Saturday, February 9, 2019

Audiobook review: Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

**Note: Proceed with caution if you haven't yet read Unearthed.**

Book Summary
Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from what they've learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity's greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.

Flo's Review
Undying was quite different from Unearthed, but every bit as enjoyable. I really enjoyed having Neal along for the journey. He brought so much to the team in so many ways. It was a fun journey seeing several places in Europe with this duo. Their romance continued to blossom and I loved being able to know both their thoughts on the situation. (This is truly an advantage of dual narration in books.) One of the final scenes was just so artfully and beautifully written. Kudos to Amie and Meagan for deciding to present it the way they did.

I listened to this one on audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Alex McKenna and Steve West. Both of them did a great job bringing a unique, otherworldly sound to the Undying characters. I also thought this was a fun and captivating length -- I feel like it would have started to drag if it had tried to be a trilogy, so a duology was perfect. And -- as many other people have mentioned -- the recap of Unearthed at the beginning was phenomenal! I read that one right around the time it came out, so of course there were a lot of things I had forgotten about the story.

Finally, and most importantly in my opinion, I think that Jules Addison is officially my newest Book Boyfriend. Get all starry eyed and ramble to me about academics in your British accent, Oxford. I am so here for it!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Book review: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Book Summary
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

Flo's Review
Is it just me, or is it always a little nerve-wracking when you finally get the opportunity to read a book that's been super hyped? It's like, you're holding your breath as you turn the pages, hoping to get caught up in the same tidal wave that everyone else is riding.

I'm happy to say that I did catch the wave...though it took a little bit. With any new fantasy story there's the curve of learning, understanding, and then feeling at home in the new world. This always takes awhile for me. Wicked Saints did start off with a bang, and I appreciated that. The tension between Nadya and Malachiasz was delicious, though I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was one of those girls who likes the villain, the bad boy. (I'm not. Mal vs. the Darkling? Mal, all the way.) 

But Wicked Saints had so many deep questions running through it. Nadya struggled with issues of faith and belief, not only in the divine, but also in other people and in herself. By the last third of the book, I was all in. I'd read it all day long, and I opted to go to the gym at the end of the day just so I could hop on a machine and keep on reading! I was surprised by the reveals, and not just surprised -- so many emotions came along with them. 

A lot of things happened at the end that left me with questions and eagerness for how the series will continue. But most importantly, it left me with hope. I think some good things can come for the characters and their homes, though it will be anything but an easy journey.

Wicked Saints publishes April 2m 2019 from Wednesday Books.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Audiobook review: Slayer by Kiersten White

Book Summary
Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

Flo's Review
As soon as I heard about this book, I said to my friend, "We need Slayer." For the next few weeks or so, whenever we saw each other (basically) one of us was all, "We need Slayer." So, this was an anticipated read for sure.

Luckily, I had this on hand to help me catch up with all things Buffy ;-)
I have to admit that I had to go back and refresh myself on what all happened with Buffy throughout the run of the show. This helped me as events and people were mentioned and then connected to Nina's story. Nina was an interesting character. She actually reminded me a lot of Evie in Paranormalcy. Sort of like the Becky Bloomwood (of Shopaholic fame) of things not quite living -- lol. 

One thing I simply adored about the story was the sister relationship. I'm really close with my sister, and I really enjoyed reading about the resiliency of Artemis and Nina's bond. Also, Leo was enjoyably swoon worthy. I listened to this one on audiobook, and I couldn't help but laugh at the reader's attempt of an Irish accent for some of the characters. A for Effort.

With author Kiersten White at Miami Book Fair 2018..
Fun fact: I have the exact same shirt she's wearing. I wore it the next day.
Finally, several themes, characters, and elements of the story did complete 180s by the end of the book. I can't really get into it without spoilers, but it was just really need to see things that started at Point A on the left ending up at Point B on the right.

Oh, and naturally there was a big reveal at the end of this, so I'm looking forward to book 2!