Colliding Skies by Debbie Zaken

teitterbanner

It may be unwise to chase a starlight, but I’ll gladly take the risk to continue chasing one with Skye!

4,5 ⭐️

Colliding Skies has all the fun elements of a YA sci-fi romance with coming of age, adventure, advanced technology, invasion by aliens and of course the girl-meets-boy scenario. The getting to know someone and falling in love part is one of my favorite sequences of YA and romance novels, and Debbie Zaken does a very good job of describing that chemistry between her main character Skye and her two suitors. It’s interesting how the characters twist and turn within their perspectives. Each reacting on events in their own way and having to navigate the consequences of their choices.

I thought the overall pacing was good and the storyline believable within its premises with a good balance between light and heavy topics. What happens if an alien race, or any group of people, were to insinuate itself with your government and proclaim only good intentions? Do you welcome them or question their motives?

CS - DZ - Final front cover

Read the synopsis here: Goodreads

Get your copy here: Amazon or Bookdepository

Once A Soldier by Mary Jo Putney (ARC)

This is one of my guilty pleasures… Romance novels. Because who doesn’t like some steamy storyline once in a while? It’s a pretty undemanding genre that allows for some shifty timelines and cheeky sappy dialogue. Perfect reads for both warm summer days and cold winter nights.

I read all manner of romance, but my favorite are the ones that are stamped mystery/paranormal/crime/thriller/fantasy/sci-fi (well, you get my point) as they most often have a story built around the relationship(s) that intrigues me and keeps me on my toes but still give me steamy scenes and that tingly lovey-dovey feel. Nora Roberts is one author who does this combination beautifully. Now I’ve found another author who does this really well.

Once a Soldier is a historical romance (bonus points) that takes place at the end of Napoleons reign. Will Masterson take one last mission before he intends to retire from the war to manage his estate and title. A mission that takes him to the little mountain kingdom of San Gabriel where he meets Athena Markham, the foreigner who acts as a governess to the princess of said kingdom. Together they must find a way to keep San Gabriel’s enemies from invading, whilst also coming to terms with their mutual attraction.

I received this copy from the publisher (Kensington Books) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. To see the pretty cover for this book, check it out on Goodreads or Amazon.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (ARC)

IMG_20160606_104347

This wasn’t a book that made me feel highly excitable, where I was left feeling like the story was almost going too fast for me to keep up. This was a steady influx of tense adrenaline in the pit of my stomach. You know the feeling, the feeling of wondering when the other shoe will drop and there’s bound to be trouble afoot. Don’t mistake my description for a dull read, because believe me when I say that there’s plenty of action in this story. It’s the way it’s told that make you feel all anticipatory. There’s a sense of danger through the whole thing and the characters are well cemented to further strengthen it all. They are well thought through and oh so clever. I loved the whole thing from start to finish, though I do warn you of the prologue. It can seem a little dry, but you’ll need that backdrop to get familiar with the world of the Great Library. It’s worth every word of academic style dryness, as it gives you an overall perspective for when you meet the main character Jess and the other players in this story.

This is a different setting than Caine’s other books but her storytelling is as good as her Weather Warden series. It pulls you in and stays with you during the day when not reading. You’ll not be sorry to pick this up!

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market dealer who specializes in acquiring and selling books in a world where books have been outlawed for the safety of both the humankind and the books themselves.

It’s about a world obsessed with words, with books, with knowledge. It’s a world where these things are strictly controlled by an organization named the Library who believes that the wrong kind of information can corrupt the denizens of the world and that humans thus need to be protected against themselves. Though no one may own a real book, it’s thought of as a sin to deprive the masses of the wisdom of the written word and so when the discovery of alchemy produced the mirrored tablet, the Library enabled everyone, even the lowest of the low, to have access to all the great (approved) works that’s ever been written. It’s a time of enlightenment where everyone can read and write, and to be chosen by the Library to preserve and protect the written word is an honor and a privilege.

For Jess, this means a life of constant danger. As his father’s son he’s meant to spy for the family business of black market dealings and no things are as valuable as original books in a world where they are the rarest item out there. And the best and worst place to acquire these rare books? The Library’s HQ of course, in Alexandria.

I’m really looking forward to read about how Jess and his friends fare in the next installment of the Great Library series, Paper and Fire. 🙂

I received this copy from the publisher (Berkley Publishing Group) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. To see the beautiful cover for this book, check it out on Goodreads or Amazon. It’s amazing!

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

DSC_5768-01

First of all, Maggie Stiefvater nailed it with this series. I love Blue, Gansey, Adam and Ronan to pieces. Henry was a surprise and I really liked that he got a bigger part in their final story. I loved the creepy goosebumps-inducing name and the insight of their Enemy. Let’s just stamp the whole thing with a I LOVED THIS and move on shall we?

The only thing I can think of that might have brought it down a notch in the Raven King, for me, was this: I liked the way that she built up the storyline by inviting other perspectives, BUT it was also a bit confusing at times. One, two or three of the “new” characters (that until now has been a peripheral influence at best) were to me a bit confusing when they were introduced in a couple of chapters like they were the main characters to this story. Or that the characters themselves at least thought so. Not a big deal to be sure, but it left me a bit unbalanced and wondering if I’ve missed something in the earlier storyline. Are there bits of the story that I’ve forgotten from the previous books or are there novellas I haven’t read yet?

Anyway, overall this book (this series really) was awesome. Such a great adventure!

If you haven’t read this series yet, I really recommend that you read them in order as the Raven King is the conclusion to the Raven Cycle. The first book is called The Raven Boys and it’s there that you’ll first meet our dynamic group of main characters.

Blue lives with her mom and family at 300 Fox Way, a house filled with psychic women. For sixteen years she’s been told that she will kill her true love by a kiss. The longest standing prediction in 300 Fox Way. So when Blue, who has no psychic powers herself other than being an amplifier for such gifts, sees a spirit of a boy on the corpse road for the first time – there can only be one explanation. Either he’s her true love or she’s killed him. Or rather she will, within a year.

As fate would have it, she meets this boy named Gansey shortly after her vision of him on the corpse road. Even though she can’t imagine falling in love with Gansey, she’s determined to find out the truth and to prevent his death. So when she gets the chance to be involved in his search for the legendary king Glendower alongside his two friends Adam and Ronan, she takes it.

Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond (ARC)

I haven’t read that many books with a circus as a backdrop and having read this I don’t understand why, because this book was entertainment of the highest trapeze. Suspenseful with a hint of darkness, but an easy read and quite lovely all together. I loved every minute of this!

It’s about a girl named Moira who dreams of becoming a great magician, performing intricate showy illusions in Las Vegas like her father. There’s one small hitch though. Her father is not keen on the idea of his beloved daughter following in his footsteps, in fact, he won’t even give her a chance to show her skills and shuts her down every time she tries. So, when an invitation to the great Cirque American lands by her feet by accident she takes her chance and who could blame her?

The Miraculous Moira gets a shot at her dream. Little does she know there might be a reason her father was so adamant about keeping her away from magic all these years. Any magic at all…

This book is a stand-alone, though technically Girl in the Shadows is the second book set in this world. The first book published was Girl on a Wire. In retrospect I would have read Girl on a Wire first, because this story’s somewhat based on the first one and both revolve around the same artefact. It made me very curious about Jules, Remy and Dita from Girl on a Wire who Moira befriends upon arriving to the Cirque American, and their adventure.

BUT! This does not diminish Girl in the Shadows at all! So, if you have a chance to read Girl in the Shadows? Take it! 🙂

I received this copy from the publisher (Amazon Skyscape) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. To see the beautiful cover for this book, check it out on Goodreads or Amazon. It’s gorgeous!