with many mushy moments, you couldn’t help but hope for a happy ever after for them both.

Shannon Greenland’s writing is crisp and engaging, I was hooked on this wonderful book from the very first page, I wanted to know what was going on with Eve, who the mysterious person was that she was hiding from and why and of course what the outcome would be.

This book tugs at the heart strings, there is mention of abuse but there is also a lot of hope, it was an empowering read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you to Entangled Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Shadow of a Girl.

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Shannon GreenlandAbout the author

Shannon Greenland is the award winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the YA romance, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN. Her latest teen novel, SHADOW OF A GIRL, is due out 9.19.16. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her at www.shannongreenland.com