Thursday, May 5, 2016

Review: True Born by LE Sterling

True Born
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
ISBN:   1633753190
ISBN13: 9781633753198
Genre: YA Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

TRUE BORN was a unique read with a great mix if fantasy, post apocalyptic and dystopian elements.

Sterling has a great way with words making it really easy to fall into her writing style and picture the world that the True Born Trilogy takes place in. I enjoyed the characters in TRUE BORN. I did find the main characters Lucy a bit annoying at times, but seeing as this is a young adult series I couldn't really hold her whiny moments and childish behavior too much against her. I did wish that she acted a little more grown up during those times though.

There is a tiny bit of romance in TRUE BORN. It doesn't take over the whole story, but the connection between Lucy and Jared brought some interesting elements to the story. I cab see future development in future books with these two and I look forward to learning more about Jared.

I was a tiny bit surprised with the ending. I of course can't tell you why without giving things away. I really wanted more answers bu the end of TRUE BORN, but not getting them does make me want to read book two, so I guess that is something.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Interview: True Born by L.E. Sterling

UFI welcomes Author L.E. Sterling. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?

Hmm. Great question. One thing that would likely not be widely known is that I used to be a college/university level professor (I started pretty young). I taught Creative Writing workshops, American, Canadian and British Literature, Post-Colonial Literature... But my favorite classes by far were courses inspired by what I wanted to read and write. In an American Lit class I got to teach books on Voodoo. At a College, I taught a course on Vampire Literature (Twillight was on the syllabus, of course), and that same semester I also taught a class on Superheroes (my students read The Watchmen and had to put the characters on trial). FUN!

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

I suppose I like to do what most writers do on their down time: I read. A lot….which is pretty amazing considering that I have a 5yr. old and spend most of my (spare) time entertaining him.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

There is always this moment in writing when I disappear and just inhabit the world I’m creating – for me, this is the whole point of writing. Some writers call this “the Zone,” and it’s definitely the moment when I’m happiest. Happily, I can even get there when I’m in editing mode.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

I am pretty routine-driven, although I have some flexibility. I’ll get up at 5 a.m.(ish), make a cup of strong coffee. I’ll sort through some articles on line for a few minutes, then dump my brain into a journal for a few minutes, and then I’ll get busy with the book. I find the first part of the routine to be incredibly important – journal writing, for instance, really helps free my mind up for the Big Show.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?

Oh, there are so, so many! I love Charlaine Harris – author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Patricia Briggs – her Mercy Thompson series. Tanya Huff, The Enchantment Emporium, any of the Gale women novels, Kelley Armstrong - all of her work. Cassandra Clare – wow. Pick any. They are so great. Oh - and a recent find: Karen Chance. She has two series of books that I love but I started with the Cassie Palmer novels. Amazing! And I can’t leave out Ilona Andrews. There isn’t a single book by that duo (husband and wife writing team) that I haven’t adored, although I first fell under the spell of the Kate Daniels series of novels.

How would you pitch True Born to someone who has not heard of it before?

True Born is the story of identical twins, Lucy and Margot Fox, who were born different. In this world, people are dying of the Plague, and the only ones who are surviving are known as True Borns, born with genetic variants that draw from animal DNA. The twins, though, have a secret hidden in their blood, and throughout the novel the girls’ try to unravel the mystery of who and what they really are.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that True Born is set in?

True Born is set in a plague-ridden world. Everyone in Dominion (except the True Borns) is susceptible to this Plague, which is literally devastating the planet. But there’s a domino effect going on: power stations are shut down; most of the buildings are empty, all the trees have been cut down for fires, which has also devastated the town (very few cops or firefighters remain to keep order).

But within all this chaos and devastation there is also a great deal of wealth. My main characters, for instance, Lucy and Margot Fox, come from the Upper Circle. This is the decadent upper crust, which has access to daring DNA-based Plague treatments. They have lavish parties and balls – for instance, at age 18 the young adults of this upper society are given lavish Reveal parties, in which their fates (splicer – one who can receive life-saving Plague treatment; laster – one who can’t; or True Born – another species altogether) are revealed.

Do you have a favorite scene in True Born?

I love the badass action scenes where Lucy and Jared (her love interest) have to fight, and there are a few of them in this novel. Turns out I really like to write action scenes with gore and violence.

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?

Lucy Fox (from True Born) is by far my favourite heroine. She is so gutsy, so brave, and so utterly ignorant of her power or effect on people. She tries to lead this quiet life, just doing what her parents want her to do, and yet she’s incapable – and no one would let her, anyhow! Beyond that, I love her relationship with her twin: these girls share an amazing bond, which would be obvious even if they hadn’t developed their own secret twin language!

I would say the hardest character I ever wrote was the character of Simon in my second novel, Pluto’s Gate. Simon is very special, and from a very magical family (he and his grandmother, who is an elder, fought with evil spirits trapped in a painting, for instance). But he’s so magical that it was hard to pin him down. And then there’s the evil spirit trapped in the painting. Bad guys are always tough to nail down. I mean, really. Why so evil?

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?

Well, I’m busy hammering out Books 2 and 3 of the True Born series. But after that… well, we’ll just see how this goes first! I have a couple other books I’ve written that I’d like to go back and revise. One is a Voodoo detective novel. The other is a YA urban fantasy about fairies. I love both of these novels and would love them to see the light of day!
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I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Find L.E. Sterling and her books
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True Born
True Born Trilogy #1
Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Releases: 5/1-5/7


Tue. May 3rd

 Escape the Vortex (Voyagers #5) by Jeanne DuPrau 
 Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano
 Night Speed by Chris Howard 
 Outriders (Outriders #1) by Jay Posey
 The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece 
 Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera
 The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood 
 Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman 
 Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor  

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Interview + Giveaway: The Patient Wolf by Karen Hodges Miller

UFI welcomes Author Karen Hodges Miller. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?
I’ve lived in a lot of places, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Puerto Rico and New Jersey. I like to say I’ve spent half my life in the tropics and the other half trying to get back there. I think my characters might have to vacation in Puerto Rico in one of my books. That would give me an excuse to travel back to one of my favorite places.
 
What do you enjoy doing on your down time?
I’m a homebody. I like to read, cook, swim, and spoil our two cats, Milo and Felix. I love to make jewelry, but I’ve been so busy writing lately, I haven’t had time.
 
What is your Favorite part of writing?
When it is done! Seriously, though I enjoy creating stories that people want to read. I want my readers to walk away feeling satisfied and to do that I try to create characters that people like and identify with and plots that have a bit of a twist. I like ending a chapter with something that makes you have to turn the page and keep reading.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?
Chocolate and Coca Cola. I have a firm believe that chocolate increases creativity. And Coca Cola, well, that’s my favorite form of caffeine.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?
There are so many. Laurel K. Hamilton, Karen Marie Moning—I LOVE the Fae Fever series, Christine Feehan, Melissa Macfie, KelleyArmstrong—I discovered her through the TV series Bitten, but of course the books have so much more detail.

How would you pitch The Patient Wolf  to someone who has not heard of it before?
The small town of Rivelou is hiding secrets, and they are about to claw their way to the surface.
Ana Dugan used to enjoy her nighttime walks through her quaint college town, but all of that changes when a handsome stranger rescues her from an attack. She’s not sure who she should be more afraid of the four legged beast who attacked her or the two legged one who saved her. She narrowly escapes, but soon learns that others weren’t so lucky. When another man enters her life claiming he’s there to protect her she’s not sure who she should trust, the wolf or the hunter.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The Patient Wolf is set in?
Rivelou, the town where my books take place, is a typical Midwestern small city…but when you scratch that ordinary surface something strange is going on. Many of the residents are leading a double life. Who is a werewolf? Who is a witch? Who knows the secrets that some very important people in town are keeping? In Rivelou, you never know just who…or what… you neighbor is.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Patient Wolf?
AS ANA APPROACHED the main entrance to the campus shortly after her class ended at nine o’clock that night, she began to feel a nervousness she had never before experienced on her walks home.
The entrance consisted of a large stone archway that covered the two-lane street. The school’s name, University of Rivelou, was painted in gothic letters across the top. Two smaller arches on either side of the auto entrance had paved cobblestone paths running through them for pedestrian use. The arches were covered with ancient Zephirine Droughin roses. The bushes climbed over both halves of the two smaller arches, and for most of the summer turned the two pedestrian entrances into miniature tunnels of the pink petals of the old fashioned Bourbon roses. Now, though a few late-blooming flowers still decorated the branches, the leaves had begun to drop off, and those that remained had turned a deep bronze, melding with the color of the old stone arches. Ana shivered. She wasn’t nervous, she told herself. It was just that the weather had turned colder this evening. She would not let yesterday’s attacks take away her enjoyment of her walk home.
On one side of the arches the campus was brightly lit, on the other side there were just a few streetlights, and very little traffic this time of night in the mostly residential section of town. The shadows seemed to close in around Ana as she approached the archway, and, for a few moments, she considered stepping off of the pedestrian path and crossing under the larger, brighter arch designed to accommodate cars. But she shook her head and chided herself.
“How silly of me. I’m more likely to get run over by some student speeding to get home after class than to meet the boogie man, or anything else, in the sidewalk tunnel.”
She took a deep breath and headed into the arch, then jumped and screamed as a tall shadow brandishing a sword loomed at the end of the passageway.

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?
That is such a hard question. I like them all, even the villains. Alexander Fontaine may be my favorite character to write about. He is sexy, mysterious, and has just a touch of a French accent. Which was fun to throw in.
Ana, the heroine, was the most difficult because I wanted her to be vulnerable, yet spunky.


What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
The second book in my series is titled The Artificial Witch. It features one of the minor characters in The Patient Wolf, Shannon Kelly. She’s a cop and a young widow. I liked her so much I decided she deserved her own story. I’ve completed the first chapter, and I hope to have it finished before the end of the year.
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Karen Hodges Miller’s fascination with werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, and all things supernatural began with the childhood classics. She gobbled up everything from The Haunting of Hill House to the Narnia series, from Dracula to Rebecca. As a writer, however, she stuck to non-fiction; working as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor and in 2004 opening her own publishing company.

She has written several books for authors on the subject of writing and publishing. The Patient Wolf is her first fiction novel and of course, it features a very sexy werewolf.


Find Karen and her books
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The Patient Wolf
Wicked Urban Fantasy #1

The small town of Rivelou is hiding secrets, and they are about to claw their way to the surface.

Ana Dugan used to enjoy her nighttime walks through her quaint college town, but all of that changes when a handsome stranger rescues her from an attack. She’s not sure who she should be more afraid of the four legged beast who attacked her or the two legged one who saved her. She narrowly escapes, but soon learns that others weren’t so lucky.

When another man enters her life claiming he’s there to protect her she’s not sure who she should trust, the wolf or the hunter.


Excerpt:

The Patient Wolf Chapter 1

Ana breathed in the early autumn air as she headed away from the university and onto the darker streets of the neighboring suburb. It was an older neighborhood, built in the 1920’s when the town of Rivelou had begun to spread from its central location on the river across the railroad tracks to the north. This particular section of the town had been built for the railroad workers, with tiny shotgun houses lined up on even tinier lawns.
As Ana crossed Roosevelt Avenue and headed into her own neighborhood, the streetlights ended and the sidewalk became lighted only by an occasional porch light or walk light. She loved walking home from her night classes at this time of the year. The air, while it could not yet be called crisp, had lost its summer sultriness, a welcome change from the blistering heat of a Midwest summer.
And these walks home after her night classes were one of the few times during her week when she could be truly alone. No bosses, no teachers, not even Sophie chattering away in her ear. She’d been a mom long enough not to feel guilty at enjoying a a little time alone without her child. Her thirteen-year-old daughter was the light of her life, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy a little time by herself, too.
As she headed down Harlan Street, farther from the more heavily trafficked avenue, the street became even darker. It was too soon for most of the leaves to have fallen, they were just beginning to turn red on this last week in September and they were so thick on the trees that they hid the full moon. Part of the charm of the old neighborhood was the beautiful, large old maples and oaks, but their roots also tore up the sidewalks. Ana tripped on one of those cracks, and shook her head in disgust. How could she always trip in the same spot, night after night? It wasn’t as if she hadn’t memorized the bad spots in the sidewalk after years of walking this way.
She smiled; only one more year of classes and, with luck, she wouldn’t be taking this same walk anymore. She would have her teaching degree, be able to quit her job as an admin at the university, and start a new life with her daughter, maybe somewhere else. She would enjoy teaching, preferably high school, but she’d take whatever grade she could get to start. Sophie would miss her friends; they would both miss their family. They’d come back a lot to visit. She was sure of that—her family, particularly her grandfather, would certainly insist on it. But it would be nice to start over. Of course, Jonathan, her ex, would probably object if she moved even to the next county. The one good thing she could say for the man was he always fulfilled his obligations to their daughter, even if it was only because he thought about running for political office someday and didn’t want to ruin his reputation with the other lawyers and judges in Rivelou.
She shook her head as if to change the direction her daydreams had taken her and sidestepped another large crack in the sidewalk. She wasn’t going to let thoughts of Jonathan ruin a lovely evening. Maybe after Sophie was in bed she’d have a chance to get outside again and enjoy the full moon and beautiful weather. She wouldn’t indulge herself in a run; she couldn’t leave Sophie alone, but some time out in her backyard to appreciate the full moon would be good.
She stopped and looked around, working to regain her pleasure in the evening, when she heard a low growl nearby.
A dog? No one on this block had a dog big enough to make that sort of sound. That growl had definitely come from something larger than Mrs. Ahearn’s yappy little Pomeranian. She began to walk more quickly. Only a half block until she turned onto Sycamore, then another half block until she arrived at her own home.
The growl came again. She tucked her purse more securely on her left shoulder, her computer bag on her right, and doubled her pace. There were no lights on at any of the houses on that part of the block, and of course, the moon took that moment to hide behind a cloud. She took a deep breath and tried to walk at a steady pace. She wouldn’t run, even though she could hear the animal behind her as she rounded the corner. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her own porch light on, as well as that of her neighbors, Joe and Lindsey, who kept Sophie evenings when Ana had class. Only a few more steps to safety.
She was almost in front of her own door when she heard the rush of paws with nails clicking on the sidewalk. With a howl, the animal knocked her down.
She held her computer case in front of her face, “Take a bite of that, you nasty beast,” she said, pushing the case at its huge, dark head. It was all teeth and glowing eyes as it stood over her, growling. “What do you want?” she shouted.
Though it had her on the ground, it didn’t make a move, just stood gazing at her. Somehow she sensed if she did move, it would strike. She had to do something. She drew a deep breath and prepared to scream when she heard someone running up behind her.
“Hey, you, get back! Get back!” She turned her head and saw a man come running toward her and the slobbering animal. The man grabbed a stick from the ground and waved it at the animal as he rushed forward. “Back! Get back, you ugly beast!” he shouted again, striking the creature who turned, snarling at him. They stared intently at each other for a moment when the dog finally dodged the stick and lunged to take a bite out of the man.
The man got in a couple of good blows before the dog suddenly grabbed the stick, tugged at it, and knocked the man to the ground. Ana decided it was time to take action. She fumbled through her purse as the dog leaned back on its haunches preparing to strike. Just before he lunged on the fallen man Ana found her can of mace and hit the dog in the face with the noxious spray. With howl of pain, it ran into the darkness.
Several more porch lights suddenly popped on to light the night, and the street was filled with neighbors coming to check on the unusual commotion.
“Are you all right?” her rescuer, still gasping and out of breath, asked. “It didn’t bite you, did it?” He made his way to his feet and held his hand out to her.
“No, no. I’m fine,” Ana replied as she was suddenly bowled over by an armful of an anxious thirteen-year-old. “Mom, mom, are you okay?” Sophie asked.
“What happened?” her neighbor, Joe, questioned her at the same moment.
“It was a dog. A huge one. I’ve never seen it before. This man chased it away,” she said, turning to the man who was wiping his face with a handkerchief and coughing.
“I think you were the one who chased it away. Wish you’d had a little better aim with the mace, but under the circumstances I don’t think I can complain,” he said between coughs.
“Hey, are you okay?” Joe asked, looking the man over. “You’d better come in and let us take a look at you. My wife’s a nurse. She can check you out. Just a whiff of that stuff can be torture on the eyes.”
“No, I’m fine, I’ll …” he protested, but Ana cut him off.
“I insist. If it wasn’t for you, I’d have been bitten by that animal.”
“I think we’d better make a police report,” Joe said as they headed for his house. “Joe Lessing,” he added, holding out his hand to the stranger. “And this is our neighbor, Ana Dugan, and her daughter, Sophie.”
“Good to meet you. Chris Spier,” the man said, shaking hands with Joe as they reached the porch. At the top of the steps he turned to Ana, where, under the porch light, she got her first real look at her rescuer.
He was just shy of six feet, with the build of teddy bear, the kind you’d like to give a big hug and take to bed with you, Ana thought, then inwardly blushed. Where had that thought come from? She didn’t have time for men. It wasn’t that he was soft, or fat, she added, mentally adjusting her initial teddy bear image. He was muscular, and he had a kind face, soft brown eyes, shaggy light brown hair and beard, both of which needed a trim. There was something about his worn khakis and wrinkled plaid flannel shirt that said he wasn’t used to being cared for.
“I’m so sorry if I hurt you,” Ana said, taking his hand. Chris held onto it until Joe said, “Come on in. You need to wash off that mace.”

He guided Chris into a small, warm living room and back to a kitchen where Sophie was animatedly, if with little accuracy, describing the incident to Joe’s wife and daughter.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Week in Review: 4/24-4/30



Books Received for Review

The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Struck by Amanda Carlson

Books I've Read

Boundary Born by Melisa F. Olsen
The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Shadowed Blade by J.C. Daniels
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Reviews Posted

Down the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Artificial by Jadah McCoy

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* New Releases for the week. Was there anything you were looking forward to reading?

* Tuesday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Starr Valentine by Wende Dikec

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* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.
 

 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Artificial by Jadah McCoy

Artificial
Author: Jadah McCoy
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
ISBN13:  9781620074930
Genre: Science Fiction
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.

I was very skeptical of the blurb for ARTIFICIAL and I actually almost passed it up on NetGalley, SO glad I didn't because it was an enjoyable, unique read with plenty of action and a great cast of characters.

One thing I learned quickly about Syl is that she is loyal, but bored with the life she is living. After an unfortunate series of events leads her to run from her home in the sewers she is taken away and soon realizes that her life will never be the same. Bastian is an android who works in the sex industry in New Elite. We learn about some of the hidden things he supports when he happens upon a human girl that looks like she's in need of saving. Little does he know, his life will never be the same.

I liked both of our main characters. Syl had a tough personality with a bit of fire mixed in. She has no trouble expressing what she's feeling or sticking up for what she thinks is right. Bastian was a bit reserved, but cares deeply about things he shouldn't being an android. I thought both characters worked well together and there was a definitely a spark, but the romance wasn't really a typical romance. I would like to see how it develops more in the next book though.

I really enjoyed ARTIFICIAL. The world was very unique and well built. The storyline was full of danger and suspense and the ending really threw me through a loop and made me want to read the next book in the series. I have no clue when book two will be available, but it will be on my wishlist as soon as I do.

I gave it 4/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Down the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Down with the Shine
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN:   0062356046
ISBN13: 9780062356048
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss
There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.


These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...

I wasn't sure about DOWN THE SHINE when I decided to give it a try, but it ended up being a neat and unique story.

I really enjoyed the way that Lennie's magic worked. On top of her neat gift, Lennie was an interesting character and I found her pretty humorous. Lennie's Uncles really brought some more fun to the story. They are pretty crazy, but n a fun way. I enjoyed the overall storyline while Lennie learns how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

So why the 3 star rating? There was a LOT of weird going on. There is some cool mixed in, but there is just too many things that were way out there that made me roll my eyes or make a 'you've got to be kidding me' expression. There was some really odd dialogue is some situations that really didn't need to be in the story. The relationship between Lennie and Smith just didn't do anything for me. There was a lot of on again, off again and just not enough spark. 

All in all though, it was a neat read and I'm glad I gave it a shot.

I gave it 3 /5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.