Book Review: City of Stairs

Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Pages: 452
Published: September 9, 2014
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5

Robert Jackson Bennett very quickly is becoming a favorite of mine. City of Stairs was absolutely brilliant and by far the best fantasy stand-alone novel I have ever read.

Shara Thivani is assigned to investigate the murder of a not so well liked professor that has been investigating the forbidden history of the Divinities. All that anyone knows is that decades ago they were allowed to worship the Divinities with no issue, then suddenly the Divinities were miraculously defeated by the Kaj. Since then, there have been rumors that some of the Divinities survived, but to speak of them is illegal.

Now Shara is tasked with finding the professors killer while uncovering the mysteries that have plagued Bulikov since the murder of the Divinities.

An absolutely fantastic novel. I will be reading everything this author writes for years to come. The plot is hard to describe without giving too much away, so I highly recommend you just dive right into this novel with not much background.

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First Book Review of 2015! Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich

Author: Sarah Negovetich
Pages: 320
Published: December 4, 2014
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Rating: 4/5

That was awesome.

Rebecca and Cheryl are your average 16 year old girls. Except that they live in a country where once you turn 16 you are forced to attend a ceremony where you are either Accepted as a member of society or Rejected to the PIT because you may or may not have a propensity for crime. At least, those are the reasons that the Cardinal has given for why people are sent to the PIT.

Rebecca believed she had nothing to worry about and would easily get Accepted, but all that changed when the lights on the Machine flashed red indicating that she was to be banished to the PIT. Now forced to live the life of a “criminal” in horrible poverty, Rebecca must figure out how to survive with nothing and no one to help her. That is, until she sees a familiar face also living in the PIT.

Eric was the first one to ask her for a dance at the ceremony and she knew right away that he was perfect for her. Now with Eric by her side and a few of his friends, it seems like maybe life in the PIT won’t be so bad. Or will it?

An awesome dystopian novel, I devoured Rite of Rejection in two sittings because I needed to know what would happen next. The only reason I didn’t give this book a 5 was because some of the main plot points were a little predictable which kind of took me out of the moment. However, this book was still fantastic and I could definitely see it being the start to a series.

Highly recommend!

Clean Out Project

Hi world!

So at least twice a year I get into a huge clean out mood where I have to go through all of my stuff and eliminate things that I haven’t used. Since Christmas I’ve been going through everything in my apartment including my books.

In May I’ll be graduating with my masters and shortly after we’ll be looking for a new apartment. Well recently we had a talk about moving overseas and that got me thinking about the amount of books that I physically own but haven’t read yet. Which then got me into a get rid of everything and buy all the ebooks of books that I want to read but haven’t yet.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. As a result I’ll be having giveaways going. There is currently one going on my twitter. And then a bunch of other books I’m giving to my sister for her birthday.

I’m reading a bunch of books at the same time and then am going to decide if I want to keep them or not.

Just a quick update.

-Keeley

Getting in the mood…

GAHH I need Descent in my life so bad!!! 😀 😀 I can’t wait for all your new projects!!

L. A. Starkey Author

Well, that has a few connotations, doesn’t it? I’m getting in the mood to write!!

Sometimes it takes a bit of inner pressure to sit down and commit yourself to write 85,000 words over a two week period, but much like all things that take consorted effort, a new book brings crazy amounts of joy and a huge sense of accomplishment once done.

So what’s on my plate the next two weeks in terms of my writing?

1. Decent, Soul Keeper III. The final book in my debut trilogy will be my main focus. I’m going to sit down and bang it out over the next few weeks. It’s been moved to a late February 2015 release namely because I’m working with my book manager at BookTrope to figure out timing now that the trilogy has been picked up by them. I’m super stoked at where this book will take…

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Upcoming Book Stuff

Hi world! So here’s an outlook over the next few months for me in the book blogging world:

1. Eventually get caught up on all written reviews
2. The Indie Book Club has started!!! January’s feature book is: Seed by DB Nielsen
Want to join? Check it out here!: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/151595-indie-book-club
There is also a twitter account for the book club: Indie_Book_Club

3. I have a ton of stuff going on in my personal life (i.e. turning 24 this month, 6 year anniversary in March & trip for spring break, boyfriend’s 25 birthday and then graduating from graduate school in May)

4. HUGE book buying ban once again – related to all of the big events happening within the next few months. I’ve been compiling a list of books that I will absolutely be getting but outside of this list I’m going to be utilizing my public library.
Absolutely Buying: Jack by Liesl Shurtliff, Cloud Riders 2 by Nick Cook, Magic-Scars by CL Schneider, Descent by LA Starkey, any books for the Indie Book Club that we decide to read,  and I know there are more I’m just blanking at the moment.

5. Taking a step back from making videos – I’ve made a ton of videos in the last few weeks for my #25DaysofIndie project which was a HUGE success (Super huge thanks to everyone that helped with that project!). So because of that I’ll be toning it down a lot – videos related to the book club & reviews will be posted but I’m not going to do many others at this point.

6. A few read-a-thons in the coming months (This month will be the underhyped reads read-a-thon again and then in February I believe is the next Harry Potter book/movie-a-thon thinger that I’ll be participating in)

I think that’s about it!

Thanks,
Keeley

#25DaysofIndie Winners!

Howdy!! So since I’m away with family I can’t film any videos for Day 25 but figured I could at least make a blog post!

Here are the winners of my giveaways (I will contact you through youtube or twitter to let you know if you won):

Day 1: Soul Keep Series
Physical Copy: AshleyReads
Ebooks: Mistral Dawn & Musicbookoholic

Day 4: Witch in the Woods
Physical: Rebecca Gatzlaff
Ebook: Musicbookoholic

Day 5: Crown of Stones
Physical: Musicbookoholic

Day 6: Saving Yesterday
Ebooks: AshleyReads & Mistral Dawn

Day 9: Crystal Deception
Physical: Musicbookoholic & Mistral Dawn

Day 10: Shadow Rises
Physical & Ebook Combo: Musicbookoholic

Day 11: Seed
Physical: AshleyReads
Ebook: Mistral Dawn

Day 19: The Golden Merra
Physical: Musicbookoholic
Ebook: Mistral Dawn

There have been some repeats in winners because the same few people entered to win most of them. Congrats winners!!!!

Book Review: Inked

Author: Eric Smith
Pages: e-book
Published: (Expected January 20, 2015)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
Rating: 4/5

Caenum is on the run. He will be turning 18 in a few days and as a result will receive his Ink. Most people are excited to receive their Ink, but not Caenum. He is afraid the Ink will be wrong and his life will be ruined.

After confronting one of the Scribes that has come to town to provide Ink for all those coming of age, everything turns upside down. His family, friends, and hometown will never be the same and it all ties back to Caenum.

Somehow Caenum is now in charge of escorting the Scribe who he punched to a safe land before the guards from the Citadel get ahold of them both. Join Caenum, his best friend Dreya, and Kenzi the Scribe as they uncover the magic within themselves and fight to save everything they live for.

This is the new YA fantasy novel from the awesome Eric Smith from Quirk Books. I received an e-ARC for review from NetGalley and devoured this book in less than two days.

I rated this novel a 4/5 for a few reasons. One being that the story was awesome. Also I really enjoyed the world building, was easily engaged in the story, and felt connected to the characters.

However, I did have some minor (albeit nit-picky) problems with the story. For one, one of the main plot points was somewhat cliche. I predicted it would happen from the get-go and unfortunately it did. Also, some of the dialogue seemed more like a Disney movie than anything else.

BUT! I loved it regardless. Even though it was predictable and the dialogue seemed cheesy at times, I needed to know what would happen next and could easily see this becoming a kickass YA fantasy series.

Eric Smith’s world building was incredibly enjoyable and he developed one of my favorite characters that I’ve read about so far in 2014, Tabor. I highly recommend that anyone that is a fan of fantasy novels or magic should pick this up. This book will be released in January of 2015 and I’m absolutely putting in on my To-Buy list 🙂

Currently On My Radar: Indie To-Buy List

***This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are the books I could readily identify at this time. There are a buttload more, but they either haven’t been released in the format that I already have (books in a series/trilogy) or just haven’t been released yet (I’ve got my eye on you Ms. Starkey)

Thought it would be fun to share what books I have on my current To-Buy list for the next year 🙂

Indie To-Buy:

Paperback

The Shadow Fabric by Mark Cassell

Cloak of Shadows by CK Dawn

Renaria: Into the Adyton by J.L. Wilson, Jo Michaels

The Fall by Stephen Cost

The Labyrinth of Time by T. W. Fendley

The Sibyl by Cynthia D. Witherspoon

The Treemakers by Christina L. Rozelle

The Iron Jawed Boy (Books 1 & 2) by Nikolas Lee

The Keeper: The Maze Series Book 1 by Angel M.

The Keeper of the Wind by Mark Shaw

The Magpie King by M. J. Fahy

Dead Medium by Peter John

Fell Creatures by Barry Durham

The Sister by Max China

The Specimen by Pete Kahle

Witch in the Woods: Clearly’s Corruption by Taylor Ann Bunker

The Dead Lands by Dylan J. Morgan

Adorned by Georgeann Swiger

The Briton & The Dane by Mary Ann Bernal

A Fine Line: The Beginning by J. C. Brennan

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

Along Came a Wolf by Adam Dreece

The Gemstone by Sarena Nanua

Soul Journey by Miranda Shanklin

Unleashed by Rachel McClellan

Crystal Conquest by Doug J. Cooper

The Summer Solstice: Enchanted by K. K. Allen

E-Book

The Gifting by Anne Brooke

Reset: The Beginning is the End by Cara Davis

Skylights by Luther M. Siler

Book Review: Copyright

Author: Lori Lesko
Pages: 276
Published: April 4, 2014
Genre: Adult, Fiction, LGBT, Thriller
Rating: 5/5

This book. Guys. This. Freakin. Book. I have so many thoughts on this book that I’m not even sure if I can accurately type them all out.

Amber Tyler is a 39 year old mother of two currently working on what she hopes will be her next big novel. But her plans change drastically after she has a “widow maker” heart attack and relapses into her old drug habits. To top it all off, her work is stolen and published under a different name.

This novel had so many insane twists and turns that I had no idea where it was going next. There was so much about this novel, even down to the cover design, that I absolutely loved. This quickly jumped up to the top of my favorite reads of 2014 list and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I immediately connected with the story as soon as the author began describing the “widow maker” heart attack. I’m all too familiar with that as my father had one in 1994 and thankfully survived. The odds are never great when someone has this particular heart attack, as can be guessed from the name. My grandfather and great grandfather both died from that so when my dad had one no one was sure what would happen.

The realities of addiction and even the court system were explored beautifully in this novel. I enjoyed every second of this story and loved the ending. The author did a fantastic job of keeping me engaged while not providing a “perfect” ending that wouldn’t have fit the main character. Absolutely deserves a 5/5.

Book Review: Witch in the Woods (Book 1)

Author: Taylor Ann Bunker
Pages: 204
Published: December 11, 2013
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5

Victor is a witch hunter that has been drafted to Beth’s Hollow to determine who this witch is that has been harassing the townspeople for years. After more and more people reportedly go missing once they enter the woods, Victor takes the task upon himself to bring this witch down. Little did he know that he would begin to develop feelings for those he would meet in the woods or that he would develop a new found respect for his deceased father in the process.

A solid 4/5, Witch in the Woods was a really fun start to another witch trilogy that I can’t wait to continue! A debut novel from this author, you can tell how much she enjoyed writing the characters as the storyline progressed. Victor is one of my favorite characters that I read in 2014. I need to get books 2 and 3 ASAP!