Friday, September 29, 2017

Gauntlet Fall (The Gauntlet Book 1) by Maddy Edwards

Gauntlet Fall (The Gauntlet Book 1)

Gauntlet Fall
by Maddy Edwards
(The Gauntlet #1)
Publication Date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult


Samantha Berry lives in a world devastated by war. A fragile peace has allowed hopes for rebuilding to blossom, but they rest on the shoulders of those who run the Gauntlet, the lethal trail to the stronghold of the man whose strange creatures started the war many years ago. The stronghold lies deep in Torrent's Valley, protected by deadly weapons that defeat every attempt to penetrate it, and it holds information crucial to the survival of Samantha's world.
Samantha wants to go to Harknell School, where Gauntlet Runners are trained. The only trouble is, she's the wrong gender. Determined not to let a little thing like that stand in her way, she disguises herself, calls herself "Sam," and risks everything to learn the skills she needs. 
Fraught with unimagined dangers, Harknell shows Sam a whole new world and forces her to keep a cool head as she fights to maintain her place and become a Runner. Along the way, she'll make lifelong friends, watch loyalties crumble, and learn what it is to love. 
In this scorching world that no one saw coming... until it arrived. 


I like that at the beginning they don't specify the gender of the main character. I thought the main character was a boy at the beginning. I didn't like that almost immediately after her gender was revealed, it is emphasized how much weaker females are than males. However, the author proves that point incorrect throughout the rest of the book. 

Sam(antha) is stuck in Salt Landing with her cousin's family who treat her like crap. Her mother left her with her cousin when she went to look for her brother, after he left for Harknell Hall to try to run the Gauntlet. Six years later, Sam goes herself, to try to train to run the Gauntlet and find her brother, even though only males are allowed at Harknell Hall. 

I was impressed by this book! It sucked me in immediately, and I would have finished it in one night, if I didn't have to make myself go to bed at a (somewhat) decent hour so that I could go to work early the next day. Adulting sucks!

I will say that I figured out one of the twists at the end, but all of the other twists and turns thorughout the book, and especially the ending, I could have NEVER guessed any of that was going to happen! 

The author did an excellent job at world building and character development. Her character development was also very well timed, leaving some characters' mysteries a secret until the most powerful moment to reveal them. 

I absolutely ♥ed Sam! She was fearless and was hardly ever afraid of being found out as a girl, except in obvious situations. I think it would have taken away from the story if she was constantly worrying about it. 

This book was awesome! I'm just super upset that I don't have the next book in the series to keep reading! I can't wait to see what happens next!

I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Crippled Hope (Jagged Scars #4) by Jo Schneider

Crippled Hope (Jagged Scars, #4)
Reeling from the fall of Shelter, and mourning the loss of too many friends, Wendy and the battered survivors must leave their broken home in search of another. As Jeff tries to keep the council together, Wendy rallies the remaining fighters in their defense, but more deaths and a clash of wills divide the people. Some insist they fight, others wish to run while a growing number desire to surrender to the Primate, falsely believing he will show them mercy. 
Up until now, Wendy has been able to slash her way out of anything, but her knives prove useless as hunger, disease and discord threaten to rip not only the group apart, but also the growing relationship between her and Jeff. 

First of all, for those who have not read the first three books in the Jagged Scars series, check out my reviews of Fractured Memories (#1)Severed Ties (#2), and Shattered Dreams (#3).

**WARNING: Contains spoilers from first three books!!!**

The series is the story of Wendy, who is a ferocious fighter. She is a super smart and super dangerous. She lost her home to Skinnies (zombie-like people-ish things) and was saved and brought to Shelter, where she struggled to fit in and start learning to trust others. She ended up making friends at Shelter, but then it is threatened by the same person who ruined her home and killed her family: The Primate, who was working with Pelton, who taught her everything she knows about fighting, then betrayed her. At the end of Shattered Dreams, only a small fraction of the number of people that lived in Shelter survived blowing it up to save them all from the Primate and prevent him from taking over and gaining access to their advanced technology.

Crippled Hope picks up right where Shattered Dreams left off. The survivors from Shelter are moving through the tunnels they used to escape and get away from the Primate and his Skinnies.

These books definitely move fast! Just about everything that can go wrong does, and there are so many twists and turns thrown in. The series does that from the beginning. It is action-packed, but not rushed. The author gives you plenty of character and plot development in between the action.

All I could say after finishing this book was OMG!!! I'm so mad that I can't read the next book yet! I was thinking that the book was going to end at a certain point and was cool with that stopping point, then the author threw a major curveball. Then the book just stopped. OMG!

So far, I've loved absolutely everything about this series, but the ending to this book is frustrating if you don't have the next book to keep reading.

The author has done an amazing job with this series, though. Each book left me needing to read the next one and find out what happens next. However, there was usually a nice stopping point at the end, setting things up for the next book in the series, without making me too upset that I didn't have the next book yet. That was not the case with this one.

Each book has made me ♥ Wendy more and more! She stays true to her bad ass self throughout all the books, but she continues to grow and develop as a person throughout each one. And of course, I still ♥ Jeff and Kev! They were great in this book, as always!

If you haven't read the first three books, I encourage you to check them out immediately. If you have read the first three, this book will not disappoint! It's amazing, but the ending might frustrate you, since the next book in the series has not been released yet.

GoodReads says that the 5th book in the series, Broken World, will not be released until at least this December. I don't know if I can wait that long to see what happens next!

I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
"A high-octane thriller... Nyxia grabs you from the first line and never lets go." - Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Young Elites series
Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae. This is the first in a new three-book series called the Nyxia Triad that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they're willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune.
Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. 
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of the ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden - a planet that Babel has kept hidden - where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. 
But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human. 


The premise of the story is unique: a super-rich and powerful company, called Babel Communications, which "swallowed Google back in 2038," selects a group of teenagers to go into space. At first, they have no idea why they were chosen and have no idea why or where they are going. The, they learn that they are competing for a chance to travel to a planet called Eden to mine a substance called Nyxia. 

Let's talk about Nyxia a little... I want to say so much about it. It's basically the new most valuable substance in the world and can seemingly be used for pretty much anything. Seriously, like anything - from weapons to healthcare. However, it has been kept a secret from the public, and the crew of Genesis 11 only learns about it once they board the ship bound for Eden.

We learn quite a bit about Nyxia throughout the book, but there are still unanswered questions and mysteries. I have a few theories, but again, I don't want to give too must away. You'll just have to read the book yourself and let me know what you think!

This book was awesome! It had twists and turns that I never saw coming! It sucked me in almost immediately, and I got really into it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and at times, it made me angry, plus just about every other emotion in between.

The author did a great job of character development in this book! The characters are so diverse, and we get to learn more and more about them as the book progresses. The author gives us a glimpse into the lives of most of the characters. Knowing more about their background and motivations helps readers understand them and their actions better.

I think the author did a good job with the ending, as well. He picked a good stopping place, but I'm still upset that I have to wait so long to see what happens next! I have so many questions!

That's the downside to reading books in a series before or right when they come out; you have to wait even longer than everyone else to read the next books. #FirstWorldProblems #TheStruggleIsReal

I definitely recommend this book! It certainly exceeded my expectations, and I will be waiting not so patiently for the next book in the series, which as of right now does not have a projected release date or cover art on GoodReads.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1) by Ed McDonald

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man's desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny...
Nothing in the Misery lasts...
Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching - and still waiting. 
Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attach by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him. 
Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together, they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he's spilled and the gods he's supposed to serve...


HOLY CRAP! This book was AWESOME!

It is a little dark and a bit graphic at times. If you have a squeamish stomach or are triggered easily, it may not be for you, but it is definitely not the darkest or most graphic book I've ever read.

This story is so unique! The author did an excellent job at building a broken world, where even the sky was broken and crying.

I loved the women in this story! The main character's most vicious and loyal soldier us a woman named Nenn. She was probably my favorite. Nenn is a complete badass! She a fighter, without a nose. She wears a wooden nose, and is constantly chewing some kind of black substance that I assume is like chewing tobacco that makes your teeth black.

Ezabeth was great, too! She is a fearless, smart, powerful Spinner. Spinners are able to draw power from the three moons and create Phos from it, which allows them to do magic.

I also liked Tnota. He is the main character's most loyal navigator, who when he isn't navigating or fighting, is with the steady stream of men that were coming and going from his house.

I loved Galharrow's development throughout the story. He was constantly battling with himself, what he is, and the things he's done. He would rather spend all his time at the bottom of a bottle, but instead, when he comes across a woman that he used to know, ends up going down the rabbit hole with her, discovering a huge conspiracy theory that could kill put an end to humanity.

The Deep Kings are gearing up for war, and the Nameless, who are the only ones that can defeat them, are nowhere to be found. Even Crowfoot, who has a pact with Galharrow, is MIA. So, instead, Galharrow and Ezabeth have to try to figure out how to save everyone from the Deep Kings.

This book was excellent and so much different from anything I've ever read. I loved it! It was action-packed, and full of twists and turns that you would never anticipate. I especially loved the ending and can't wait to see what the author comes up with for the sequel! 

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via First to Read, in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Shattered Dreams (Jagged Scars #3) by Jo Schneider

Shattered Dreams (Jagged Scars, #3)

Wendy has wrestled the monster in her head into a corner where she hopes to keep it at bay. Thanks to her and the other fighters, Shelter is safe, but the victory didn't come without loss. During the Writing on the Wall - a tribute to the dead - Mike announces his plan to go after Pelton and his people. Wendy is the first to volunteer. 
But Jeff has other ideas. He asks Wendy and a few other trusted fighters to join him on a team that will go in before the main force and wreak havoc in the complex. The price? Wendy has to lie to the rest of her friends and pretend to date Jeff to cover for the time they spend together. Which would be okay if Wendy didn't actually have feelings for Jeff. But the worst part, the part Wendy isn't sure she can live with, is that Pelton might get away, and she will never avenge her family.

Excerpt from Shattered Dreams

When Wendy got to the computer lab, she keyed in the code and turned the handle.
Wendy pushed the door open. 
She'd expected it to be deserted, but Hound and Cal were huddled around a set of three computers, their heads together and their finders typing like mad.
Jeff was in the far corner.
"Doesn't anyone sleep around here?" Wendy muttered.
"I figure we can sleep when we're dead," Hound said with a grin.
Wendy shook her head and moved to the computer that had the typing tutorials on it. She'd been through them all a few times, but she still wasn't quite fast enough to do most of the drills Mike put them through. It had taken her a while to accept it, but this skill might be as important as fighting at some point. Hopefully the need to use such skills would never fall on her, but if it did, she wanted to be prepared. 
The screen came to life, and Wendy clicked on the icon for the tutorial. The familiar picture of the keyboard came up, and she positioned her hands on the real keyboard. 
Man. Tan. Fan. Pan.
Wendy kept up with the pace of the tutorial. The words got longer and more complicated. She got lost in it for a while, then the faint hiss of a chair moving told Wendy that Jeff had stood. A few footsteps and she knew he was coming toward her. 
The letters started to pop up on the screen. Wendy tried to relax and let her muscle memory do the work. 
Jeff's footsteps got closer. He pulled out the chair next to her and sat. 
"You don't have to watch me," Wendy said. "I think I've mastered loading the tutorial." She silently rejoiced as her fingers kept going, even when she was talking. They slowed down, but didn't start typing what she was saying, which had happened more than once.
"I finished my stuff. Thought I would say hi."
The "i" slipped into the word rock. Wendy made a face.
Jeff continued to watch, which made Wendy a little nervous. After a few minutes, she glanced over.
"What's on your mind?"
Jeff scooted his chair toward her, and leaned in until his lips were just inches from her ear.
"I've been thinking. I might need to use you as an excuse to keep Matt off my back."
"Okay." Lock. Tock. Sock.
He leaned closer, and whispered. "I mean, I think I need to tell him we're, uh, seeing one another."
Wendy furrowed her brow as "clock" came up. "What do you mean?"
"Like boyfriend and girlfriend."
Wendy's fingers froze. Her mind froze. Her neck froze, and she could have sworn it cracked as she turned to meet his gaze. "What?" she whispered.


I absolutely loved Fractured Memories and Severed Ties, so when I got the opportunity to join the author's review team and read the rest of the series, I jumped at the chance to read more!

I had high expectations for this book, after reading the first two books in the series, and this book definitely didn't disappoint!

I can't say enough good things about this series! I love everything about it!

I even like the romantic aspect, which, if you've read pretty much any of my other reviews, says A LOT. The author didn't slap a cookie cutter love triangle in the middle of this story, and she didn't turn the main character into an idiot over a stupid crush.

I ♥ Wendy! She is a total badass! I can't decide if I like her or Jeff more, but I know that I ♥ ♥ ♥ them together!!!

The ending of this book was perfect. It set things up perfectly for the next book in the series, without leaving me too upset that I didn't have the next book yet to immediately keep reading.

I definitely recommend this series! If you haven't read the first two books yet, I encourage you to check them out! I promise, you won't be disappointed!

I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Fate of the Stars Blog Tour and iPad Mini Giveaway

Fate of the Stars
Arwen Paris
Publication date: September 1st 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
When the fate of the world rests upon you…
Allison Delaney wants to spend her senior year healing from the loss of her father, to leave the shadows of his death and her junior year break-down behind. A Labor Day beach party seems like a good place to start…but there’s more danger lurking than anyone could imagine. Death is coming to Earth if the pods of infectious creatures aren’t stopped. But only one human can help…
To live or die is no longer a choice.
Eenoki is a protector of life but must have a sentient host to fight the invasion. A teenage girl would not be the best choice, but out of desperation Eenoki invades Allison’s mind and body, granting her unnatural abilities and strengths – and helping her escape certain death when the first wave of pods land.
As destruction rains down on Earth’s population, Allison realizes to save everyone, she must make the ultimate choice: Reject her human side and bond with Eenoki to become the Earth’s Priestess – or be killed along with the rest of humanity.

Author Bio:
Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she's not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless - #F3Fanatic


I zoomed through this book in one night! I'm usually not into books about aliens, but this isn't like Star Trek or anything like that. Yes, there were aliens, but they were not the main focus of the story.

The story focuses more on Allison, who is a teenager who must learn as she goes, after stepping into a gigantic role that initially seems impossible.

This book was AWESOME!!! The author did an excellent job of world building and explaining about the aliens, their different culture, and their motivations.

I am definitely looking forward to reading more by Arwen Paris! I hope a sequel is in the works!

I received a copy of this book for free, in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wings Unseen Blog Tour and $25 Amazon Giveaway!

Wings Unseen
by Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Published by: Meerkat Press
Publication date: August 22, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

To end a civil war, Lansera's King Turyn reliquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as comparable as oil and water. 
When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn't know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua's leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancè pf Turyn's grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother's murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.
To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra's brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.
Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Ferrell's first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters. 

Author Links

Available for Purchase

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I've been watching a lot of Game of Thrones, and I assume the author does as well (or has read the books, which I, regrettably, have not done yet). A couple of the names are similar (i.e. Braven/Bravos and Lanisters/Lanserim).

The author might have been inspired by GoT, but this book was definitely much different than GoT. You can tell that there was some inspiration, from a few names and places, and some of the settings in the book sound similar. In fact, since I just recently binge watched the entire GoT series to get caught up for the new episodes in season 7, there were several places in this book where I thought something entirely different (and usually much worse) was going to happen, because that is something that would have happened in GoT, but the author took it a totally different direction.

So, whether you love GoT, hate GoT, or you've never even heard of or seen/read GoT, I still recommend this book!

Basically, a civil war between people who value greed and power and those who value honor broke out. To stop the fighting and bloodshed, they signed a truce, giving the Meduans the land over the mountains, and the King rule over the rest of Lansera.

The Meduans were the cruel, greedy people, of at least the men among them who strive for power were. They treated women like shit, even their wives and daughters. All women were considered just a way to fulfill urges and have children. Wives typically weren't even allowed to live in the same house with wealthy men and their children, and poor men weren't allows to marry. Most women lived in a separate part of town that men only entered when they have "urges."

Across the mountains, a kind king rules with honor and compassion. The king married for love, and the prince is engaged to marry his childhood sweetheart. The two peoples couldn't be any more different.

I ♥ed Prince Janto, but my favorite character was Vesperi! I ♥ed her personality and spunk! Even though the way she acts is a product of growing up in such a cruel and violent environment, she doesn't take any crap from anyone, regardless of the consequences. I want to say more and explain a couple of my favorite Vesperi moments, but I don't want to give away any spoilers... You'll just have to read the book!

This book was AWESOME! The author did an excellent job at world building and character development. She really let the reader travel into Lanserim and Medua, in order to be able to understand their worlds and culture.

I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ this book!!! I even loved the romantic aspect in it, which if you've read pretty much any of my other reviews, you know that I am very critical of. This was not cookie cutter love triangle or stupid crush, though. The author did an excellent job at fitting the love story in in a unique manner, without taking focus away from the rest of the story, and especially without taking focus away from the amazing characters or making them turn into idiots around their silly crushes, like in way too many YA books nowadays.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone! The only problem I had with it was that it ended too early, and I wanted to keep reading more! I would love to read a sequel! I loved the ending, but I'm not sure if the author intended to leave an option for or intends to write a sequel.

I ♥ed this book and am super impressed with Rebecca Gomez Farrell and will definitely be looking for future books by her!

I received a copy of this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

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