Monday, 31 August 2015

The Last Necromancer Review Tour: 5 Star Review + Giveaway!

The Last Necromancer (The Ministry of Curiosities #1) by C.J. Archer 
Publication date: August 11th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult

Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

Let me start this review by saying I don't usually read about this sort of fantasy nor do I regularly read historical fiction but oh my goodness  I thorougly enjoyed reading THE LAST NECROMANCER!

The whole story revolves around an 18 year old girl called Charlotte who has been cast out on to the streets by her father for being a necromancer (someone who can raise the spirits of the dead and control them). Living on the streets is tough for anyone but especially for a young innocent girl so Charlotte adopts the name Charlie and starts a new life as a 13 year old boy, doing whatever it is that she needs to do to stay alive.
Lincoln Fitzroy, a seemingly cold and sometimes brutal man needs to find Charlotte, the last necromancer, before someone else does. Someone much much worse who wants to use her abilities for unthinkable things.

Now I wasn't holding out much hope for this book in all honesty. In my mind I thought it would be a 3 star rating at best but NOPE. That'll teach me to judge before I read, huh?
C.J. Archer has created a historical fantasy world that had me scrambling on to Goodreads as soon as I'd finished to see whether the second book was out (it was, hallelujah) and buying said book instantaneously. I finished THE LAST NECROMANCER at 2am in the morning and you could not rip me away from it come hell or high water. I started the second book early this morning and I am so enthralled within Charlotte's story.

The characters really made this story come alive for me. Charlotte is definitely one of my favourite heroines of all time. She was intelligent, brave, assured and assertive in everything she did, and lemme tell you... She had some pretty scary things happen! She was incredibly forgiving almost to a fault and sometimes her emotions definitely got the better of her but that made her character 3D and so much realer.
Lincoln Fitzroy was one of those characters that you really want to sock right in the nose but also hug tightly. My emotions were all over the place with him so I can't fathom how Charlotte would have felt. He was seemingly cold and indifferent but those moments when his facade slipped with Charlotte were wonderful insights and I. Want. More. He never seemed to say what he really wanted to say and I am intrigued by this man and his many layers.
The supporting characters, Seth, Gus and Cook, were wonderful also. They filled the gaps between the main story and made the book flow really well.

There is a dash of romance between Charlotte and Lincoln which I really enjoyed. There wasn't much at all in this first book but I know there will be much more in the second. I love it when authors stretch out a relationship like this, it makes the whole thing much more worth it when something finally happens. Also I ship these two so hard it hurts.

The fantasy aspect of the book was new to me. I've never read about necromancers but I found myself fascinated. I can't wait to find out more about what Charlotte can do in the next book!

The villian was one I didn't expect at all! I'm still hitting myself for not guessing who it was when it was SO OBVIOUS. I mean all of the clues were there whereas my mind was too busy focusing on other aspects.

The writing was some of the best I've ever read, honestly. It flowed so smoothly and didn't stop and start at awkward places. The timing was kept really well too, like you know sometimes you read a book and somehow the author starts in January and ends in December and when you think back the time just doesn't add up... Is that just me? Well anyways there was none of that here! In fact it felt like time flew by and although the book spans over a only week or so it seemed like months (in the best way).

Sometimes I read a new-found author and think 'How on earth is this book not more popular?!' which is exactly how I feel about THE LAST NECROMANCER. Now, this is a perfect example of why you shouldn't give up on an author just because you didn't like one or two of their books; I read The Wrong Girl a while ago and didn't care for it at all. This however I am devouring with my entire heart and loving it.

C.J. Archer has expertly weaved fantasy, mystery and a dash of romance together to make the perfect story and I will be reading more by her in the future!

Amazon ** B&N

C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two with her writing. Under her other name of Carolyn Scott, she has published contemporary short stories in women’s magazines, and she also writes romantic mystery novels under this name.

She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. She has won and placed in romance writing contests including winning RWAustralia’s Emerald Award in 2008 for the manuscript that went on to be released under the title HONOR BOUND. C.J. spent her early childhood in the dramatic beauty of outback Queensland, Australia, but now lives in suburban Melbourne with her husband and two children.

To be notified when C.J. releases a new book, subscribe to her newsletter from her website. She only sends out the newsletter when she releases a new book, and never spams.

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Cover Reveal! Cursed by Christina Bauer

Cursed (Beholder, #1) by Christina Bauer 
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult


Although Elea’s the most powerful necromancer in history, she’s spent most of her nineteen years imprisoned in the Midnight Cloisters. Enchanted manacles keep her unique brand of soul magick in check. While the guards and initiates seem contented to torment her, the Cloister’s Mother Superior is obsessed with finding a safe way to destroy Elea, both body and soul.

Escape seems impossible until a handsome hunter named Asher offers to help. Elea takes a chance and soon develops feelings for the mysterious stranger. However, Asher may not be who he claims. Then again, Elea may not be, either…

Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Brainshark. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Book Review! Awake by Natasha Preston

Awake by Natasha Preston
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it...because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back. 
*Spoilers are hidden. Highlight over the text to reveal!*

Would you look at that cover? It's gorgeous. That's what suckered me in to requesting an ARC of this book, but also because I adore anything and everything in the creepy-mystery-suspense genre. AWAKE seemed like the perfect fit but unfortunately it fell so flat for me... And for many others which I realized as soon as I went on to the Goodread's page and went through some other blogger's ratings and reviews. Whew, a definite miss.

First of all, the story's plot line started really well. I got to about 32% before it all went to hell but before then I was really enjoying it! I was really intruiged, fully immersed and ready for the big answers to start revealing themselves. Unfortunately what should have been the most exciting parts of the book made me stop reading, put my kindle down and think 'what the absolute f did I just read?'

The whole story revolved around the fact that Scarlett couldn't remember the first four years of her life and she'd been told it was because of this big fire, blah blah blah. BUT who on earth can remember the first four years of their lives? I know I sure as hell can't. I mean, damn, I can barely remember what I did yesterday let alone when I was that young. Is that just me? I mean I have tiny memories of being that young but nothing substantial. Nothing to lose my shit over. That really bugged me... But anyways, moving on.

At first it was all a mystery and I couldn't pinpoint the bad guys and I was excited for the big reveal but as soon as the story started to unravel more my dislike for the plot and the characters sky-rocketed.

Noah was ugh. That's the best word I can think of to describe him... He was a crap love interest in all honesty. Instead of swooning and wanting him for myself I found myself loathing  his character altogether. He was spineless, willing to do bad things for his 'family'. He looked the devil right in the face and agreed to do his bidding because he thought it was the right thing to do. He thought KILLING SOMEONE WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO just in case Scarlett, the girl he was in love with just FYI, was in fact the key to eternal life like he was brought up to believe. What a crazy bastard.

At 37% I genuinely but this note in my ARC: "Going to carry on due to sheer horror induced curiosity. Dear god." HA! I was so over it at this point but I powered through all the way to the end.

Now... The ending. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel but the ending suggests that there should be. If not then the ending is worse than I thought because it's not exactly a happy-everything-is-okay-now ending that made me feel satisfied. I doubt there will be a sequel either way just because the book hasn't received much praise at all.

That all being said, I'm still going to read The Cellar by Natasha Preston. Just because I didn't like this book doesn't mean I'm never going to read her work again! I read Silence a while ago and really liked it which is why I saw a familiar author's name on Netgalley and requested AWAKE. Unfortunately I just didn't feel the same about this one.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Syllabus for Magic in YA 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week topic is:  
Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught Magic in YA 101

Here They Lie by D'Ann Burrow Cover Reveal

Here They Lie (The Bloodstone Legacy #1) by D’Ann Burrow 
Publication date: October 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Southern Gothic

Reese Everett’s aunt picked a bad time to die.  Just weeks after a car accident left Reese’s mother unable to travel, her aunt’s house needs to be emptied and sold, leaving Reese as the only member of the family who can do the job.  She typically wouldn’t balk at the opportunity to sift through her aunt’s collection of antiques, but when she arrives in Devil’s Vale, Georgia, she discovers the family house in a state of disrepair she won’t be able to handle alone.

Colton Waters is back in Devil’s Vale – whether he likes it or not.  After he loses his acceptance to medical school with no explanation, he’s left with a single job offer…one that will return him to the hometown he’d hoped to escape.

When an errand to help his sister ends in a meeting with Reese neither will easily forget, Colton takes a job as her temporary handyman.

The longer Reese stays in town, the more she realizes the condition of her aunt’s house isn’t the only thing she hadn’t expected when she made the trip to Devil’s Vale.  Reese isn’t the only gifted member of the family – her aunt Kate has been practicing the family business…the business Reese has been sworn never to discuss.

After a ghostly visitor arrives one night, Reese and Colton learn Kate wasn’t the only one practicing the darker arts.  They begin to uncover secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Here They Lie won the Young Adult Romance Writer’s 2014 award for New Adult fiction.

D’Ann Burrow once told her preschool teacher she wanted to be a witch when she grew up. That simple comment signaled the start of a life-long fondness of things that go bump in the night. As she grew older, she could most often be found with her nose buried in a book, and she was especially fond of the Nancy Drew series as well as anything by Christopher Pike or Stephen King.  Occasionally she’d take a trip to the world of the classics where The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Little Princess reigned among her favorites.  She’s lost count of the times she’s read Little Women.

Today, D’Ann enjoys the world of Supernatural, stories about guys with fangs, and she’s seldom met a disaster film she hasn’t liked.  When she grows up, she’d like to work at the Haunted Mansion. Until then, watching Ghost Hunters will have to count as research.

D’Ann writes about secrets people keep.  Even the bravest heroine or a guy with a heart of gold has a few skeletons in the closet they’d rather not share with the world. When those secrets get out, things get interesting.

A Texas native, she knows making great guacamole is an art form. As a theater mom, she’ll happily chat about Broadway musicals by the hour.  Molly and Lizzie, the family furry ones, are frequent stars of her Instagram account.

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Happy Release Day to Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves!

Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves
Publication Date: August 25th, 2015 (TODAY!!!)
When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.
But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.

© 2015 Tracey Garvis Graves
Heart-Shaped Hack

“Oh, hi,” she said.

“Imagine running into you here.”

“This is quite a coincidence.”

“It’s not a coincidence at all. I knew you were following me.”

“You did not.”

“I spotted you hiding behind the plant when I walked into the bank. Plus I could smell your perfume as soon as I stepped out here.”

“Did you”—she used her fingers to make little air quotes—“appropriate money from this bank?” she whispered.

“Of course not. I do all my work from the Batcave. Believe it or not, I actually bank here. I was just signing some papers.”

Kate had never seen a man look so utterly scrumptious while wearing glasses. There was something about the combination of his hair, his scruff, and the semi-rimless designer frames that made him irresistible. “Are the glasses a disguise? Because I totally knew it was you.”

“The glasses are real. I often suffer from eyestrain since I spend so much time on the computer, and I was up late last night, working.”

“They make you look very smart.” She took a moment to imagine how his scruff would feel rubbing against her skin if he were to kiss her.

“I am smart, but I think you mean devastatingly handsome. More so than normal, that is.”

“You’re so humble.”

“Ready?” He walked to the door and held it open for her.


“Follow me.” He looked at her and laughed. “That shouldn’t be a problem for you.”

They took the elevator to the basement, and when the doors opened to the parking garage, Kate followed Ian to a row of cars. He stopped beside one and pulled a set of keys from his pocket.
She gasped.

Ian smiled. “It’s a—”

“1964 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe.”

“’65. But color me impressed.”

“My brother Chad was obsessed with this car. He used to have a poster of it on his bedroom wall. There were only six built between 1964 and 1965.”

“A bit rare indeed.”

The last authentic Shelby had sold at auction for around seven million. Ian’s was obviously a replica, of which there were quite a few, but it was still a very notable vehicle with a price tag that started in the low six figures. “Helena called it an old blue car.”

He grinned, looking contemplative. “Technically, that is correct.”

Kate could not resist running her hand lightly over the Guardsman Blue paint and the white racing stripes on the hood. The Shelby was unmistakably race-car-like in appearance with its aerodynamic design and unique body style. Chad was going to be so jealous. “For someone who values his privacy, isn’t this a bit ostentatious?”

“How so?”

“Rakishly handsome playboy who makes grand philanthropic gestures and drives a flashy car. Any of this ringing a bell?”

“Rakishly handsome playboy?”

“Well, if the Prada loafer fits. Wouldn’t you fly under the radar more easily in, say, a Ford Focus?” she asked.

“A Ford Focus? You want me to tool around town in a Ford Focus? Jesus, would I still have my balls?”

“No, they cut them off when they hand you the keys. Of course you’d still have your balls. What kind of question is that? This conversation has gotten way off track.”

“You mean because we started out talking about my car and now we’re talking about my balls?”

“Are we?”

“I believe so.”

“Maybe we should go back to talking about your car.”

“You want to drive it, don’t you?”

“Why would I want to drive your car?”

“Why wouldn’t you want to drive my car? Can you handle a stick shift?”

“Yes, and rather competently I might add.”

“That’s an enormous turn-on. Truly.”

She pretended not to hear him. “This is not a good car for Minnesota winters.”

“Horrible, I agree. My other car has four-wheel drive, but it’s not nearly as fun to operate as this one.” Ian dangled the keys in front of her.

He was right. Kate was dying to drive his car and couldn’t wait to see how it handled. She took the keys, opened the door, and reached over to unlock the passenger side for Ian. They belted up, and she started the car.

“Please note that I’m already making good on my promise, Katie. Because I assure you, driving this car will be the opposite of boring.”
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Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and CherishTracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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