posted at Friday, March 11th, 2016 at 9:25 AM | Adult, Audiobook Reviews, Mini Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published by Viking Juvenile on March 8, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, Western
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Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.
I’m really pr0ud I managed to keep reading on this business trip. Partly, I’m totally indebted to the quality fiction I was reading, Rebel of the Sands being one of said books. Rebel of the Sands is one of those nigh unputdownable books, fast-paced in that way only achieved by always ending chapters at moments where you cannot wait to find out what happens next. I finished it on an airplane on Thursday night. It was dark and the little seat light was really not cutting it, so I was thinking I should switch to my iPad book, but, um, I just suffered and finished because there was no stopping.
Though Rebel of the Sands didn’t really hit that feelsy place for me, I really had a blast reading it. It hits that spot somewhere between crack fantasy and totally amazeballs, but I’d say it’s closer to the amazeballs. I’m really not sure what was missing for me to keep me from being emotionally engaged. It’s one of those times where I really like the ship but I just was not a frantic mess over it like I should have been. I really like the characters but they didn’t cross over into being my precious cinnamon rolls.
I do really love what Hamilton did with this world, though. The American West feel in a Middle Eastern setting did jar me for a while, but, once I got used to it, it really worked. Plus, the main characters are all non-white, and the love interest is a hot Asian with tats. Here for it. So very here. The fantasy elements are really cool too, though some of those aren’t revealed until later on so I won’t talk about that much.
Rebel of the Sands is a really cool story, for lovers of westerns and fantasy. I eagerly anticipate book two, and I hope the series gets me in the feels with that one.
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Act Like It by Lucy Parker
Published by Carina Press on November 30, 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham
Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.
Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?
Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.
Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?
I binge-read the shit out of Act Like It by Lucy Parker. This book IS totally Christina catnip. I mean, the ship is somewhere between Lizzy/Darcy and Beatrice/Benedick, and that’s exactly what the author was going for which hollaaaaaa. And then they have to have a fake relationship? YES YES CATNIP YES.
I mean, okay, Act Like It does not achieve the lofty ship flails of either of those series, and everything felt just ever so slightly off tone, but it was fun and it was close enough. I massively enjoyed reading it, and the ship made me happy, even if it wasn’t quite everything I wanted it to be. As it is, it still exceeds the general NA offerings and there is so much to love about it. For one thing, the heroine calls out slut-shaming on the regular, and I did really enjoy the Darcy/Lizzy pattern to their relationship with the more Beatrice/Benedick mouthiness attendant. Plus, there are tons of nerdy literary, musical theater, and general pop culture nerd jokes, which hello perfection.
Basically, those of you who want NA that is silliness and kissing without the OMG SUCH MELODRAMA ALL THE TIME business will enjoy the fluffiness of Act Like It. There’s a bit of tragic backstory, but Parker plays more for laughs than melodrama. Win.
No doubt I’ll be picking up Parker’s next book; this is just her debut, and I imagine they’ll get better from here.Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 15 hrs, 21 mins
Series: The Others #4
Published by Penguin Audio on March 8, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
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For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community...
Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.
But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…
Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that I’m totally obsessed with this series and that I’d been seriously anticipating Marked in Flesh. In my reread of the series, I noticed that my flailing waned with Vision in Silver, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. The problem continued through Marked in Flesh, and I’ve finally figured out what resulted in these two being so much less feelsy for me.
The first two books, Written in Red and Murder of Crows, focus almost entirely on the residents of the Lakeside courtyard, all of whom are momentously precious to me. I love them all, and I’m deeply invested in their lives. ESPECIALLY MEG AND SIMON AND HOW MUCH THEY NEED TO KISS. *ahem* However, the scale of the series has gotten much larger, expanding to cover events across the country. As such, more characters have been introduced and, in Marked in Flesh, a lot of time is spent with Jackson Wolfguard, Joe Wolfguard, and the intuit villages in their areas. It’s not that I don’t like these characters; I do. However, I do not love them with a fierceness, and I’m not as invested in them. I yearned for more of my beloved courtyard folk. Meg didn’t even really feel like the main character of this one; that’s how much the focus shifted off of Lakeside.
The good news is that the final book of the series is very likely going to shift mostly back to Lakeside, both because of how plot things went in this book—View Spoiler »a whoooooole lot of the folks in other places perished « Hide Spoiler—and Meg and Simon are going to need some more damn time okay. View Spoiler »The skinnydipping scene was amazing but I’m still so annoyed that there won’t be any real relationship stuff until book five. It better not wait until the very end I s2g. « Hide Spoiler
One really awesome thing to come out of Marked in Flesh, though, is that I have two new ships. I’m not sure if either one will actually happen or if Bishop intended me to ship them but ship them I do. I very much believe that Tess and Nyx need to have some incredibly hot lady sex; I ship it a lot, and, yes, please. Also, I can’t remember her name and I can’t look it up because audiobook, but the cop’s cousin needs to hook up with the vampire in Bennett. I sense chemistry here, okay. Even if I can’t remember either name two days after finishing the book.
This series is amazing, but, if you’re as obsessed with the folks of Lakeside as I am, you might be a wee bit disappointed in the middle books which put them on the back burner. It’s all for important plot reasons but I WANT MY BABIES.