Active Memory (Mirador #3) By: Dan Wells | Review & Giveaway

book cover active memory
Active Memory (Mirador #3)
By: Dan Wells
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Rating: 4 stars
Release: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Balzer & Bay
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Synopsis:
From Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, comes the third and final book in the dark, pulse-pounding, sci-fi neo-noir series that began with the acclaimed novel Bluescreen.

For all the mysteries teen hacker Marisa Carneseca has solved, there has been one that has always eluded her: the truth behind the car accident in which she lost her arm and a mob boss’ wife, Zenaida de Maldonado, lost her life. Even in a world where technology exists to connect everyone’s mind to one another, it would seem that some secrets can still remain hidden.

Those secrets rise violently to the surface, however, when Zenaida de Maldonado’s freshly severed hand shows up at the scene of a gangland shooting. If Zenaida is—or was—still alive, it means there’s even more about Marisa’s past that she doesn’t know. And when she and her friends start digging, they uncover a conspiracy that runs from the slums of Los Angeles to the very top of the world’s most powerful genetic engineering firm. If Mari wants the truth, she’s going to have to go through genetically enhanced agents, irritatingly attractive mob scions, and some bad relationships to get it.

Dan Wells’s widely acclaimed series continues with his most shocking, pulse-pounding, and visionary story yet

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect By: Lissa Reed | Book Review, Q&A (+Giveaway)

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect (Sucre Coeur Series #3)
By: Lissa Reed
Genre: M/M Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary Fiction, Rom/Com Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: August 3, 2017
Publisher: Duet Books/ Interlude Press
Received an ARC copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

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Soul Blade (The Sword Of Light Trilogy #3) by: Aaron Hodges | Audiobook Review

Soul Blade (The Sword Of Light Book #3)
Narrator(s):David Stifel
Unabridged Audiobook: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Magic, YA Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology
Release Date: December 5, 2016
I Graciously Received A Copy Of This Book In Exchange For An Honest Review

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:
The Three Nations are crumbling. Darkness is gathering. Only one remains to stand against it. Eric stumbles through the wilderness, searching, hunting – desperate for  sign of his sister. But the girl is gone, stolen away by the power of  the Soul Blade. With each passing hour its hold on her tightens, her spirit fading before the onslaught of its magic.

If he cannot save her soon, it will claim her soul. And he will have to kill her.

Meanwhile, Gabriel is lost in the darkness. It is his whole world now, its presence absolute, suffocating. Time, hope, sanity, all have long since slipped beneath the waves of his despair. Only it remains – the  unrelenting voice of the demon. It haunts the darkness, mocking him with false promises of freedom.

How long can he resist its call?

Audiobook Review

Having the world and all the heroes pitted in such a thick cloud of darkness and doubt for the final chapter of this trilogy made this audiobook really enjoyable. Characters/heroes are only as good as how they react under such disparaging circumstances. I found that Eric’s character really seemed to come full circle in this last book as he and Anala find their way back to each other and the rest of their group while doing all that they can to learn to control the strength and weakness within their magic.

Though I was still not a fan of Eric and Inka’s relationship (that has always felt more like a siblings/close friend relationship) I do contribute a lot of his character growth to the support she’s given him throughout this series. With high fantasy/adventure stories like The Sword Of Light Trilogy I think it can be hard to really immerse yourself within these stories if the narrator does not bring a sense of animation and layer personality to the story.

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Certainly, Possibly, You By: Lissa Reed Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Certainly, Possible,You (Sucre Coeur Series #2)
By: Lissa Reed
Genre: F/F Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary Fiction, Rom/Com Fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars
Release Date: October 6th 2016
Publisher: Duet Books/ Interlude Press
Received an ARC copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Sarita Sengupta is in her last semester of grad school and has finally realized she doesn’t have a career plan, a girlfriend, or a clear outlook on life. She works as a pastry shop’s head decorator, but is otherwise drifting without direction until a friend’s birthday party ends with her waking up in surprise next to Maritza Quiñones, a pretty ballroom dancer whose cheerful charm and laser focus sets Sarita on a path to making all of the choices she’s been avoiding.

Book Review

Told in the present, third-person perspective, Certainly, Possibly, You brings a humbling, yet relatable perspective as the reader follows along with Sarita—Sucre’s top cake designer and ambitious PHD student trying to sort out her existential career path problem—and Maritza (Mari). The part-time pizza shop worker and full-time ballroom dancer–as their relationship tries to blossom and bloom amidst the two’s hectic schedules.

There were so many moments and scenes that made me fall in love with these two as a couple and as individual characters. From their awkward and shy encounters, to their blunt openness with one another and the sexy, gravitational pull that sparks when they’re around each other, but I ultimately had to give this book 3.5 star rating mainly because I became too bothered with one secondary character’s involvement with Mari and Sarita’s story.

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The Stone Legacy Series By Theresa DaLayne Review For Books 1-3

Happy Monday, folks. So, today I have my first ever book series review to share for The Stone Legacy Series by Theresa DaLayne. Hosted by HEA Book Tours, PR & More.

Overall, The Stone Legacy Series is an easy story and concept to follow with a steady pace that allows the reader to become immersed in the cultural and paranormal universe built into the narrative.

I found the characters layered, powerful and even some darkly intimidating. I think most readers will enjoy these books because of their even balance of action, danger, and bidding love triangles in this Paranormal, YA Fiction series. I’ve never done a book series before, so I thought it would be best to section my review by book and give individual ratings as well.

NOTE: since this is a series review post, it was kind of difficult not to include a few spoilers on a few plot points. Okay enough chit-chat. Strap in for a long review post :-D.

 

MAYAN BLOOD by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #1
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…
 
Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.
 
With the only home she’s ever known being the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched—the only relief is her red-haired roommate named Tara, who’s more like a little sister than her best friend.
 
Free will is strong, but destiny is stronger…
 
When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.
 
A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…
 
When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya’s mission, it’s unclear if his intention is to help, or if he’s on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.
 
|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1ldFdrY        AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1IHMPYH

Mayan Blood Book Review  (Rating: 4 stars)

From beginning to end, (so far) this book remained my favorite. The character and story introduction and walk through Zanya’s life pre-guardian and post following the unexpected revelation of her Mayan/Riyata heritage. I found Zanya’s reactions and resistance relatable and naturally unique to her situation and I loved her connection and devotion to her best friend, Tara. I feel other readers will effectively feel the pain and fear Zanya struggles with when she’s faced with having to actually face the tormentor from her dreams, Sarian.

I found the Mayan warriors (aka Peter, Hawa, Arwan, Renato and Marzena) dedication, and support for Zanya and her mission endearing. While Jayden’s character (technically a Mayan warrior, but considered an outsider to the rest of the group) annoyed me 2/3rds of the book, I found his character really started to come around or become less annoying toward the end.

I may not be on the same page with everyone else, but I didn’t care much for the Zanya, Arwan and Jayden triangle that manifested at the half way mark because locating the stone and fighting Sarian seemed to take a back seat to the trio drama. I also felt like it stole precious time away from Zanya immersing herself in her mission and her role as guardian.

Spoiler–> I mean traveling back in time to meet her mother was a big deal, yet I felt like not enough time was spent on this pivotal focal point. Zanya has been an orphan her entire life and she knew nothing of her life, her family or her destiny. The time with her mother was over too quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fact that Arwan and Zanya were growing closer, but it is no secret that I am a fan of the slow burn and subtly when it comes to budding romances. (hint for my notes on the other two books) Plus, I just found it odd and irrational that on the brink of war, a supreme under-lord ruler with a heart of darkness (Sarian) Jayden and Arwan are consumed with bickering over Zanya……

As odd as it sounds, I liked the difficult place where the characters end up in at the end of book one because of the interesting physical and emotional directions Interlude and Aurora of Lights takes them in.

INTERLUDE by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #2
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Tara may have spent years in an asylum, but that doesn’t make her crazy–just fearless. 
Dropped in Moscow with a the group of enchanted Mayan descendants, seventeen-year-old Tara Weeble is forced to wait on the sideline while her best friend—the Stone Guardian— battles to reclaim a friend’s soul trapped in the underworld. 
It sucks being ordinary when everyone else is superhuman… 
A mortal girl with a tainted past, Tara is left to deal with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Her boyfriend, Peter, is a healer. Her best friend is The Guardian, and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. Meanwhile, she struggles to leave her childhood of abuse in the past, and while Peter picks her up every time she falls, it becomes clear he deserves better. 
When they opened Pandora’s Box, hell came pouring out… 
When she’s given a chance to aid in the group’s mission, Tara is eager to pull her own weight, even if it means uncovering buried memories of being held prisoner by the underworld general. Now haunted with flashbacks of torture, Tara wanders from the safety of Peter’s arms into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared. 
He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground ring of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1JxP9Y6       AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1T8tzwO

Interlude Book Review (Rating: 3.7 stars)

This book left me in a different mind set than the first book. I loved that with Interlude, the reader gets to see things from Tara’s perspective and learn more about her troubled past and the affects Sarian’s torture had on her. I think it was important for the second book to only focus on Tara’s voice and the development of her character, but I have to admit it took me a while to really get into the narrative.

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Bluescreen (Mirador #1) by Dan Wells Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Feb 27th Blog Tour Date

Welcome to the Bluescreen (Mirador #1) Book Tour hosted by FFBC. Be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule and the other posts 🙂.

Bluescreen (Mirador #1) by Dan Wells

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Release Date: February 16th 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action, Teen

Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo | B&N | Bookdepository | iTunes

Synopsis:

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

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Running In The Dark Book Review + Giveaway

Feb 12th Blog Tour Date

Happy, Friday, guys! Welcome to the Running in The Dark  Book Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tour. Be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule and the other posts :-).

 

Running in the Dark (Running in the Dark #1)

Author: Inger Iversen
Publication date: February 8th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young/New Adult, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

He is known only as Trace—because he leaves no trace of his victims behind.

A deadly Russian slayer, Trace’s life has always revolved around death. Death, and preventing humankind from learning about the legendary creatures of the night. But now his position as a Watcher has become a prison, and dealing death for the Vampire Nation isn’t as prestigious as he once believed it to be.

College dropout Bessina Darrow has witnessed things she isn’t permitted to see, a simple case of wrong place at the wrong time putting her life in danger. When Bessina becomes his new mark, Trace is prepared to eliminate her—until he discovers a way out for them both.

Protecting Bessina means defying the leaders of the Nation, an act that has them both running for their lives. The more Trace fights to disappear from danger, the more he unravels the secrets crafting his world—secrets he must unveil in order to finally save a life, instead of destroy it. Okay, I can do that.

Review

If you love the paranormal, or ever wondered what goes on in the vampire underworld that may, or may not exist in real life, then you will enjoy this book.

Now, I am not the biggest vampire-based/concept fan in the world, but I do love strong story and universe structure. At times, I forgot I was even reading a book about vampires, which means the story and characters were so immersive that I didn’t notice and I love that.

Out of everything, the intensity and chemistry between Bessina and Trace is definitely the driving force within this book, never mind the fact that the two of them are running for their lives! XD If I had to put a level or peg their heat meter, I’d say it’s between 3 ½ – 4 out of five.

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Series Book Blitz For: The Stone Legacy Series (+ Giveaway & The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Team?!)

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Happy Friday, Folks!

Because of my obsession *ahem* I mean excitement 😉 I have yet another promotional post for Theresa DaLayne’s Stone Legacy series & a giveaway!  But this time, I also have a series trailer and an exclusive with Theresa DaLayne herself about who she’d pick to have on her team if (or when? 😉 ) the zombie apocalypse were to occur. I’ll admit that I have given it  some thought here and there, but after reading her answer, I realized that I should strategize a bit more or else I’d get left behind XD.

 

The Zombie Apocalypse ( With Theresa DaLayne)

Who would you want to team up with? (with Theresa DaLayne)

Answer:

Ahhh, the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s a favorite subject of conversation among me and my friends, in my house, and oh, just while I’m sitting by myself, plotting my own survival plan.

The fact is, if you can prepare for zombies, you’re prepared for just about anything. And I give a lot of thought as to whom I’d bring into my “group.” Yeah, if Rick were here, I’d be the new Maggie. Don’t get me wrong, Michonne is kick-ass in so many ways, but I don’t know how to swing a sword, and she rocks those dreads way better than I ever could—so Maggie it is.

But aside from the fearless leader and myself, who else would I hand pick to trust with my life? And I’m talking real-life people. Friends and family. Who would I take, and who would I trip on the way out? plays a role, and each role is equally important to keep the machine running, right?

I have a friend named Heather, who I’d definitely bring along. She can grow anything. Seriously. Anything. Her passion is identifying fungi and pruning wilted leaves from otherwise thriving plants. Once she gave me a Sex Ed lesson in the male and female flowers on her cucumber vine. Awkward, but interesting. So Heather, in.

My friend, Karen, knows almost nothing about plants, and cried when I took her horse back riding for her birthday. Not out of joy, mind you, but because she’d never touched a horse in her life and was terrified. She claims she would be vital for comic relief, but F-that. Comic relief won’t stab a zombie in the temple. But she is from New York and can throw a pretty mean right hook, so I figure her surly nature would make her a pretty good zombie slayer—whether she knows it or not. Karen, in.

My husband—of course—because not only is he pretty talented with a handgun, strong, and smart, but I could picture him being second in command. He knows people and can sniff out a threat from a mile away. Plus I’ll surely need a good snuggle when I come to the realization the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. Husband, in.

Lets just get my mom in there, too. Not only can she make a meal out of anything, but she’s my mom, so…can’t really leave her behind. Mom, in.

Speaking of relatives, my sister—who lives in Canada—would be an amazing addition. The only problem is, I’d have to get to her first. With no planes and limited car accessibility with cluttered highways and no gasoline, that would be a challenge. But her husband is totally into survival stuff, loves to camp, and I’m pretty sure would gnaw on a stiff squirrel if there was nothing else to eat. Plus, I may not step into the shoes of Michonne well, but my sister would rock a ninja sword with just a little practice. Sister, in. (And her husband in, too. He could be our tracker and survivalist.)

Education is important, even when the world has ended. I’d still want my kids to know how to read and write, so I’d definitely bring my friend, Zubaidah, who is a teacher. She’s also really strong and most likely has a zombie-killing beast laying dormant inside her somewhere. I could see her taking down walkers with a buck knife and zip line. Zubaidah, in.

Now that the group is getting bigger, I have to start being choosy about who I let in. We have a lot of who we need already. My question for you is, would YOU qualify to be in my group? Tell me why, and I may add your name to the list

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