Friday, January 31, 2014

*Stacking the Shelves* Welcome to February!

Stacking The Shelves is a fun way to show off the books we received over the past week in the hopes that you will find something that you will be interested in reading. As always, it is in no way, shape, or form to be considered bragging or sticking out our tongues at other bloggers. 

I personally enjoy  reading comments from those that stop by and support Gizmo's Reviews and I make every effort to comment and visit back your blog in return. 

Such an interesting week. While I am happy with my haul, I am disappointed in that I was denied by publishers who have approved ALL of my other requests in the past. Then again, I am absolutely happy that my local library is getting more aggressive in pushing back against government cut backs, and layoffs, and are actually PURCHASING awesome new books so I can get caught up on series I'm severely lacking behind on! 

Hope you find something you like!

Pre-Ordered & Delivered via
*I've been a bit worried about the recent reviews of this book which are all over the place! Therefore, I will hold off on reading it for as long as I can. 

Received FINISHED copy via Melissa @ Pocket Books!


Received from Pocket Books!

**This was actually supposed to have been delivered to me in NOVEMBER! When I went to visit my family in New York, somehow UPS decided to leave the package at the apartment complex office, and NOBODY told me until TODAY!**

 Received via Netgalley (Zoderkidz Books)

Received via Netgalley (MacMillan Children's Publishing Group)

Borrowed from Library


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

*Early Review* Only The Good Die Young (Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire #1) by Chris Marie Green

*My Thoughts*

Chris Marie Green, author of the Vampire Babylon series, opens a new series with Only The Good Die Young featuring Jensen Murphy as the lead protagonist. Jensen was killed 30 years ago, and until psychic Amanda Lee Minter came along and released her, she was stuck in a never ending time loop where she continued to experience her own horrific death over and over again. She has absolutely no clue as to who killed her, but has some idea that it wasn't a pretty death. Jensen now has to learn a whole new way of living, which includes befriending some lively ghosts like Randy, Twyla, John, and Scott who enlightens her into what it means to actually being a ghost, including haunting a person, and how to recharge when they're drained.

Amanda Lee intentionally sought out Jensen in order to get her assistance in solving a 3 year old murder of her best friend Elizabeth Dalton. Dalton was romantically linked to billionaire Gavin Edgett at the time of her death and Amanda Lee absolutely believes that he is a murderer that needs to pay. Amanda Lee has also promised Jensen that she will do everything in her powers to search, and find a way to get to the bottom of Jensen's own murder if she's successful in her discovery of who killed Elizabeth. 

I will say that I liked Jensen's characterization by Murphy. I liked that she was from the 80's and therefore needs to update herself on the current trends, and devices that humans take for granted these days. I liked that Jensen understands that in order to get to the bottom of her own death, she has to rely on herself as much as she does Amanda, Randy, John, and Scott who are apparently part of a new ghost squad to help Jensen when she gets into a jam. Jensen also knows that being a ghost comes with some perils as well since you never know when you might find yourself in another time loop permanently.

Only The Good Die Young is a paranormal story with a solid mystery of who really killed Elizabeth and why. I will say that there are more than a few questions that need to be answered since this is the first book in the series but that just means that I will be back for the sequel. Some questions are; Who is the mysterious Fake Dean, and why does he want Jensen so badly? Who is the dark spirit who came after both Amanda and Jensen and said "YOU WILL PAY?" How did Jensen end up with a BLACK WALL that blocks her memories of her own horrific death, and will we discover if it was planted there on purpose, or an after effect of being brutally murdered?

Thank YOU to author Chris Marie Green for sharing a copy of Only The Good Die Young with me. I absolutely appreciate your patience and your openness in providing me this copy when so many of us are like eager beavers searching the world for books to beg, borrow, and badger authors for!

*Recvd from Author* Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Roc

Author - Chris Marie Green
Title - Only The Good Die Young
Series - Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire
Published by ROC
Releases: February 4, 2014
Genre - Urban Fantasy

*Waiting on Wednesday* 01/28/2014 Featuring Ruins by Dan Wells

"Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at “Breaking the Spine”, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating....

This weeks choice is Ruins by Dan Wells, the final installment of the
Partials Sequence!

I am eagerly anticipating the last book in the Partials Sequence trilogy. I know that some people already have their hands on this book which is fine. There are some eager fans out there who have even rated it without knowing anything about the book! ::eyeroll:: I shall, however, be ever patient and wait my time until I can get my hands on this copy and see how Wells wraps things up! I'm eager to see what happens to Kira, and Sam. 

Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.
There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

Hardcover, 464 pages
Expected publication: March 11th 2014 by Balzer + Bray 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

*Review* Wicked After Midnight (Blud #3) by Delilah S. Dawson

*My Thoughts*

The author has announced that Wicked After Midnight will be the last Blud series story. The series ends with a character that Dawson touched briefly on in The Damsel and the Daggerman in Bludman/Contortionist Demi Ward. After partying too hard, Demi ended up in a coma, and was later transported to Sang where she was dying until Criminy Stain Bludded her, and saved her life. Demi has now been stuck in Sangland for the past SIX years with apparently no hope of ever going back to Earth unlike Tish who can come and go.

If you are a fan of the Blud series, you know that Sang is an upside down, twisted, & dark world filled with Blud animals of all kinds including unicorns, Bludman, Daimons, and Pinky's. It is a world where Criminy's Carnival is probably safest place for Bludman to be since they are protected and safe from Pinky's who would rather drain them, then allow them any rights. In this world, women are once again put into a corner and not given any rights or privileges unless they have a man standing behind them to champion their causes. It is even worse when it comes to being a female Bludman.

Demi is a character that will be talked about for awhile in both good and bad terms I think. As a former college coed who drank too much, and ended up in a coma without experiencing what life's challenges are all about, Demi is looking for an adventure all her own even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her face. She hates to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. She's wants to party, have some independence of her own, and above all, meet and fall in love with a man who understands her, and doesn't bore the living snot out of her like her past encounters have. In some circles, Demi would be considered a driven woman, while others would call her a total unfeeling bitch.

When Cherie is taken by slavers on the way to Paris, Demi meets highwayman Vale Hildebrand who has more than his own fair share of challenges and expectations that he is supposed to live up to but hasn't. Demi is so determined to go out on her own and become famous, that she schemes, throws caution to the wind, and ends up up to her eyes in trouble, deception, betrayal, and a cabaret club where not everything is as it appears. Demi ends up being involved with a slew of less than honorable individuals whose own desire of fame and fortune puts girls in difficult positions where prostitution is their only way out of destitution or worse.  

Although this IS Demi's story, I really felt loathing for her at times because she seems to put her own desires and agenda ahead of looking for her best friend Cherie who experiences pain and suffering of unimaginable consequences. This is the same Cherie who took Demi in Six years ago and became not only her best friend and partner, but someone who would keep an eye out for her, and taught her what it meant to be a blood drinker. It was after-all, Demi's desire to be independent from Criminy, that swayed Cherie to go with her to Franchia. Demi's push to become a mega superstar will get people's attention to the point where you have to ask yourself what would YOU do if you best friend was taken, and the only hope you had for her rescue, was to a become so popular that people would do anything to have you, and therefore, maybe lead you to finding her before it's too late.

As with previous installments, including novellas, Wicked After Midnight does have its smexy moments which readers have come to enjoy since they are hot and steamy and gets your hearts beating and blood flowing. Wicked After Midnight also leaves an interesting question from Demi's prospective: Will Tish ever become blooded, or will she end up back on Earth? That has been a question that has been plaguing my thoughts ever since Wicked as They Come was released with Criminy and Tish's story and subsequent novella's where Criminy and Tish appeared married, but her blooded situation has never been wrapped up. Fans of the series will also get farewell appearances by Murdoch and Imogen, as well as Jacinda and Marco who were part of Demi's life.

I would & do recommend this series to anyone who asks me. Dawson's world building and characters are entertaining and far from being the same old same we've come to expect from Steampunk romances. I would definitely say that you SHOULD also try the novella's even though they are not necessary to enjoyment of the series at whole. I think that Wicked After Midnight will get some references to MOULIN ROUGE when reading and reviewing the book, and that doesn't necessarily seem like a bad thing to me.

Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Pocket

Author - Delilah S. Dawson
Title - Wicked After Midnight (Blud # 3)
Publisher - Pocket Books
Released - January 28, 2014
Genre - Steampunk Romance
Received from Pocket

Saturday, January 25, 2014

*Review* The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior #1) by Cayla Kluver

*My Thoughts*

Holy double betrayal Batman! Damn that ending and Kluver for giving readers just enough information to leave them breathless! Damn having to wait until Hades knows when before the next book in the series is released to find out what Anya will do next. Right now I have several different emotions going through my head. The first one is that Anya didn't deserve any of the shit that was laid at her feet regardless of the situation, or the persons upbringing and past, or the fact that they caused irrevocable harm to Anya's sanity and future by ripping away her wings and leaving her pretty much humanized. My second emotion is that I hope that Anya doesn't waddle into the waters of a 3-way love triangle now that a new player has come into her life. 

The Queen's Choice focuses on Sixteen year old Anya, daughter of the Lord of the Law, and betrothed to Fire Fae Davic. The world laid out for readers by Kluver is one in which humans and Fae leaders are trying hard to maintain a peaceful existence after an extremely bloody war left a boundary called the Bloody Road separating humans from Fae and any human attempting to cross over into Faerie, dies. It is a place where Fae go on a Crossing, which is really like the Amish's version of Rumspringa. It is a chance for Fae to discover a whole new world outside of their own and make the choice whether or not to stay in Chrior, or live among the humans. 

Anya is a traveler at heart. She loves exploring the human realm of Warckum, and has done so since she was Fourteen. As a member of the Redwood Fae Royalty, she also has responsibilities that come into play after the Queen's choice of announcing a surprising heir to her crown who just happens to be Anya, and not her cousin Illumina who was raised to HATE humans with a passion. There are also rumblings about missing Fae who have gone on the Crossing, but never returned, including Anya's friend Evangeline.

The Queen's Choice is a dark story filled with hardships, trying situations, betrayals from those you would expect better from, and a heroine in Anya who while determined, and gutsy even without her ability to use her Fae abilities as a Water Fae, also makes some head shaking mistakes in her actions, and who she trusts. There IS a bit of romance involved, but at its core, The Queen's Choice is a high fantasy novel that is built upon a world building that saves it from being lacking in quality and depth when it comes to the characters involved. Even though Anya's near future seems dark, there's a long way to go before we get to the ending.

Author - Cayla Kluver
Title - The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior # 1)
Published by Harlequin Teen
Released January 28, 2014
Genre - High Fantasy
Received via NetGalley/Publisher

Friday, January 24, 2014

*Stacking the Shelves* Featuring Only The Good Die Young!

Stacking The Shelves is a fun way to show off the books we received over the past week in the hopes that you will find something that you will be interested in reading. As always, it is in no way, shape, or form to be considered bragging or sticking out our tongues at other bloggers. 

I personally enjoy  reading comments from those that stop by and support Gizmo's Reviews and I make every effort to comment and visit back your blog in return. 

A very manageable week of books received this week which is just fine with me!

Received from Chris Marie Green! Thank you!

Received from Pocket Books! Thank you!
*Note: I've already read & reviewed this book and would love to trade it if anyone is willing!

Received from Orbit Books! Thank you!

Received from Tanglewood Press! Thank you!

Received from Little, Brown and Company! Thank you! cheap-y of the week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

*Review* A Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding #2) by Sharon Cameron

*My Thoughts*

A Spark Unseen is the final installment in the Dark Unwinding duology. I will say that this ending was nearly the perfect thing to slap me out of recent doldrums when it came to endings of particular series. The story takes place TWO years after The Dark Unwinding and Katharine Tulman's arrival at Stranwyne Keep which came with more challenges than she was expecting, including the charming Lane Moreau who was last seen searching for Ben Aldridge.

When Katharine wakes to find that two intruders have somehow broken into Stranwyne Keep obviously looking for her autistic Uncle Tully, a mechanical genius, she knows that her home is no longer safe. After escaping the threat, and coming under the scrutiny of Mr. Wickersham who claims that Lane is really dead, Kate makes plans to escape to Paris with her uncle, her maid Mary, and her Solicitor Mr. Babcock.

I would call this part of the story out of the frying pan and directly into the fire mistake. The belief that once could flee from England to Paris, France where Uncle Tully is wanted badly by nearly everyone, Katharine perhaps over estimated her cleverness and desire to find Lane. However, I didn't much complain about the situation or the nearly costly mistakes that Katharine makes in her determination to find Ben and to save Uncle Tully.

I liked the fact that this story has a historical feel of accuracy to it as the notes from the author indicate. I like that she doesn't sugar coat the dangers that Katharine faces, or the determination of Ben to get Katharine and Uncle Tully into an untenable position where they have no choice but to do his bidding. I wonder sometimes if Katharine is a bit autistic in nature herself since she continually finds ways of counting things, including steps. If so, that is fine with me since I adore Uncle Tully brilliance in the face of his own personal challenges. 

If you are looking for more of the same romance that was found in The Dark Unwinding, well, please give yourself a break and just relax. While there were moments where you truly believed that Katharine may have discovered a possible interest in Henri Marchand, Cameron didn't take the story into that direction. I believe that all unanswered questions were completely revealed, and that while it would have been interesting to have another story in this series, I am absolutely find with where and how it ends. 

Published September 24th 2013 by Scholastic Press

Author - Sharon Cameron
Title - A Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding # 2)
Published by Scholastic Press
Released September 24, 2013
Genre - Romance, Steampunk, Historical
Borrowed via Library system