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bookwormdreams

Bookworm Dreams

Hi, my name is Dragana, and I’m a book-o-holic. My goal in life is to read all the speculative fiction novels in the world. (or at least try)  :)

You can also find me on: Bookworm Dreams Blog

Surprisingly good urban fantasy

Black Rook - Kelly Meade, Kelly Meding

Another book that took me by surprise. It’s kinda of a rule that sexy half naked dudes are reserved for paranormal romance covers and kick-ass girls in leathers and uncomfortable poses are reserved for urban fantasy. So, when I saw a cover for a Black Rook, I expected classic paranormal romance plot. Summary, honestly, does not offer or hint at much more. Imagine my surprise when instead I got a surprisingly good urban fantasy novel with mages, werewolves and vampires.

 

Kelly Meade managed to make this usual races of magical creatures sound new. Whether if it’s because of painful shifts of werewolves called loup garou or vampires not being the most powerful race or because hierarchy in loup garou clans was based on fur color… Black Rook offers constantly new intriguing detailsabout Kelly Mead’s imaginary world.

 

Heroine Brynn is strong and week at the same time. Refreshingly, she does most logical thing and hasrealistic reactions. And when she stands up to someone stronger than her, you really gotta admire her, because there is no hidden catch. She has no super-secret hidden powers. She’s not The One. Brynn is just a girl looking for a place in a world and finding it (and love) in the most unexpected place.

 

Rook and others are not typical representatives of the species. At least if we compare them to other books from this genre. Werewolves have animal instincts, but it’s up to their human side to explore and determine if that course of action is a good one. Not the usual alphas who are always right and assert their opinion.

 

Romance is subtle, deep burn, with a lot of cons and little pros.

She wanted him. He wanted her. That was the easy part. Everything else around them made being together impossible.

There might be instant attraction but there is no insta-true-for-ever-and-ever love. Kelly Meade wrote it so good that you really feel how their feelings get deeper and deeper.

“This is impossible, isn’t it?” she whispered. 
“I don’t know.” 
“We’re from two different worlds, Rook. A bird cannot live in the ocean with a fish.” 
“Penguins can swim there, though.” 
She laughed, her breath warm against his neck. The melody of her laughter rumbled from her chest to his heart, and he committed the sound to memory. 
“What if the penguin has never learned to swim?” 
“Then she’ll have to find a dedicated fish who will teach her.”

In The End…

If you are looking for a novel focused on the love story, Black Rook might be a disappointment. But if you would like to read about an old urban fantasy theme done in a new, interesting way, strong heroine, complex flawed heroes and intriguing plot that will leave you craving for a next book - then you must read Black Rook.

 

Looking for something similar? Try Full Blooded.

 

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-black-rook-by-kelly-meade

This retelling of Beauty and Beast was not up to my taste

Beauty's Beast - Amanda Ashley

Beauty and The Beast is my favorite Disney cartoon. Grumpy heroes are always so cute and Beast won my heart when he gave a library as a gift to Belle. So, whenever I stumble upon the retelling of this tale I am excited because I hope it will have that same spark, that same magic that will make me hum:
Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme…

On the surface Beauty’s Beast is a perfect retelling of the famous fairytale. Eric is cursed by a witch to slowly transform into the beast.
To fulfill a promise to his dead father and not die without an heir, he gets married to a young girl Kristine who is sentenced for murder. Kristine is so grateful to Eric for saving her from the death sentence and she tries to be a good wife to him. Slowly they fall in love…

What can go wrong? A lot of things:

1.) Since Eric is bent on having an heir pronto, he immediately starts to have sex every night with Kristine. She dutifully and silently lies. At the beginning a lot of times it’s bordering with rape for me.

2.) Descriptions of sex had a lot of archaic descriptions that belong to vintage historical romance novels.
"Desire rose within him, a desire to bury himself within her."
"Her womanly scent rose up to tantalize him, stirring his blood, his desire."
A lot of times I was not sure if Ashley Adams wrote about sex or farming.
"He would go to her tonight and plant his seed within her. If there was any mercy in the world, his seed would take root and he could leave here, leave her."

These two facts made my reading of Beauty’s Beast a boring and irritating task. I kept on reading hoping for some glorious moment that will make all my suffering worthwhile. For a glimpse of true Beauty and The Beast magic to appear. But it never happened.

There were a lot of things that could have won me over:
1. Eric’s fear about losing his humanity as the transformation to beast happens. Fear that he will lose his memories…
2. A lot of my favorite romantic scenes from Beauty and The Beast cartoon were recreated: he saving her from the wolves, she nursing his wounds, …
3. Paranormal elements in story, with witches and wizards and magic. Things go crazy & exciting as the conclusion is near…

But no. All Beauty’s Beast succeeded is to make me gnash my teeth and yell in my mind.
- At Kristine for being submissive, for not standing up for herself from the start.
- At Eric for sleeping with her and enjoying it, although he was conscious she didn’t want it.
- At Amanda Ashley for the outdated writing style.

At the end all I can say is – well at least it is over. But I don’t think I will have enough courage to brave another book by Amanda Ashley again.

Recommended only for fans of bodice ripper historical romance novels who don’t mind that there are witches and other magic in the story. This Beauty and The Beast retelling is not for all fairy tale lovers. Approach with caution.

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-beautys-beast-by-amanda-ashley
Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

Haha this is so untrue for me.

Witches and warlocks and spells... oh my!

Entangled - Nikki Jefford

All Graylee’s ever wanted is to be a normal high school student. To forget about dating a magically inclined members of the male species and for life to go on without interference. But it’s hard to do these things when you have an identical twin sister. Graylee accepted long time ago that her sister is nothing like her. Charlene is vain, selfish and manipulative. Good thing all witches and warlocks took the Vow of Honor at the age of twelve, or else Charlene would be using black magic…

 

Graylee might comfort herself with these thoughts but as soon as we start reading, we can see that her sister is mentally unstable. And soon also to suspect that she has murderous tendencies. And you know what they say…

Death was final. Even the death of a witch.

In Entangled, Graylee learns that this is not true. Although…

Gray was stuck inside Charlene’s own sleazy high school soap opera. Maybe this was hell.

And she will soon start to ask herself questions she never thought that she will ask. Like:

What did one bring to her own gravesite? Flowers? Trinkets… A shovel?

 

Ok, I am done teasing you with quotes. If you want to know what is happening in a book – read it. At first glance it sounds like every other ya novel set in high school with love triangle romance and spiced up with witches. But Entangled is much more. It’s perfect light reading for the summer. With good characterisation, magic and a lot of surprising twists in the story. Be warned – summary spoils one of the biggest ones.

 

In The End…

Entangled is a cute paranormal romance story set in high school with witches and warlocks in contemporary setting. Main characters are twins and they are identical only in looks. Romance is light love triangle, because heroine quickly makes her pick. If you like these kind of novels – read Entangled. I think you will not be dissapointed.

 

And it’s FREE for Kindle & Nook right now!

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-entangled-by-nikki-jefford
Reblogged from Claire-Louise Book Addict :

Enchanting world, but main characters lack depth

Wings of Arian (The Solus Trilogy) (Young Adult Fantasy) - Devri Walls

Wings of Arian was a surprise to me on so many levels. I expected very different kind of story than the one I got and although it was not without some flaws, learning the responsibility of the Solus along with Kiora was very exciting adventure.

 

The biggest surprise was amount of magical creatures we will meet in the story. Wizards, fairies, dragons (yes dragons!)… And with shapes-shifters we got everything else covered. Even flying pink dog-iguanas. And they do not just appear as part of the scenery. Each of these magical beings had enchanting back story that will make you cheer for them.

 

The only downside is – our heroine Kiora seemed rather flat compared to them. I wish the novel does not begin with Kiora who already started her training to be the Solus, protector of good. I think if I have met her as an ordinary girl, the connection between me and Kiora would have been deeper. And the fact that she reads all the instructions about spells to us did not make her more dear to me. I felt like I was at school and forced to listen to a lecture.

 

The spark in Kiora’s personality only appears when prince Emane is near. Their relationship is so cute. From the first look you can see they will be more than annoyed acquaintances. The banter between them was fun, the romance was even better. It was swoony and had so many great moments worth highlighting. And I did highlight like crazy. I would share them all here, but it would take too much space. So here is just one:

“You are the only girl I have met that I would wait for.” A smile played across his lips as he ran his finger across her cheek. “And I would wait a lifetime.”

 

The only person that felt flatter and more bland than Kira was the main villain, Dralazar. He was so boring, I was surprised how intense battle scenes turned out to be. Having magic did not make winning easy and the winners always had to have some extra tricks in their sleeve.

 

In The End…

If you can look past some boring parts and small lack of depth for main characters and villain, the Wings of Arian offers enchanting world full of magical creatures, intense battles and some surprising twists in the plot. It has dragons too! I am looking forward to the next part of Kiora’s adventures.

 

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-wings-of-arian-by-devri-walls

Full of snark and action!

Traitor's Blade - Sebastien de Castell

Traitor’s Blade is about Greatcoats. Greatcoats were law-enforcers who ensured that King’s Law was obeyed by everyone. (Kinda like gunslingers in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, just with swords.) But now there is no king anymore and greatcoats are mocked and called trattari.

We had been heroes for a little while and now we were just traitors with useless pardons, no allies and no purpose.

Narrator of Traitor’s Blade is greatcoat Falcio val Mond, and what a story it is – mix of flashbacks and his current adventures. It’s always exciting, sometimes sad, but never boring. And all spiced up with Falcio’s dry sense of humor, even when he is explaining ordinary things in life. To get this kind of snark from narrator I usually have to read urban fantasy novels.

How they can transcribe the events of a man’s life from afar, I do not know. Some say they read the threads of fate, or they bond with a man’s mind and capture his thoughts to put down on paper. Others say they just make this shit up, since by the time anyone gets to read it the person it’s about is almost certainly dead.

And it gets even better if you are into fencing. Because Falcio has good advises from his long experience of sword-fights:

Once you get hit with the ball from a pistol, you really only have a few seconds to get the pointy bit into someone’s mouth before you fall down and die.

If you are not lover of things with pointy ends, but still like to fight. Do not despair. There are tips for you too:

When you’re fighting a crowd, it’s good to shout potentially threatening things like “Crossbows!” or “Fire!” or “Giant Flying Cat!” every once in a while.

But I am getting side-tracked. I almost told you The First Rule of the Sword. But I am not telling. Nope. For that you will have to read the book. ;)

 

Warmth and humor in Traitor’s Blade is only increased with banter of Falcio and his friends. A lot of people compare them to The Three Musketeers, but I found them more down-to-Earth. Like they are real and not just characters in a book. Their interactions reminded me of Cazio & his sword-fighting instructor z’Acatto from The Briar King by Greg Keyes (especially when they gossip about knights).

 

Another thing that I LOVED is Monster. I adore when a book features mythical creatures or animals with attitude and Monster had that in abundance. And again I am not telling more. My lips are sealed. Also, if I start I could not stop and would spoil half the book – so you really should appreciate my perseverance.

 

I think that was enough praise and fangirling. If you didn’t figure out until now, Traitor’s Blade is definitely getting a place on my Favorites shelf.

 

Now, what was bad? Nothing! Haha, just kidding. (Not really.) :D There are some descriptions of torture scenes and brutal behavior that might be tough to read if you are too sensitive and squeamish. Also, Falcio is so slow sometimes. I would call him stupid but I loved him as character so I am being gentle. But some facts were obvious to everyone, except to him.

 

In The End

Traitor’s Blade will definitely be on a list of my favorite fantasy novels in 2014. I would recommend it to old fantasy readers who like sword-fights and conspiracies and to urban fantasy fans who would like to try fantasy genre. There is enough snark and action to make Traitor’s Blade a fun summer read.

 


Disclaimer: I received this ebook from Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-traitors-blade-by-sebastien-de-castell
Reblogged from karen:
=)
=)

Take that boys! :p

Perfect for teens who love uf inspired by Greek myths

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful (Oracle of Delphi #1) - Diantha Jones

The start of Prophecy of the Most Beautiful sounded too familiar for my taste. Chloe, a girl with ordinary looks who is unpopular, notices a handsome new guy at school. And - surprise, surprise – he is looking at her too! He offers:

Freedom from the life you are about to become entrapped in. I can save you from the clutches of your great destiny.

Yeah, right? *eye roll* Tell me you didn’t  read at least five young adult novels who started the same way? I thought I already knew what will happen. Chloe and mysterious handsome new guy aka. creepy stalker will fall madly (and of course instantly) in love while they run away from mysterious bad guys.

 

If you have imagined the plot similar to the one I described above then you have gravely mistaken, because Prophecy of the Most Beautiful turned out to have one of the most original and complex worlds of Greek mythology in contemporary setting I have read so far. There are even special websites, like DemiBoook, a social network for demigods. Attention to detail Diantha Jones had while she transferred Greek gods to urban environment is astounding.

 

The only complaint I have about Prophecy of the Most Beautiful is Chloe. She was such a typical teenager. One of Chloe’s obsession is what everyone is wearing. We get detailed descriptions every time. It’s interesting at first but after some time, it’s just boring. I don’t care about brand or color of his sneakers, just get to the point!

 

Also, how the gods and buildings looked was described like teenage girl’s wet dream. Everything was just the way Chloe liked it. I would not be surprised if it turned out that she was dreaming the whole time (at the end of the series).

 

In The End…

If you read young adult novels and love Greek Mythology, I recommend that you read Prophecy of the Most Beautiful. The world only is worth the effort even if you find characters too teenage-y for your taste.

 

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-prophecy-of-the-most-beautiful-by-diantha-jones

Typical paranormal romance

Turned - Virna DePaul

The Story

 

I read 30% of book so i think i grasped the basics of the plot: FBI agent Ty Duncan is turned into a vampire against his will. Ty and his colleagues with similar fate still work for the government as part of The Belladonna Agency. Ty’s first task is to recruit Ana Martin for Belladonna.

 

My thoughts

 

When you read a book with as much passion as when you eat broccoli, I think its time to call it quits. Or as we bookworms like to say DNF. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against broccoli. They are healthy and nutritious and I eat them from time to time when I cannot avoid it. But they leave a bad taste in my mouth and eating them is a task not an enjoyment like meals should be. Similar things I can say about Turned by Virna DePaul.

 

Why did I stop reading?

  • Same old story told for the 1000th time. Nothing new. I was bored and uninterested.
  • Words used for erotic descriptions just rubbed me wrong.  I don’t like this kind of crude language.
  • Dreams about sinking teeth and other extremities into her flesh. NOT SEXY at all.

His sheathed fangs ached the way his dick did, longing to penetrate and take everything from her: her sweet blood and her complete surrender.

  • There is a scene where Ty watches Ana over a camera (hidden in her bedroom) and masturbates. Voyeuristic, stalker-ish, too creepy…
  • Multiple POVs didn’t work out. Story was told in too many angles and from views of unimportant side characters.

 

In The End…

Turned is paranormal romance flirting with erotica about FBI agent/vampire Ty, ex-gang-member Ana and their work in Belladonna Agency. The start promises creepy villains, complex back-story and a lot of mystery and action. It’a a typical pnr plot. If you are not bored with this genre, like me, Turned might be enjoyable for you.

 

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-turned-by-virna-depaul
Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :
Reblogged from It's a mad mad world:

Find out what are advantages of being a dragon-shifter ...

Going Down in Flames (Entangled Teen) - Chris Cannon

Mention of fire in the title of Going Down in Flames got my dragon detection sense tingling. Reading the summary confirmed my hunch – there will be dragons in this book. In fact heroine Bryn is a dragon-shifter.Urban fantasy with dragons? You know I had to read it!

 

Going Down in Flames start with an usual young adult novel plot: Bryn is stalked by some creepy (but handsome) guy and then she discovers that she is special and has hidden powers. I must admit, I was a little bit turned down in the beginning because it all sounded familiar. But soon I forgot to complain about the cliches because I got immersed into the interesting world of dragon-shifters.

 

Being a dragon-shifter has a lot of advantages:

  • Eating as much as you want and not gaining weight. “Bryn burned through her stress, literally.”
  • Shooting fireballs at everyone who annoys you.
  • Flying!
  • Going to elite boarding school.
  • All of your new friends are dragons.

BUT, there are downsides too:

Acid surged from her stomach and shot up her throat, burning her esophagus. Pressure built in her chest. She coughed. Her lungs constricted. She cleared her throat and opened her mouth to speak. Flames exploded out of her mouth and shot across the room, setting the kitchen curtains on fire.

Blowing fire does not sound like a pleasant experience. More like a bad case of heartburn.

 

Chris Cannon invented a world of modern dragons that is intriguing and very complex. Dragon-shifters have different powers based on their color, are divided in clans and have strict rules for everything (even dating and marriage). And since our heroine is new to the dragon world, we get to be acquainted with it along with her. I know it’s a cliche, but this is still one of the best ways to do world-building. Something new appears and Bryn and you will exclaim together: “Wow, what’s that?”

 

Another aspect of Going Down in Flames I liked is Bryn’s friendship with Clint and Ivy. Clint was especially funny and full of puns. It reminded me of my high school buddies, friendly teasing and adventures we had together. Happy times! *sigh* I’m not saying that being married and having a baby is not fun. Especially my loving husband – he’s the best. (Bear with me, he’s probably the only person who reads all of my blog posts. I gotta keep my audience.)

 

One big flaw of Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon that I must point out is that it’s not a standalone novel. I’m guessing it’s a first book in a series, because it ends in a big cliffhanger. I wish there was an info about this on cover or book title page, I would have been a little bit less surprised.

 

In The End…

If you like young adult urban fantasy novels set in boarding school with dragons then you should check out Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon. It’s fun and easy to read – perfect for the summer. There might be a couple of usual cliches in the plot and heroine is sometimes too hot-tempered to think rationally, but it’s still quick and entertaining read.

 

Looking for something similar?

Source: http://www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-going-down-in-flames-by-chris-cannon

Win a Custom Booklikes Design from Parajunkee Design

Reblogged from Parajunkee:

 

It is that time again! Time for a chance to PIMP your booklikes blog. You know you want it!!!

 

Win a Custom Booklikes Blog Desgin

 

 

Just enter the giveaway using the hand-dandy rafflecopter widget. Check below for all the deets.

 

Extra bit of awesome. If this giveaway reaches 1900K entries - (there were 1899 entries on last giveaway) another winner will be added. That means two people will have their booklikes blog pimped. Here is hoping, right? If I only get 100 entries, I will form a support group for rejected designers. Anyone can join...

 

The rafflecopter widget does not show in Booklikes dashboard so click the button below or the title of this post (and then it will show the Rafflecopter widget):

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need more info?

Check out the three other winners:

Winner 1

Winner 2

Winner 3

 

Design Giveaway Deets:

 

  • $150 Value
  • Contest ends 07/07/2014 12am CST
  • Can not be exchange for another design
  • Design will be completed with specs provided by winner
  • Design will be installed by me, but I will need access to your booklikes account
  • There is no follow or purchase necessary, but it is offered to gain extra entries
  • A winner will be picked within 48 hours of content ending and will be messaged in the Booklikes DMs, if no response is given within 48 hours, another entry will be picked
  • If entries pass 1900k another booklikes design will be added.
Reblogged from Jessica (HDB):

I mostly use eReaders but this is too funny not to share. :)

Source: http://themetapicture.com/its-like-an-ipad