Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: Ember by Carol Oates (Blog Tour Day 6)


Source:  Author
Released: July 19th 2011
Published by:  Omnific Publishing
Page Count is 237 pages
Buy It:  Amazon

When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.  (Description from back of book).

It's been a long time since a book surprised me at every turn and Ember certainly did that.  Candra's story is angst ridden with choices between what she wants and what is best for mankind.  Quiet a responsibility to shoulder for a college student.  At first there's Sebastian - gorgeous, arrogant Sebastian - who has been watching her for sometime and is abruptly inserted into her life.  At first he is nothing but a nuisance, constantly causing strife for Candra with his condescending demeanor and half truths as to why he's 'protecting' her.  I couldn't help but laugh along with Sebastian when he got under Candra's skin during their disagreements.  It was endearing at times, reminding me how a boy would pick on a girl he likes in kindergarten.

As their relationship developed Candra began to fall hard for her hottie Watcher, but what does Sebastian feel?  And what were his motives?  I couldn't understand them because he seemed at odds with himself for most of the book until I was given a good look inside his head muddled head.  All of his secrets come to light when his rival Draven, another Watcher, comes into the story.  He reveals the dark truths about the Watchers history, what Sebastian's role was in the war, and that he intended to have Candra with him to prevent history from repeating itself.  This made me question who was the real bad guy was in this convoluted love triangle.  For a time I began to think that neither Watcher was good enough for Candra to fall for, especially Sebastian who seemed more selfish then anything, but then I got to read about how torn he was.

Candra represented everything that he stood against in the first war, and here he was willing to start another one to keep her with him.  I loved how his character struggled and developed with the story.  Even Draven's character developed nicely which showed through at the end.  And the ending - oh the ending!  I was giddy with glee at the surprising twist!  I honestly did not think either men had it in them.

Ember was an incredible ride with many twists and an unnatural turns.  A great addition to the Young Author scene.  A note to the wise, if you are easily affected by emotional turmoil I suggest you have tissues in hand.

Don't forget to check out the other blog's in the tour schedule for the chance to win awesome prizes!

Prizes include:
  • Six random blogs on the tour will be giving away an ebook copy of Ember.  My blog is not one of them on this tour, but make sure you comment with your email to be entered into the giveaway on the one's who are hosting this giveaway.
Runner Up:
  • An Ember canvas tote and print copy of Ember
Grand Prize:
  • A silver butterfly necklace, an Ember canvas tote, and an ebook of Ember.
Remember to enter for the chance to win the GRAND PRIZE and RUNNER UP PRIZE, you must comment on ALL blog posts with your email during the tour.

Ember was given to me by the author Carol Oates in exchange for an honest review in support of her blog tour.  This in no way affected or influenced my review for the novel.  If you would like to contact me about my rating or review please email me at amateurvoice.kp (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Retail Therapy (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where us bloggers can talk about the books we bought or received this week.

 This week I got...


Exiled by M.R. Merrick
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened, and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating by Evelyn Lafont
 Goodreads Summary 
Josie is your average girl who just wants one simple thing to make her feel complete--sex with a vampire. When she receives an invitation to a party thrown by one of the world's richest vamps, she doesn't stop to question her luck; she jumps into her favorite stilettos and heads out to the event of a lifetime, secretly hoping that she'll come home with a sexy party favor.  

But the great undead aren't just pointy toothed hotties waiting to satisfy Josie's carnal desires--they are dangerous. With a single-minded focus on fulfilling her sole sexual longing, Josie unwittingly entrenches herself in the twisted world of vampire relationships with no one to guide her, but herself.

 What did you guys get this week?  :D

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blog Tour: Ember by Carol Oates

To find out more click the banner.

When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. 

Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

Keep an eye out for my stop in the blog tour on September 6th!

Tour Scheduled and Giveaway details.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monthly Book Report: July 2011

Another Month has come and gone.  In case you missed anything here's the recap!

Books Reviewed:

Bookish Features:
In My Mail Box #5

Other Posts:
Scroll through to see all four posts

Books Received:

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan - Paperback
 Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan - Paperback
The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder - ARC/Paperback 
Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell - E-book
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott - Hardcover
 Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon - Hardcover

Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction - Hardcover 
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins - Hardcover 
Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié - Hardcover 
Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen - Paperback 
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer - Hardcover
The Crescent by Jordan Deen - Paperback
Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany - Paperback

For Review:
Sex and Stupidity:  A Collection of Short Stories by K. Syrah - from the author/Ebook reviewed 
Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel - Softcover

Hunting Kat by PJ Schnyder - E-book/NetGalley
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter - E-book/NetGalley
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates - E-book/NetGalley
Necropolis by Michael Dempsey - E-book/Netgalley

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - Hardcover - big sister
Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootleg by

Wow!  I got a lot of books this month...

Currently Reading:
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates
Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel
Urban Falcon by Jennifer Caloyeras

New Things On The Blog:

New Button
New Banner
New Monthly Book Report Image

I made all three myself! :D  I'm rather proud of how they turned out.  Finally found a program that I like that has similar features to Photo Shop, so now I'm a photo editing fool!

I'm really happy how things have been going with my blogging adventures.  Last month was a rocky one for me.  Lots of drama.  Lot of heartache.  As a result I was severely lazy and apathetic with blogging, commenting, etc...  I'm sorry for that.  Blogging became more work then fun and my interest was lost.  Things are much better now and as a result I've taken a turn with my blogging and I enjoy it much more now.  =D
Much love everyone.  Thanks for an awesome month!  Happy blogging!

Got a report of your own?  Drop me a link and I'll check yours out!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mail Box (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where us bloggers can talk about the books we bought or received this week.

Last week I received In My Mail Box:

All of these NetGalley books were actually received last week, but I forgot to include them in my IMM #4.  Just means more to show off this week, right! ;)

Hunting Kat by PJ Schnyder - Ebook/NetGalley
 Lost Voices by Sarah Porter - Ebook/NetGalley
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates - Ebook/NetGalley
Necropolis by Michael Dempsey - Ebook/Netgalley

Current Cover for Necropolis

This week I received:

This past Wednesday was my birthday, so thanks to my awesome, amazing big sister, I got these awesome books!



I won an awesome bookmark swag pack from Donna Huber from The Writers Coffee Shop for participating in the Once-Upon-A-Read-A-Thon.  Thank you Donna!

Aren't they so pretty?  Twenty-three in all!

Two were signed by their authors!  :D

Thank you to Vikki at ComaCalm's Corner and Matt Xell for this E-book copy of Tower of Parlen Min which I won.

Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny ... if he can escape 'The shadow'.


Thank you to Elizabeth Scott for this copy of her book Between Here and Forever which I won.

Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...(Goodreads Description)

Thank you to T. Murphy for this copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Infinity which I won.

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that? (Goodreads Description)

For Review:

Thank you to Kim Weiss and HCI Books for this copy of Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel.

In the quaint town of Middleburg, an abandoned train yard and old railroad tracks form the dividing line between two rival gangs—the posh, preppie Toppers and the working-class Flatliners. When Raphael, the leader of the Flatliners, falls in love with Aimee, a Topper girl, the rival gangs prepare to do battle . . . but not with guns and knives. Their martial arts training dictates a strict code of honor, which all of the gang members adhere to. The only hope for peace between the rival gangs lies within the giant X formed where the railroad tracks cross. The awesome power contained in the X sends the Flatliners and the Toppers on a mystical quest to fight against malevolent forces that threaten the existence of Middleburg—and maybe the world.

What did you guys get this week? :D

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Retail Therapy (11)

Book Retail Therapy is a bookish meme to show off purchased books that satisfy everyone's compulsive book buying. 
To learn more about this meme click here.

This past Wednesday was my birthday, need I say more?  That's the best reason excuse to spend money on books ever! :D  And to Satisfy my book hoarding nature I bought these awesome books this week:

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
The Crescent by Jordan Deen 
Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Married with Zombies is a dystopian novel.  I'm not much of a zombie fan but it sounds to hilarious from the blurb on good reads and the reviews I've been reading around on blogger to not read it for myself.

Wolfsbane is the sequel to Nightshade, and I've been dying to read this!  I'm a fan of the original cover designs, but I gotta say the green on black is very eye catching to me.

The Crescent is another shifter/werewolf novel that I've been wanting to read.  And because I'm a complete shifter/werewolf nut I just had to get it.

Secrets and Shadows is the sequel to 13 To Life.  I enjoyed the first so much and I have to see how things panned out with Jessie, Pietr, and Sarah.

What books did you guys by this week?  Leave me and link and I'll be sure to check yours out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: 13 To Life by Shannon Delany

Source: Purchased
Format:  Paperback
Released: June 22nd 2010
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count is 308 pages
Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died.

Now even her hometown of Junction is changing, and mysterious, dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to be normal. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent - he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town. 

It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…
(Description from goodreads.com)

Werewolves, hot men, and a snarky strong female lead?  Yes, definitely yes.   

13 To Life was an enjoyably fun, exciting read and the characters were colorful with great personality.  Not many books, YA books specifically, find a nice way to slowly reveal the supernatural aspects of their plots, usually they just dive right in.  What I loved about 13 To Life was that everything about the main plot to the side stories was paced wonderfully.  Nothing was rushed or hurried in this book - except for one scene, when Jessie and her two girlfriends went to Pietr's house for the first time.  It was a little confusing and I had to reread those few pages.

Jessie is the leading lady of the novel.  She's strong willed, even though she lost her mother, determined, and clever.  She's always thinking and asking the questions that move the story along.  Jessie is someone I can relate with a great deal.  She loves to write, she's got her "Wall of Weird" with crazy newspaper clippings, she raises horses and rides, and she use to shoot semi-professionally with her rifle.  She's also suspicious of the Rusakova family, but not in a begrudging way.  She's more curious then anything.  And who wouldn't be curious about Pietr Rusakova?  He's good looking, sarcastic, funny, has a sexy accent, and has his bed room walls covered in books!  He also looks out for Jessie and goes out of his way to make her happy even if it makes him miserable. 

The romance between Jessie and Pietr was another thing that was excellently paced in 13 To Life.  What was also great about it was it wasn't so serious like in other novels.  I'm looking at you Twilight.  They went from irritable dislike, to understanding allies, to friends, to "I like you like that."  It was sweet, endearing, and what they both needed to fix the broken pieces of themselves.

It's not often that I really love with side stories mixed in with the main plot or the side characters, but Jessie's friends, Amy and Sophia were fun to read about and not at all stifling like other side characters.  I even liked Sarah and her recent love of words and reading, but as time went on...I couldn't help but see her evil side rear it's ugly head.  I'm a little terrified of her now for Jessie's sake.  I'm expecting her to be a fairly excellent antagonist in the series.

Great plot, great characters, and great writing!  With so much excitement at the end I can't wait to pick up the second book in this series.

This novel counts towards the following challenges:
Parajunkee's Shifter Challenge


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