novella

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Description:

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

My Rating:  5/5

Wow… just… wow!  And to think these are only the novellas!
I feel a little sorry for anyone who wasn’t able to start off with this in the series (which, obviously, I chose to and not fro).  Not that it’s a terrible thing to read it by release date, I just can’t imagine you’ll have the same mind blowing experiences I had!  Reading it later on and not FIRST will definitely spoil a lot of great events.  Still readable though.

If this is just a glimpse of what’s to come, I can’t wait.  I’ve already jumped in to Throne of Glass.  So far, these books are living up to the hype!

The love for books Celaena has is all too relatable:

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I really hope in the future we run in to Ansel again.  I really adored the relationship her and Celaena had!  Of course you can imagine I was crushed when she was betrayed (in her own friendly kind of way) but at the same time, like Celaena, I can’t put that arrow through her neck.  I’m rooting for you Ansel!  Turn your life around and do the right thing!  ILOVEYOU!!!!

On to Mr. Sammy Sam Sam.  I didn’t really quite get him at first.  I could easily put him off to the side.  He did nothing for me… but as his relationship with Celaena grew, my relationship with him grew as well and I am in UTTER shock at what happened to him.  I won’t give away spoilers for those who haven’t read this series yet because it is a good one to not know about.  As sad as I was for this, thank you Sarah, for not being a baby and doing what you did.  Respect.

This book was interesting in the fact that it was an upward slope to jaw dropping greatness!  Just when you think you read the best novella out of the book, the next one greets you with a slap across the face saying, “NO BITCH, IT GETS BETTER STILL!”
And do I need to point out the cover?  SWOOOOOON!!

Please please please, if you have not started this series and are wondering whether or not to start with The Assassin’s Blade, do yourself a favor – START HERE!

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Waking The Dead by L. Sydney Fisher

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Book Description:

In the Spring of 1867, Henry Lynch was tormented by something so evil it killed him. Now over one hundred years later, Natalie Bradford finds herself battling the very same demon that haunted Henry Lynch on the property that she now calls home. Terror awaits as Natalie discovers the property’s tragic past. The 150-year old cabin holds the truth behind the hauntings, and as Natalie uncovers the past she exposes a terrifying family secret that has been guarded for over a century. Natalie struggles against forces greater than herself until she summons the help of Clara Adams, a natural healer and medium who performs a cleansing ritual to clear the land. Natalie has become a conduit for paranormal activity. During a final showdown with the demon, the truth behind the hauntings is revealed. Inspired by true events, Waking the Dead is the second part in the series, The Haunting of Natalie Bradford. Remember, denial can be deadly. What is haunting you?

My Rating:  1/5 (heck, it’s my blog – 0/5)

Before I get to my review, I would like to start off by saying that I received this book for free as a giveaway winner via Goodreads.com (sponsored by the author/publisher/other individual or entity) and by no means does this impact my review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  And with that, I thank you!

When I received this book, I was surprised to find out that it was the 2nd book in a series.  Usually I won’t enter giveaways if they don’t include the 1st book nor if I have no intentions of reading it.  I think I see where I got confused, because the book description doesn’t make it sound like a series, so I took a leap of faith and assumed I could read this book without having to read the first one (because although I was interested in reading this, I am not drawn in enough to want to read a book prior to this one unless I have to).  The beginning of the book was a little confusing.  It jumped around a bit from one person’s encounter to another.  When it introduced Anna and Timmy, it didn’t specify their age group.  I think by the 3rd (?) chapter in, they finally mentioned Anna being 9 yrs old and being younger than Timmy (never found out how old Timmy actually was).  I was definitely confused at who was older so for a wee bit, I pictured Anna as being the older one. Either way, WHY DOES TIMMY HAVE A MACHETE?!  I don’t care how tall the grass is, if I had kids, they would not be carrying around machetes!  Also, I feel like this book jumped WAY too fast into random sounds and shadows in the night.  I get they just left Lindenwood but any self respecting ghost/entity story still has a build up moving into a new home.  Assuming Lindenwood was from the first book, why are they all still skeptical about “ghosts” and what not if they have already encountered this sort of thing in the first house?  I’m so confused…… and this was only 30 pages in.  I really don’t like when the story is being told from the children’s POV, that 90% of the time, when they are referencing their mother, they use her name Natalie.  They don’t call their mother Natalie, so it does get confusing.  Also, there’s a lack of time definition.  There’s mention of it being night and day so one can assume a couple days have passed but then a few pages later, it mentioned something about a few weeks time span.  But when did that happen?  I’m not sure how to describe it but one second I’m reading about a few days and then I felt like it time traveled to the future (without my knowledge) and now they’re talking about the weeks past to when they first moved in to this house.  What what?!  Where did the time go??  And why did Natalie freak out when Timmy mentioned playing with the Ouija board?  The “spirit(s)” were there prior to him playing, so why did she act like it was his fault?  This lady doesn’t sound like a very good mother.

I feel like there was no passion or even a thought put in to this book.  I feel like this was written for the sake of saying, “Hey look, I wrote a book!”  There was no story telling.  I was left confused.  It’s a puzzle with missing pieces.  I need more pieces!!  The beginning was confusing (actually the whole book was because of the poor writing), the ending was so dull; boring.  I read this as quickly as possible just to be done with it.  Thank goodness it was only 152 pages (154 since they counted a “Don’t Miss This” page and a picture of the author), which also makes me question why on Goodreads it’s listed as 254.  Either it’s a typo or book 1 was only 100 pages.

All in all, I won’t be picking this book up again or picking up any other part in the series… or anything from this author.  Ever.

**SIDE NOTE:  This was one of the first reviews I ever put up on Goodreads and was immediately attacked by the author.  The problem was resolved, GR had my back and it did end.  I was completely appalled by the lack of professionalism from this “author.”  Not every person is going to read your work and like it.  Harsh or not, I will always be honest and feel that no one should ever have that right taken away from them.  If you can’t take criticism on BOTH good and bad ends, then I suggest not going in to a profession where you put yourself out there for just that.  This happened several months ago so I won’t drag this out, I would just like it to be aware.  I would not recommend this book to ANYONE at this point cause god forbid you dislike any of her work and say you do, you might get called “rude” and a “liar” among some other things.  This book is going to the garbage or I’m turning it in to a craft, but I’m not even sure it’s worthy of that.

Have any of you reviewers been victim of an attack based on a negative review?  I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Reading!  xo

2015 November Bookhaul

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I literally bought 0 books this month and somehow I still acquired a decent amount.  Unfortunately, most of them were ebooks which sucks because I really dislike reading ebooks (although I’m still grateful) so it’s gonna be hard getting through some of them and I might end up pushing them to the side for a bit for that reason alone 😦

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 10
Total Spent: $0

Thanks to LibraryThing & The People Hosting The Giveaways FREE
1.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1 & 2 by Antara Mann; ebook
2.)  The Brazen Blade by Billy Wong; ebook
3.)  Flames of Auriel (Not Shown) by Erin Bedford; ebook
4.)  World of Shawn by Jordan M Ehrlich; ebook
5.)  The Wish Thief by CD Verhoff; ebook

Thanks to the author FREE
1.)  Mystical by Michael Weekly; ebook

Physical BooksFREE
1.)  Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz; paperback; thanks to Random House
2.)  After Alice by Gregory Maguire; signed hardcover; thanks to Shelf Awareness
3.)  Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis; hardcover; thanks to Crown Publishing
4.)  The Truth by Jeffery W. Johnston; paperback; thanks to Sourcebooks

+5 Romance Novels – these won’t be included in the total. I get these from work but I do not keep them, instead, I pass them on to my momma to read because she loves romance novels – and I do not… *shudder*

2015 November Wrap Up

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Total Books = 4
Average Rating = 4

Uuuuuberrrrr slow month for reading.  Between the holidays and work and other lifey things there just wasn’t as much time as I normally have to devote to this wonderful world *le sigh*

With that being said, here’s my sad, little finished reads for the month of November:

1.)  Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 5/5
2.)  Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 4/5
3.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1 by Antara Mann – 5/5
4.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 2 by Antara Mann – 3/5

Hope you guys who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1&2 By Antara Mann

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*I’m combining my reviews for Episodes 1 & 2 because Episode 1 was so short, it would be silly to make it stand on it’s own*

Book Description Ep. 1:

A genie’s life is full of wishes – the wishes of those who own him, that is.

When his owner, the powerful yet ugly witch Ezemelda, is called to celebrate the coming-of-age of King Nruk’s daughter, her prophesy of the princess’ future goes against everything Nruk desires. Promising a special spell to reverse the curse on the princess and change her future, but won’t cost him a cent, Ezemelda has more than the future of the kingdom in mind.

What’s the cost of signing a contract with a witch?
And, what does it mean for the genie of the lamp?

Book Description Ep. 2:

Ever since the witch Ezemalda and the Genie escaped him, the Dark Prince has plotted his revenge. Now it comes in the guise of the mortal countess Sybil van Dyk. After selling her soul to the the Dark Prince, she seeks to reverse her enchantment at the magic workshop of the Genie and the witch. As they work to set the countess free, the Genie and Ezemalda embark on a new adventure in their battle with the Dark Side, not suspecting what signing a contract with the Dark Prince on new moon portends.

**I would like to start off by saying I received both copies of The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1&2 for free via a LibraryThing member giveaway in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

My Rating Ep. 1:  5/5

This novella was crazy fun and fast read (only 25 pages)!  It reminded me so much of old fairy tales having involved creatures from witches, dwarves, goblins, genies and more to involving concepts such as dark and light – so many ingredients make for a fantastic recipe!

But with that being said, it had a nuisance that I can’t ignore: the main character’s name –  Ezemalda.  This reminds me way too much of Ezmerelda so every time I read Ezemalda, I had to correct myself because I always read it as Ezmerelda.  Ezemalda sticks to the tongue.  Too much work for a main character’s name.

Other than that, very entertaining – was excited to read the next episode!

My Rating Ep. 2:  3/5

This book started with promise and completely lost it’s way which really bummed me out.  I will not be continuing on to the third episode at all.

Let’s start off on a good note, as always:

I adored the repository!  I wish I could find books in a bookstore by calling out keywords and having books just fly to me.. that would be glooorious ❤

The little drunk owl, I’m dying  – so funny

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This episode had a nice twist to it though, involving the moon clause.  Nooooo!  I felt so bad haha but I won’t ruin it for any one who’s interested in reading this.

And that’s about it for the pleasantries.  Here’s where we start the decline to the depths of book hell:

The details – they weren’t much.  I really wish there were more as far as drawing out the environments for the readers!  I totally bet this author could construct gorgeous landscapes and creatures if she just took a little more time to describe things instead of throwing us from one room to the next without any transition or mere description such as “cellar” or “bedroom.”  The reader’s aren’t given much to envision so good luck and start getting creative guys!

Another HUGE irk in mah birk is the Harry Potter like reference.  If you’ve read this you KNOW what I’m talking about.  The “You-Know-Who” that people are too afraid to say and the one person who sees that as giving him power so refuses to use “You-Know-Who…”  come on now…

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But we’re still not at the point where I’m ready to throw in the towel.  At this point, I was still very interested in continuing on to the 3rd episode.  The thing that completely made me throw in the towel and make me feel like I wasted my time on yet another poorly written ARC/Giveaway was the sexual ending.  DAFUQ DID THAT COME FROM?!  Now, I’m no prude by any means but 1.) this came out of absolutely frickin no where and 2.) rape is just crossing the line for me.

But gaiz, the 3rd book doesn’t redeem itself by any means.  I read the synopsis, because up until this weird turn of events, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but the 3rd book is all about some passionate love making and the genie becoming a hardcore rapist… that’s where I end this train.  It’s one thing to be sexual but I picked a fantasy book not a fetish romance… I don’t want anything to do with rape, thanks.

And just so you don’t think I’ve completely lost it, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads for Episode 3:

NEVER BEFORE HAS PASSION BEEN MORE DANGEROUS.

Furious that once again the Genie and the witch Ezemalda escaped his clutches, the Dark Prince enlists the help of Lilith, the dark queen of sexual magic in his quest for revenge. Tricking them with a drink, Lilith bewitches Ezemalda and the Genie with obsessive sexual dreams. The Dark Queen’s plan backfires when Ezemalda comes up with an antidote, but she will not be stopped and implants a dangerous idea in all the kingdom’s subjects. With everyone around them now convinced that the Genie commits terrible acts against women, even rapes them, he and Ezemalda have to find a new way to stand against the dark forces and clear their names.

**DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE NOVELLAS/STORIES/BOOKS**

The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin

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Book Description:

In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.

My Rating: 4/5

Beautifully done! There’s not much to say about this short story. The illustrations are gorgeous, the story is lightly impactful. I would have devoured this when I was younger. This is a great fast read for adults as well. I read this to break from my “series” binge before I dive into finishing off another and it was perfect for that. Definitely recommend it to children as well as adults who are either fans of George R. R. Martin (because there are definitely pieces of him in here that you may already know and love) or fans of fantasy!