Posts Categorized: Read in 2013

Early Review + Giveaway! Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton

January 15, 2013 Bonnie Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2013, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from a Giveaway, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review + Giveaway! Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi AshtonEverbound by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 22nd 2013
Pages: 358
Genres: Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Everneath

three-stars

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

Everneath series

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Neverfall (Everneath, #1.5)

Everneath (Everneath #1)
Neverfall (Everneath #1.5)

**Spoilers to follow for those of you who have not yet read Everneath!**

Everbound was quite the adventure! I wasn’t the hugest fan of the first installment was this one was fun, entertaining, and even a bit exciting. Everbound picks up where the last left off with Nikki desperately trying to come up with a plan to rescue Jack. Once she realizes that she requires Cole’s help for this to ever be possible, she also realizes she has to put more trust in him than she ever has before. He’s never given her a reason to trust him but she’s not left with much choice if she ever wants to see Jack again.

Over 100 of the first pages is wasted on Nikki and her planning on how to save Jack. I understand the need for developing but I can’t help but feel some of it could have been cut out because once the action really started, it was quite the interesting story. Everbound took bits from several mythological stories: Persephone and Hades (Greek), Orpheus and Eurydice (Greek), Inanna and her descent into the underworld (Sumerian), Daedalus’ labyrinth (Greek), and Dante’s Inferno (Italian). The entire plot of the story was heavily based on these myths and it was interesting to see how these myths were altered to suit the story.

Everbound put major focus on the development of Cole and Nikki’s relationship which continued building that love triangle that I knew was inevitably coming. Considering I was a bigger fan of Cole than Jack, this wasn’t too big of a gripe for me. It’s a sure bet readers will end up liking Cole a lot more as the story progresses, as he shows a noble and honest side to him that wasn’t evident previously.

This was an extremely close to a 4 star read for me… until the end. The ending really ruined any fun I had over the course of the previous 350+ pages and made me confused and irritable and other related adjectives. I know I will now have to read the final installment in the trilogy and hope that all the time I spent on this series ends up being worth it. As it stands right now though I’m not impressed and I’m crossing my fingers for a big finish at the very least.

Divider

Book Review – Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton

January 12, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2013, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi AshtonEverneath by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 24th 2012
Pages: 384
Genres: Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her friends—before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s...

“Remembering is easy. It’s forgetting that’s hard.”

Nikki wants to forget. She wants to forget that the man responsible for her mothers death has been set free. She wants to forget about the girl she saw walking out of her boyfriends dorm room. She just wants to forget and to stop hurting. And Cole is the answer to her problems because he’s an Everliving. She stays with Cole in the Everneath as his Forfeit. He Fed on her energy for 100 years before she was empty and he was fully satisfied, but she didn’t die. She was able to Return to the living and her life and say the final goodbyes she wasn’t able to say the first time before she has to return to the Everneath for good.

I must say I was completely intrigued by the mythology aspects of this book and was the big reason I finally read this (well that and I ended up with an ARC of Everbound). But there was quite a difference between this and the original Hades and Persephone myth. There were also bits of Egyptian hieroglyphics/mythology that were thrown in which didn’t appear to have much connection to the original story and didn’t make much sense period. But I found the storyline to be strikingly similar to the Matrix. Weird statement, I know, but hear me out.

“After the Feed, the Forfeits are used to power the Everneath. They supply thew hole place with energy. Cole calls it a battery. One little cog in a giant generator.”

Human beings are harvested for their heat and small amount of electricity they produce which is then used to power the Matrix. With the Everneath, it seems as if emotions are harvested for energy but both concepts struck me as eerily similar. Especially since ultimately humans are being used as a power source.

The beginning of the story had a bit of a rough start. The Everneath and the entire Feeding process was poorly explained and left a lot of questions. But my big issue was the fact that Nikki reappears after being gone for 6 months (even though 100 years passed in the Everneath) but everyone brushes it off as her having simply ran away. From what knowledge we’re given about her character she was a good kid that didn’t act out or get into a lot of trouble but everyone is under the assumption that she had ran off and ended up going into rehab. And her father didn’t appear shocked at all and there was no reference to him even looking for her. Considering her father is the Mayor I would have expected there would’ve been a bit more attention given to her disappearance.

Nikki’s whole reason for returning was to give her loved ones a proper goodbye but once she does she barely talks to anyone and acts like she wants nothing to do with Jack especially. She only had a certain amount of time before she had to return and she was wasting it. It really made me wonder why she went back at all. That whole bit didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Again, her whole reason for Returning was to say goodbye. She didn’t have any flicker of hope that she would be able to remain on earth, but as soon as she did she began to frantically come up with a plan. She decided to involve Jack on everything she had been through and his complete acceptance of everything including the bits about Cole feeding off her for 100 years was so completely unrealistic it was ridiculous. To use another Matrix reference, even Neo lost his shit and puked all over the place when he found the gruesome truth and he was a straight badass.

I must say though, despite the major issues I may have had with this novel, for some reason it still ended up being a super entertaining read. There wasn’t any instalove or even very much of a love triangle, although there are two male love interests. I have a feeling though that there’s more potential for a love triangle developing in future installments. The super fantastic ending wasn’t that super fantastic, however, it did manage to tug at my heart strings a bit. I’ll still be continuing this series despite my low rating because I feel that it still holds some potential. *fingers crossed*

Divider

Early Review – The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

January 11, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2013, YA 27 Comments

I received this book free from a Giveaway, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Madman’s Daughter by Megan ShepherdThe Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 29th 2013
Pages: 432
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Gothic, Horror
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

‘Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn’t bother me. I was my father’s daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things.’

I feel the need to start off by saying I didn’t dislike this book but obviously considering my rating I have some explaining to do. There was creepiness, there was a decent story line, but the pacing was so incredibly slow that it had an adverse effect on my overall opinion on this gothic retelling.

Let me tell you guys, the beginning of this story had so much creepy going on it was amazing. I remember starting this book, finishing the first couple of chapters, stopping for a second and saying to myself, “This is going to be so awesome.” Juliet seemed to be a very promising main character and I couldn’t wait to hear her story. But the gothic thriller aspect seemed to be put on the back burner and definitely became less of a focus. What did it end up focusing on? Romance, of course.

There was so much emphasis put on the romance and her being torn between two men, her swooning and constant need to fan herself that I would go so far as to consider this ‘historical-romance-lite’. If not for the creepy and exceptionally gruesome bits in this story I don’t believe I would have finished this. As it was though, the romance didn’t feel fitting in this type of story, like an irregular puzzle piece.

I had been forewarned that the middle dawdled but that the ending was a big shocker so that gave me hope. The pacing was definitely off for the vast majority of the middle portion and didn’t actually start picking up until almost the very end of the book. The big reveal happened and it was definitely the most interesting aspect of the entire story but it happened a little too late for me. There wasn’t a slow build-up to the grand finale which would have made this immensely better. Instead we received a storyline that plodded along, lacking in intensity, never quite gaining enough steam, and then we’re hit with the big ending. The middle section certainly required something more for me to still be invested enough in the story to be excited for when the big conclusion finally did happen.

Oh, and there’s a cliffhanger. Naturally. I think my response to that final page was something along the lines of, “Dude. For real?” Considering I was more than a bit bored through the majority of this story I was at least hoping we’d get some answers. I had still considered giving #2 a shot since sometimes it takes the first book to build the story (in a series) and book 2 is where we can finally get to the meat of the story. But my understanding was that this was a retelling of the Island of Dr. Moreau, however, the summary for book 2 states it was written: with inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE’ and I’m not sure I feel about the mixing of multiple retellings.

Divider

Early Review – Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1) by T.J. Brown

January 10, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 2 Comments

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

Early Review – Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1) by T.J. BrownSummerset Abbey by T.J. Brown
Series: Summerset Abbey #1
Published by Gallery Books on January 15th 2013
Pages: 322
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Reminiscent of Downton Abbey, this first novel in a new series follows two sisters and their maid as they are suddenly separated by the rigid class divisions within a sprawling aristocratic estate and thrust into an uncertain world on the brink of WWI...

Rowena and Victoria, daughters to the third son of the Earl of Summerset, have always treated their housekeeper’s daughter, Prudence, like a sister. But when their father dies and they move in with their uncle’s family in a much stricter household, Prudence is relegated to the downstairs maids’ quarters, much to the girls’ shock and dismay. The impending war offers each girl hope for a more modern future, but the ever-present specter of class expectations makes it difficult for Prudence to maintain a foot in both worlds.

Vividly evoking both time and place and filled with authentic dialogue and richly detailed atmosphere, Summerset Abbey is a charming and timeless historical debut.

Rowena and Victoria, daughters to the third son of the Earl of Summerset, have always treated their housekeeper’s daughter, Prudence, like a sister. But when their father dies and they move in with their uncle’s family in a much stricter household, Prudence is relegated to the downstairs maids’ quarters, much to the girls’ shock and dismay. The impending war offers each girl hope for a more modern future, but the ever-present specter of class expectations makes it difficult for Prudence to maintain a foot in both worlds.

Vividly evoking both time and place and filled with authentic dialogue and richly detailed atmosphere, Summerset Abbey is a charming and timeless historical debut.

The year is 1913 and Sir Philip Buxton has passed leaving his two daughters all alone. Placed into the care of their Uncle until the time they decide to marry, their life becomes upended when they are moved from their home to Summerset Abbey. Victoria and Rowena are also separated from their friend Prudence. Prudence was raised alongside the girls their entire lives and they are all three as close as sisters can be. Their Uncle won’t stand for this continued treatment though as Prudence is a governess’s daughter by birth. The question remains why would Sir Philip raise her as his own to begin with?

The big hook for me that got me interested in reading this book was the comparison to Downton Abbey. I am a sucker for anything Downton Abbey and love historical fiction in general so I anticipated liking this immensely While I did enjoy this, I found there to be one huge difference between the two. In Downton Abbey everything is glamorous and you find yourself so envious of the people and this beautiful time period they live in. In Summerset Abbey I found myself feeling rather sorry for these girls and the things they were obligated to do based on customs. I rather think though that Summerset Abbey gives a more accurate interpretation of that time period as it likely wasn’t truly as exotic as it seems on television. For this reason I think many won’t appreciate this as much because, like me, I can’t help but love the glamorous façade.

The writing was entertaining but there were several times where additional descriptive details had been added that felt unnecessary and would have been better omitted. The mystery bit of the whole story could have been done much better as well. Nonetheless entertaining, I still felt I had the mystery solved weeks before these girls did. Considering this is a start of a new series, Summerset Abbey left off at a rather awkward point but definitely leaves you highly anticipating the next installment.

Divider