Author: TG

Guest Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Posted March 29, 2016 by TG in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. SnyderReviewer: TG
Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study Series #4, Soulfinders #1
Also in this series: Night Study
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
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New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance...

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands--and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret--or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is--while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous...

Okay so I want to start this off by saying that Poison Study is my favorite book of pretty much all time. So I was nervous going into Shadow Study. What if it ruins the first books for me? What if the characters suck?

They didn’t. This book didn’t do anything but make me love Poison Study even more. Now then, on to the review.

My main impression of this book was that it was setting up for the next one. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I almost felt like there was no true climax. But the conflicts in this story are definitely fresh and new, and the character development is worth the “to be continued….” Feeling.

Also Valek’s backstory. That’s all I have to say.

I’d give this a solid 4/5 for character development and writing, with points taken for the somewhat anticlimactic ending.


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Review: Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

Posted March 22, 2016 by TG in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Night Study by Maria V. SnyderReviewer: TG
Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study Series #5, Soulfinders #2
Also in this series: Shadow Study
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: February 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue. 
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.  
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

So, I want to start off once again by saying that the first 3 books of the study series are my absolute favorite books. I talk about them all the time, and I could probably quote Poison Study line for line. When I heard new books were coming out, I had some mixed emotions. That constant fear that the sequel will ruin the prequel is very relevant, but once again the book held true to the tone of the first trilogy.

That isn’t to say however, that I was 100% satisfied with this book. The first 30 pages were hell, because I was convinced that this was where the sequels quit being cool. Thankfully Snyder knows what she’s doing (I hope lol) and redeemed the first chapters with the rest of the book. Even a true skeptic like myself could understand why the things that happened were necessary (and in character!)

Overall the developments with Valek and Yelena’s relationship soothed my shipper heart, and the new characters kept things good and spicy.

So I’d give this book an 4/5 for spice and intrigue, taking points off for the first 30 pages of hell.


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Review: Breakable by Tammara Webber

Posted May 12, 2014 by TG in Reviews | 0 Comments

breakableTG‘s review of Breakable (Contours of the Heart, Book 2) by Tammara Webber

He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.

We first met Landon Lucas Maxfield in Tammara Webber’s Easy, but we didn’t really get a complete picture of him. While Easy was definitely a romance, it was also Jacqueline’s tale. This is Landon’s story. Told in alternating past and present chapters, the book details his life prior to meeting Jacqueline, as well as his point-of-view in Easy, without being repetitive. I didn’t feel like I’d just re-read Easy from Landon’s point-of-view, but more like I was reading his story with little bits of Easy woven in.

New Adult is a genre primarily dominated by first-person point-of-view. The recent trend is to write the tale from the heroine’s POV then release the same novel from the hero’s POV down the road. I don’t necessarily dislike this, but I feel like if I read the story once, I don’t need to read it again. However, Webber takes a different route through the trend, following it in a rather innovative way. Instead of just re-writing Jacqueline’s story from Landon’s point of view, stopping at familiar landmarks along the way, she told what was mostly off-page in Easy, while still incorporating the more familiar scenes. Nothing seemed tired or worn out in it, and it was refreshing to recognize my favorite scenes from Easy, along with the new material.  Overall, Tammara Webber did a great job in making sure her readers got a companion piece, instead of a recount.

That is not to say that you have to read Easy before you can read Breakable, or you won’t understand whats going on. Webber made sure that Breakable could stand alone or with Easy. Because it is a strong independent novel who doesn’t need a prequel to make it whole.

My only quarrel with the story-telling was that it seemed a little rushed during Lucas’s chapters (those retold from Easy), like she was in a hurry to get to the next Landon chapter (those from his teen years), but I didn’t want to throw it out the window or demand my money (ha!) back by the end. I did want to see a little bit more of his emotions and thoughts while interacting with Jacqueline though. I think that would have made it complete.

I’d definitely recommend this to my friends without hesitation (all of them. Muahaha).

4 out of 5

We have a copy of trade paperback copy of BREAKABLE to give away. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. US Only.

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This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: The Girl in the Steel Corest by Kady Cross

Posted March 6, 2013 by TG in Reviews | 3 Comments

TG’s review of The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, book 1) by Kady Cross.

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no “normal” Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of “them.” The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help–and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on–even if it seems no one believes her.

You’ll be hooked from the very first sentence, till the very last. Kady Cross is in every way, a genius. Every last twist and turn in the roller coaster pace she set is full of surprises. Every word was entrancing, every sentence held untold promises. The villains were villainous, the heroes were heroic, and the females were charming and eccentric. With every little detail of Cross’s steam powered Victorian setting, the world in which you’re reading comes to life.

I couldn’t put it down. This book is a well written piece of literature, that every little girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs should read. It teaches a valuable lesson of self worth, trust, and pride in who you are. I wouldn’t suggest this to many boys, but I also wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it, especially if they like romance and mystery novels. I hope that this book will be treasured for generations to come.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Harlequin Teen. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Posted February 2, 2012 by TG in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

TG‘s review of Beastly (Beastly, Book 1) by Alex Finn

A beast. Not quite wolf or gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature with fangs, claws, and hair springing from every pore. I am a walking monster.
You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is new york city. The time is now. And I’ll stay this way forever —unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, the perfect girl, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

In this breathtaking re-telling of the classic story Beauty and the Beast, Kyle Kingsbury is our beast. He thinks he has it all. But his perspective is soon turned when he meets the witch of his dreams- and nightmares. Because of his own insolence, Kendra, the witch, cursed him with his true form. But, there is no penance with out a reprieve. To return to normal, a girl had to to fall in love with him, and he with her. . . . Oh, right, she also had to kiss him. Sound familiar? Just wait until you find out who our modest beauty is going to be. . .

I liked this book because of its similarities to one of my favorite childhood stories, but also for its individual style and tone. Not to mention that it’s from the point of view of our beast. This is a pleaser for all young adult lovers. I hope you can love it just as well as I do. This is the first of Alex Flinn’s books I’ve read, and my first impression of her is someone well devoted to her career, and someone with a confident, easy-to-read writing style. This book is a winner. . . . Happy reading!

4 out of 5

This book is available from HarperTeen. You can buy it here or here in ebook format.

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