Sunday, 14 July 2013

Star Cursed - Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #2)
Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2)
 - Jessica Spotswood
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England. (Description from Goodreads)

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Born Wicked introduced us to a world run by religious belief and the heavy hand of men – condemning women for being anything other than meek and reliant on fathers and husbands...unless you’ve accused of witchcraft. Star Cursed takes that to a whole new level, detailing the life within the only walls safe from Brotherhood exposure: The Sisterhood convent. Not as meek as they would seem, as it is really a refuge for witches.

At the end of Born Wicked, Cate Cahill makes a weighty decision to move her life to the Sisterhood home in New London, all to protect her real sisters and the boy she loves. But it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. With a prophecy looming over her choices and the Brotherhood stepping up their crackdown on women’s rights, danger is at every turn - and there’s not a lot Cate can do to stop it.

I really liked that we got to explore the prophecy more, not only because the glimpse we saw in book 1 wasn’t complete. There seems to be an endless amount of facets to the future, but all unchangeable. I’m usually not a fan of prophecies and taking away choices – the idea that something is predetermined and unstoppable makes me angry – but I really liked seeing how it all unfolded in Star Cursed. Maybe it was because Cate fought the idea of the future already being defined too, but it was also just exciting.

The sister drama was one of my favourite parts of the book. I always love seeing families, especially when they’re in paranormal books, because family is often ignored for romance or magic. Well, when your romance and magic are also tied to family, it’s hard to escape. I loved seeing Cate, Maura and Tess all interacting. They don’t have perfect relationships, and that just makes it more realistic. There were aspects of the sisterly-bonding that you could determine from far away. I could see that the tension between the siblings that had carried over from the first book wasn’t just going to disappear, even after embracing their witch side and eliminating one of the reasons for that tension. The fighting and struggle to reconnect with each other made me worried about what was to come.

I was concerned we wouldn’t get to see Cate and Finn’s relationship develop in this book, but I shouldn’t have panicked so much. The connection they started in Born Wicked gets explored again in this book, with no less danger to overcome. The only bright spot is that they’re so determined to be together and to love each other. While it wasn’t quite as intense, like feathers in a cupboard or garden transformations; the fact that they got the chance to steal kisses in the night was good enough for me.

There is an extremely large hint of rebellion in this book, not only from the witches but from the general populace. The Brotherhood is losing favour and control of the masses. It made the second half of the book, and particularly the ending, very intense and fast paced. I was so shocked by the final pages, I almost couldn’t believe the words in front of me and I had to reread them a few times. You get so pulled in by the flow of the story, the way everything is moving so quickly and with such focus...and then the cliff-hanger hits. And it’s an epic cliff-hanger. I'm still waiting for it to settle in my mind.

An incredible sequel, with a mix of romance, rebellion and intense magical action! I can’t wait to get my hands on book 3.

5/5 stars

(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Dead Jealous - Sharon Jones

Dead Jealous
Dead Jealous - Sharon Jones
Grade: YA
Rating: 4/5 Stars

People think of Mother Nature as a gentle lady. They forget that she's also Death.

Sixteen-year-old Poppy Sinclair believes in quantum particles, not tarot cards, in Dawkins, not druids. Last summer, in a boating accident in the Lake District, Poppy had a brush with death. But the girl she finds face down in Scariswater hasn't been so lucky. 

As she fights to discover the truth behind what she believes is murder, Poppy is forced to concede that people and things are not always what they seem and, slipping ever deeper into a web of lies, jealousy and heart-stopping danger, she comes to realise - too late - that the one thing that can save her has been right there, all the time. (Description from Date A Book)

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Before this year I never actively searched for mystery and thriller books, I never considered myself a crime lover or one who searched for secret evil societies - at least not in a "real world" setting, one without vampires or some other supernatural element. But this year changed it. I read one fantastic mystery-thriller book and I NEEDED more. Dead Jealous hits the mark for mystery, danger and suspense.

I really enjoyed Poppy's voice. She was a tad too trusting at times, but growing up visiting Pagan festivals all her life, and believing that the people she interacts with at these gatherings are all friendly, wholesome people (despite being a sceptic of their beliefs) there's no doubt in her mind that she's with people she can trust. But dead bodies and a gripping mystery tend to change the way you see things. I think after discovering a dead body I'd be a little less trusting of anyone I met, new or old, at least for a while - but Poppy pushes through, convinced that she knows who the untrustworthy people are and who she should stick with.

You get swept up in the mystery. I was determined to try and crack the mystery before Poppy. I had my suspicions, but every time I settled on someone being "the killer" a new twist would pop up and I'd change my mind again.

There is a romance sub-plot to the book. Before I'd even met both potential guys for Poppy I was Team-Michael. It doesn't always work, but I like when best-friends turn into something more, especially if it ends up being mutual like. I'm all for moving on if the other person doesn't show an interest, but if there's a chance I want to see it.

I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the next Poppy Sinclair mystery.

4/5 stars

(Originally posted on Goodreads)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Cover Reveal: Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Are you READY?! Really ready? Cause this cover will have you fan-girling all over the place... (Just remember I did try to warn you).... Ok, ok here it is!! The official cover of Origin (Lux series book 4) *cue squeals*


The book will be released on 27/8/2013 by Entangled Teen line.


# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

ORIGIN official Blurb:

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? And will they even be together?


Additional links to Jennifer’s pages:

What did you think of the cover? Hands up who fan-girled *raises hand*

I personally LOVED IT! Daemon looks deliciously fierce and I think the image really matches the blurb. He looks like he would do anything, go through anyone to get Katy back. I was excited before the cover but now I truly can't wait for Origin.