Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona Andrews

Innkeeper Chronicles, Books 1-4 by Ilona AndrewsClean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by NYLA on December 2, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 225
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

I’ve been trying to work my way through Ilona Andrews’ backlist, and I picked this one up after finally giving in and DNFing the final The Edge novel. Let’s say I went in with somewhat lowered expectations, and I was so freaking happy to find that the humor and fantastic narrative voice I find so intrinsic to Ilona Andrews is present here.

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffAurora Rising by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Aurora Cycle #1
Published by Knopf BFYR on May 7, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 473
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Aurora Rising is excellent fun, and a good start to a new series by dream team Kristoff and Kaufman. If you liked The Illuminae Files, you definitely want to be reading this series as well, which has the same quality of writing, humor, plotting, and world building as the prior series. That said, it’s not quiiiiiite as good as Illuminae, but it’s pretty great and I have high hopes for the following books in the series.

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Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

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.

Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca SchaefferOnly Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer
Series: Market of Monsters #2
Published by HMH BFYR on September 3, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Dexter meets Victoria Schwab in this dark and compelling fantasy about a girl who seeks revenge on the boy who betrayed her, a sequel to the critically-acclaimed Not Even Bones.

After escaping her kidnappers and destroying the black market where she was held captive, all Nita wants is to find a way to live her life without looking over her shoulder. But with a video of her ability to self-heal all over the dark web, Nita knows she's still a prime target on the black market. There's only one way to keep herself safe. Nita must make herself so feared that no one would ever dare come after her again. And the best way to start building her reputation? Take her revenge on Fabricio, the boy who sold Nita to her kidnappers. But killing Fabricio is harder than Nita thought it would be, even with Kovit by her side. Now caught in a game of kill or be killed, Nita will do whatever it takes to win.

Not Even Bones was a surprise hit with me last year, gruesome and disgusting and 100% unputdownable. Much as I enjoyed it, I wasn’t sure how the sequel would hold up or even if I’d still enjoy it on reread. Answer: yes, I would enjoy it again on reread, because I very much did. Only Ashes Remain delivers exactly what was needed from a sequel to Not Even Bones. The stakes are higher, the morality is blacker, and the pacing is still fast as hell.

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July 2019: Month in Review

Once again, I’m late posting this, but, well, sometimes you feel like posting and sometimes you don’t. Apparently I can either run a blog regularly every day or I will neglect it for months at a time. Ah well.

Though I DID read a lot of books. Maybe that goes without saying, but…I did.

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Saving June by Hannah Harrington

I received this book for free from YA Books Central in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Saving June by Hannah HarringtonSaving June by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 1, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source: YA Books Central
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‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

One of my missions in 2019 has been to read more of the books that I own and get rid of the ones that aren’t for me or aren’t something I would want to reread. This goes book-in-hand with the mission to buy copies of my favorite books that I don’t yet own but that I haven’t had space for because phenomenal library powers but

My reading mission has been super successful in that I’ve stuck to it, gotten rid of a bunch of books, and bought several favorites from the last few years. It’s been unsuccessful in the sense that very few of the books have been good (for me). Saving June totally did not excite me, something I’ll blame that bummer of a cover for, but it turned out to be such a fantastic read, one that will continue to reside in my library.

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