Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This is a meme that many book blogs participate in to goggle over highly anticipated upcoming releases and fabulous covers and authors! 

This week I would like to put a spotlight The Collector by Victoria Scott as my WOW. I've been hearing the raves of all the lucky bloggers who got to do early reviews of this, and seriously this "Dante Walker" is sounding more and more like a really sexy guy. I made sure to pre-order this, and I cannot wait to read it! Here is the official blurb and cover: 

The Collector (Dante Walker, #1)Synopsis:
He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big, red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

This sounds so interesting! More info and early reviews on The Collector can be found on Goodreads. Click HERE for direct link. 

An Origin Teaser

JLA recently released a new teaser for one of her upcoming books, Origin. It is book 4 in the Lux Series, which is one of both Dani and I's favorites. 

This teaser is absolutely heart-breaking and tear-worthy, but Dani and I just love it so, so much that we decided to share it in a post. Here it is:

“We can’t lose you,” she said after a few moments of awkward as hell silence. “You have to understand that we aren’t doing this because we don’t care about Kat. We’re doing this because we love you.”
“But I love her,” I said without hesitation.
Dee’s eyes widened, probably since it was the first time she’d heard me say it out loud, well, about anyone other than my family. I wished I had said it more often, especially to Kat. Funny how that kind of shit always turns out in the end. While you’re deep in something, you never say or do what you need to. It’s always after the fact, when it’s too late that you realize what you’ve should’ve said or done.
It couldn’t be too late. I knew that. The fact that I was still alive was testament to that. Like Dee said, though, there were worse things than death.

Gah I just need Origin right now, especially with the way things ended in Opal. I'm especially excited for some Daemon POV, and I MUST know what Jen's next plans are for this series. Origin currently has a expected release in July 2013.

Want some info on it? Click HERE.

We are both eagerly awaiting this book!

      Shadows (Lux, #0.5)Obsidian (Lux, #1)Onyx (Lux, #2)Opal (Lux, #3)


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 1/29/13 (2): Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

  • Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
This week Dani and I decided to share a teaser from Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder, which came out just a month ago! We are complete fans of her, and we've pretty much written every YA book she's written out there. 

Scent of Magic (Healer, #2)Synopsis:  
Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.

And here is you teaser: 

 "Prince Kerrick's a forest mage. Which means his eyes change color with the seasons. Right?" he asked.
He stared at me for a moment, "Lucky guy." 
--(pg. 127, Scent of Magic)

Oooh! I personally loved this moment in Scent of Magic, and this is Dani's current read. Who is this new "he"? Wondering where Kerrick is to hear this? Find out in Scent of Magic!

Release Day: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Hey all you Legend fans! Today is the release day of the second book in the Legend series, Prodigy by Marie Lu. I am actually currently reading Legend (a little late I know)! We will soon be getting a copy of Prodigy, thanks to the ladies at Winter Haven Books. You can go there to find an early review of Prodigy. AWOW will be doing reviews for both Legend and Prodigy.

Goodreads Synopsis:

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

More info can be found about Prodigy HERE

Can't wait to read this! 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Legends (The Iron Fey, #1.5, 3.5, 4.5)I know...I know. This review is WAY past due. It got lost in my docs folder so I completely forgot about it until now. Nonetheless, here is Dani and I's review for The Iron Legends.

The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa:  
Reviewed by Steph with Dani’s commentary in blue

Steph’s rating*: 4.5 stars 
Dani's rating: 4.5 stars 
Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: August 28th, 2012 
Pages: 304

*PLEASE NOTE: This rating is only for “Iron’s Prophecy”. I have read the other novellas before, but it was before this anthology of Iron Fey novellas was released. I will ONLY be reviewing “Iron’s Prophecy”. Also, there are spoilers in the review if you haven’t read the original quartet.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa's unforgettable world of Faery.
Winter's Passage
Never make a promise to a faery. They always come to collect. Now Meghan Chase must fulfill her promise to Prince Ash of the Winter Court and embark upon a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory—while being pursued by a relentless new foe and guarding her own foolish heart.
Summer's Crossing
What can turn enemies into reluctant allies? A call from the Exile Queen, Leanansidhe, ties legendary prankster Puck to his archenemy, Prince Ash, on a journey that may end in betrayal and will set them both on an irreversible path.
Iron's Prophecy
Before she ever knew what she might become, Iron Queen Meghan Chase was warned by the oracle that her firstborn child would bring nothing but grief. And even as Meghan and Ash celebrate their long-awaited union, the prophecy stirs.…
            Three Iron Fey novellas for the first time in print!

Before I even start talking about the actual story, I have a few things to say about the COVER of The Iron Legends. I have some serious issues with this cover. 

1. Why is Puck so...ugh!? You know, I actually watched a video about the making of this trailer online, and the guy who played Puck was not that bad looking in real life. Maybe it was the photographers problem or something, but I felt like my mental image of Puck was just ruined by that cover. The guy isn’t UGLY, he’s just not attractive compared to our mental image of Puck. I wish his hair was more red...It’s supposed to be bright red!

2. Ash. I don’t think the guy for Ash is ugly or anything, but he is NOT hot enough to be my Ash either. Oh, and why is he wearing this plush coat that’s probably made out of polyester? The clothing crew could have at least given him a real outfit like they gave to Meghan. He’s just not as hot as Ash. No mortal can be as hot as Ash. ;)

3. Meghan. I don’t think the girl who plays Meghan is ugly either, but she is again NOT what I imagined for Meghan either. She’s pretty...I’m fine with her as Meghan.

If I had to give a cover rating? This would get 2/5 stars. I’d give it ⅘ stars. I like the girl who played Meghan and the guy who played Ash.

Okay, moving on the actual content review of Iron’s Prophecy. 

    I think this was quite a well-written novella, even though it was a little short. Lots of novellas I read these days are pretty crappy and are just unsatisfying. Mrs. Kagawa gives us readers plenty of Meghan/Ash moments that just make you go “awwww”. This novella really does have a meaning to the story line. Although it is supposed to be Meghan, Ash, and Puck’s “last adventure”, this novella really gives a lot of foreshadowing to the plot of her spin-off series, “The Call of the Forgotten”. It’s more like a prequel to The Lost Prince. 

    This story starts off with Meghan and Ash’s first Elysium together at the Unseelie Court--Mab’s Palace (uh oh! Meghan and Mab really don’t like each other...). But of course, Mab’s party just happens to be trashed by the Oracle, who has a prophecy for Meghan. The Oracle also tells Meghan to meet her at a lake in the deep wyldwood that can only be found quickly through the mystical Wishing Tree. Mab isn’t happy with Meghan, and probably would have taken the interruption as an excuse to go to war with the Iron realm. But our Meghan has learned to stand up for herself now, which pleases the Seelie King, Oberon, but leaves the hateful Titania hating even more. 

    I’m not going to go into the specifics of this prophecy, because then it would basically give away the need to read the story, but I can tell you that it has something to do with one of Ash’s trials in The Iron Knight, the one about Keirran :D. I sincerely hope that the events that will take place in the spin-off series don’t lead to a tragic ending. 

    Meghan, Ash, and Puck set off to meet the Oracle, and during their journey, we can see that Meghan has truly “grown up” and become a powerful queen of the Iron Fey. She literally leaves both of her boys jaw-dropped and standing on the sidelines, and its not because of the way she looks (ps. that was my favorite moment in the entire novella)! Ash is as hot and sweet as ever! Sweeter than he ever was before since he has a soul now! And Puck!!! How I have missed your snark! No Puck, you did not convert me to Team Puck with it, but I still love you. Oh gosh, I’m gushing now. I demand that you read it.

    Mrs. Kagawa did a good job with this one, like all of the rest of her books. Don’t judge this book by its cover. It leaves you pretty satisfied but also makes you excited for her next release, The Lost Prince, which is the first book in the Iron Fey spin-off series!  

Dani’s commentary:

 I loved all the foreshadowing in this novella for The Call of the Forgotten series starring Meghan’s brother, Ethan Chase! By far my favorite Iron Fey novella by Julie Kagawa. There are many cute parts between Meghan and Ash and even a scene that causes Puck to feel extremely awkward! My favorite part was when Meghan left Ash and Puck gaping on the sidelines when she shows off her amazing ninja-iron-queen-magic skills. :) 

P.S. Julie Kagawa leaves us a special gift at the end of each novella in The Iron Legends! It involves her awesome anime drawing skills.Have you ever wondered what the Iron Fey characters would look like in anime form?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Iced: A Dani O'Malley Novel by Karen Marie Moning

Iced (Fever #6, Dani O'Malley #1)Iced: A Dani O’Malley Novel by Karen Marie Moning
Steph’s Rating: 4 stars Overall Rating: 4 stars

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 30th, 2012
Pages: 495

*Please note: This novel is NOT Young Adult, although A Walk on Words will mostly post reviews on YA books* 

Goodreads Synopsis:
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.
Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.
When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.
Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

Steph’s Review: 
    I am just going to be upfront and I am going to say that I loved the original Fever series starring Mac and Barrons. Since Dani O’Malley is a spin-off of Fever, I could say I had really high and unfair expectations for it, but come on, how could you blame me about that after all of the Mac and Barrons epicness? Okay, well Iced didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but it was still a great read and book. This might be a little long review because I have lots to say about it.

    So I think my biggest and basically only problem with this book was the relationship between Dani and Ryodan, Dani herself, and maybe Christian in the mix too. rather possessive of Dani and he acts as if he reallllly likes her but tries to hide it. Woah woah slow down like right there. Dani is  barely 14. Ryodan is god knows how many millennia years old. I was not a huge fan of this really pedophilistic relationship right off the bat. Kind of hard for me to wrap my head around that Ryodan, a guy who basically values seeing clarity and being collected just suddenly likes a fire-headed and reckless teen? Makes no sense to me. I can get why Barrons likes Mac, but not why Ryodan likes Dani. I actually love Ryodan himself (sexy), and he’s part of why I liked Iced, but Dani took Iced down a notch. I thought she was really bratty and annoying and I found myself skimming or skipping the parts where it was just her in the scene.

    Christian was also a “what-the-heck” too. He was in the Fever series, and was this hot Scottish Druid sorcerer turned Unseelie Fae Prince. I really liked him when he was the good guy. In Iced, he also has this possessiveness for Dani like Ryodan, and he isn’t afraid to show it either. This really irked me too since I’m pretty sure Christian only got a glimpse of Dani like once in the Fever series. Why is he suddenly madly in love with this teenage girl? He’s hot, could have probably gotten any girl he wanted, and he chooses a teenager who is creeped out by him? Again, kind of unbelievable.

    Besides the character relationships though, everything else in Iced was basically up to my high Fever standards. Iced had a gripping mystery that had me on edge and wondering throughout. With the help of some almost-trusty-sidekicks (recurring theme in the Fever World, I see), Dani, our new detective extraordinaire, must race around AWC Dublin to find out who or what is causing destructive and dangerous patches of frosted people and landscape all over the city. She must also try to fend off the looming Fae in Dublin and deal with the abbey sidhe-seers at the same time. Dani has plenty on her plate to deal with this time around, which keeps Iced paced and interesting through the whole book!

    I would recommend this to all Fever, Karen Marie Moning, and urban fantasy fans. Iced just sucks you into a disaster-filled Dublin whirlwind, and leaves nothing to chance. The ending to Iced left me reeling, and prospecting for the next installment, Burned!

Found this pic online that immediately made me think of the reckless redhead Dani:

Dani’s says: 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This is a meme that many book blogs participate in to goggle over highly anticipated upcoming releases and fabulous covers and authors!

This is our first Waiting on Wednesday, and today we will spotlight two of our upcoming February-release books:

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3)Perfect Scoundrels 
by Ally Carter
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013 
Pages: 304

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting--or stealing--whatever they want. 

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. So instead of being the heir--this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)The Indigo Spell
by Richelle Mead
Publication Date: February 12th, 2013
Pages: 432

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood

Chapter 1 of The Indigo Spell can be read HERE
Chapter 2 of The Indigo Spell can be read HERE

Timers for these books have been up (on left) for a while, but it is time that they have their own pretty post. Can't wait to read these! We will be doing reviews on both of them after they are released. 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Release Day: Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Announcement! Today, Double Crossed, a novella by Ally Carter was released for free download in Kindle format via Amazon! Unfortunately, it is only in e-book format, but you will be able to read it on your computer with a few extra steps, so no worries!

Ally Carter is the author of two of my favorite series: Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. Her new novella Double Crossed is a crossover story of her two YA series, featuring characters from both stories; namely Hale (Heist Society--love him) and Macey (GG--love her). They are both on our list of fave book boyfriends and heroines. In this release, Ally's worlds of elite spies and pro thieves come together as one!

Here is a Goodreads Synopsis:
Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5)
Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

Double Crossed can be found as FREE download HERE .

Happy reading! I will be doing a short and sweet Mini-review on this. 


Teaser Tuesday 1/22/13 (1): The Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

This is our first Teaser Tuesday! So what inspired it? None other than the Blue Bloods finale: The Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz! I just got my hands on a copy, and I just wanted to share a tease with you!

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7)Synopsis:
Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love.

And here is your teaser:  

"He knew it was her, didn't he? Knew it was Mimi underneath the brown bob and the brown eyes that were part of her disguise?"
--(pg. 62, The Gates of Paradise)

Doesn't that incite you to read this? Who is "he"? Why is Mimi incognito?
I'm off now to finish this! Review to come soon. 


Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Blog Tours Tab

As I mentioned a few posts ago, A Walk on Words will be hosting two Blog Tours during January-February for PRIMAL by D.A. Serra and THE EIGHTH WONDER by Kimberly Young.

We have put up a new tab just for Blog Tours, where you will be able to find some info about the Tours we are hosting and when they will be making stops at A Walk on Words. While the tour is running, we will be posting our reviews and giveaways on this tab as well as making individual posts on the Home page.

Hope this is helpful! While we are not hosting any Blog Tours, this tab will still be kept up so you can read past author interviews.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)I finished up this review about a week ago, but I put a hold on it while I was reading Scent of Magic, Touch of Power's sequel. But finally, here is the review for Touch of Power!

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Steph’s Rating: 5 stars Overall Rating: 5 stars 

Published: December 11th 2011, January 1st 2012 (Kindle)
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: e-book
Pages: 396

Goodreads Synopsis:
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

Steph’s Review:

    WOW! This book really surprised me! From all of the Maria V. Snyder books I have read (it’s pretty much all of them, I LOVE her), Touch of Power has to be the best, and probably my favorite! This book was just absolutely amazing. The plot is just gripping and I could not stop reading this book. I stayed up super late to finish it, and I reread it the day after because I loved it so much! 

    Three years prior to the start of the story, a plague had spread across the Fifteen Realms, completely exterminating the population. Most of the people believed it was the an experiment-gone-bad done by the healers (though it really wasn’t): people who could take injuries from another, transfer them to themselves, and heal from it faster than any other normal person could. The healers were the only hope for an infected person’s survival, but after some trial and error, they found that the valuable healers couldn’t heal themselves from the plague either. The healers stopped healing those with the plague to save their own lives, and earned the hatred of the rest of the nation. They were hunted down until only a few remained. 

    Avry of Kazan, believed to be the last living healer, is finally captured after years of being on the run. She’s actually okay with it, since she doesn’t have to hide anymore and her death will end her misfortune...until a band of ruffians break her out of her cell and demand that she heal their leader, Prince Ryne. He had been infected with the plague but was under a temporary stasis to keep him alive. If she didn’t heal Ryne, then the ruffians would execute her. It is a lose-lose situation: die by the plague, or die by the hands of rogues. 

    OH. MY. GOSH. I LOVED this book. The characters were just perfect okay? Avry is our lead heroine (heh heh typical Snyder) and she is just smart and strong and amazing. She deals with everything that comes her way, but she is so selfless and wants to help everyone even though she is the one being hunted. Touch of Power just has a whole new light shined on it when we read from Avry’s POV. All of the supporting characters spectacular too! Gah I love Belen, our “Poppa Bear”, who is described as the “daddy” of the band. I love Quain and Loren, always bickering like an old couple. Flea is like the little boy that everyone takes care of, and he is so CUTE! Have I mentioned Kerrick yet??? *swoons*. He is my latest book boyfriend. So. Hot. Sometimes I wish I were Avry, seriously. He is the most recently added boyfriend on our boyfriend/heroines tab (you can check :D). I see a recurring theme in Snyder’s books, the two love interests hate each other’s guts at first...but can’t help being attracted to one another as the series progresses. From the way Maria writes, it just seems natural for her characters to be together. Its not one those dumb and unrealistic love at first sights, another reason that made me love this book even more. I enjoyed reading the character interactions in this book; it is filled with Snyder’s sarcastic humor to the core. She creates a perfect balance of antagonism and protagonism in Touch of Power, so that I never really knew which side would prevail.

    Touch of Power just left me amazed and dying for it’s sequel, Scent of Magic! I cannot wait to get my hands on it and gush about it like did its predecessor!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Memoirs of a Geisha*PLEASE NOTE: A Walk on Words will predominantly do reviews for books in the YA genre. However, Memoirs of a Geisha is a historical adult novel, NOT in the YA genre. Just a warning for those who care. We recommend middle grade readers to not read this book*

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Steph’s Rating: 3.5 stars Overall Rating 3.5 Stars

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 499
Source: Bought

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. For the protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan's most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess.
We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child's unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old. In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha's elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimono, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival. Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O'Hara. And Memoirs of a Geisha is a triumphant work - suspenseful, and utterly persuasive.


    Memoirs of a Geisha follows the life of a girl named Chiyo, who is sold into the geisha business by her parents and taken to geisha central, the Gion district of Kyoto. She is separated from her sister and has no choice but to become a geisha herself if she wishes to survive. The training is not easy and pressures from her senior geishas and “buyers” don’t help relieve her burden. She is renamed Sayuri upon her “graduation” from her geisha studies, and now must spend her life entertaining the men who visit the Tea Houses of Gion and weaving her way through her deceptive rivals. 

    I was very torn about this book after reading it. I can understand why people think it is so controversial. On one side, I thought it was a literary sensation that brings you into the Japanese side of things during World War II. It does show the hardships of it’s citizens, both rich and poor, and the prejudices they receive. It also clears up some of the misconceptions of the geisha business: geisha’s are not prostitutes, contrary to popular western belief. No doubt it was quite well written; Arthur Golden’s writing flows and it really was able to draw me in. Since this book is, after all, a memoir, it is told from the perspective of a 60 year old Sayuri looking back into her life. There are lots of time skips, but Golden created smooth transitions. I found myself wanting to know what happened next in Sayuri’s life all the time, and I do admit that I stayed up late to finish this book. 

On the other side though, I thought it was too americanized. Golden made the U.S. seem like some shining star in the midst of a dark world to all of our Japanese characters. The characters always praised America, and their “amazing cities”. Japan wasn’t as well off as America at the time this book takes place in since WWII was just finishing, but I didn’t like how Golden made America seem very arrogant. I really enjoyed this book while I was actually reading it, but once I stopped and really looked back on what I just read, I found it to be a little unrealistic too. Sayuri, a Japanese girl, has blue eyes (again, americanized), and somehow manages to fall in love with a man who is around 15 years older than her just because he comforted her when she was crying. In this book, we learn that geisha’s are not allowed to fall in love since it will hinder their work. There is an example of this, when one of Sayuri’s senior geisha falls in love, but is later found out and beaten because of it. It is painfully obvious that Sayuri loves this man, but I just found it irritating that no one else seemed to notice it. Golden just makes Sayuri “too special” for my tastes, because in reality, nobody would be as lucky as her.

Nonetheless, it was a great story while it lasted, and was quite thought-provoking throughout. I would say to put this on your to-read list, but you don’t have to scramble to a bookstore to read it right away. I think it is a book that people should read at least once.


Release Day: The Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7)This. Is. It.
The last one.
Oh my goodness it is the last Blue Bloods book. The Finale. The End.
I have been looking forward to this book for basically a year and a little more since Blue Bloods books are released really far apart, since Mel's got a lot of stuff to work on.

The Gates of Paradise is the conclusion to one of my favorite series: Blue Bloods. I have been reading this series since I was in elementary school, and I am so excited, yet sad at the same time that this book has come out. I can't wait to read it, but I'm sure I will be sobbing my heart out when I finish it.

Things I am looking forward to:
--Who does Sky settle with? Jack or Oliver?
--Will Allegra and Charles reconcile?
--What will happen with Lucifer?
--What happens with Mimi and Kingsley? (best couple in this series in my opinion)
There is tons more, but those are the main ones. I seriously can't wait to read this.

Here is a Goodreads Synopsis:

Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love.

The Goodreads Link is also HERE

Can't wait to get this! It should arrive soon. Review to come!

Now good night. I stayed up until midnight to write this post :)

P.S. If anyone is actually reading this at 12AM, I am in Eastern FL Time, so it has already been released here even if the timer on the left says there is an hour to go 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Reviewed by Dani with Steph’s commentary in maroon
Steph’s Rating: 4 stars Dani’s Rating: 4 stars Overall Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Dani’s Review:
Prior to reading The Selection, I wasn't sure what to expect. A friend had recommended it to me and, of course, I looked it up on Goodreads. That was when I discovered the whole "author scandal" involving this book. Apparently the author/editor had posted GOOD reviews of The Selection on Goodreads to gain more publicity. I'm not entirely sure if this is true, but most of the Goodreads population seems to think it is.

My conclusion after reading is that The Selection is a good book. It really was "The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor", as some reviews have called it, but it's not as bad as it sounds. There isn't any death and destruction like the Hunger Games and the starvation and poverty is less emphasized. America Singer lives in a post- fictional World War III America, 300 years in the future. Kiera Cass decided to pretend the U.S. had been taken over by China and renamed the American State of China. Then, the American State of China was taken over by Gregory Illea. Now, in America’s lifetime, the country has been renamed Illea. The dystopian element comes in in the appearance of an 8 caste system. America is in the 5th caste, "the highest of the low". Her caste is made up of artisans and she herself is a musician. Her family is no stranger to frugality and starvation.

The Selection is like the Bachelor because 35 girls throughout the country are "randomly" chosen out of tens of thousands. We don't know if it was really a random selection. The girls are vying for the heart of Prince Maxon and to become the queen. But in America's case, there is a catch...

America is in love with a caste 6 boy named Aspen. The 6th caste is the servant caste, slightly above the 7th caste because they indoors. The idea of a woman marrying down in this world was absurd. Now America is sent off to win the Prince's love, but she doesn't want it. I immensely enjoyed the characters' various personalities and quirks in this book. There wasn’t much imagery or description, but maybe that’s Kiera Cass’s writing style. Maybe she prefers storytelling over excess “fluff”. She created a fairytale love story with a light sprinkling of dystopia. I wished that the dystopia elements had been more emphasized so that we readers could better understand what the characters were going through. The dialogue and plot hooked me in right away, but my favorite aspect by far was the characters. There's the usual jealousy that follows competition, but America meets several wonderful companions. Since America is a musician, I wish her music was mentioned more! She is supposed to fall to music when she is upset, as the author said in the beginning, but we never read about her musical experiences! She only played violin ONE TIME and we never got to know the audience's reaction! That was a disappointment. I was hoping for some innovative song lyrics.

This is one of my favorite love triangles out of all the YA books I have read. Both boys have a relatively equal chance of becoming America’s boyfriend. Unlike many books, there wasn’t one boy on the “good side” and the other on the “bad side”. So, there wasn’t any good-bad bias. Although, I feel like I like Aspen more because he’s “devastatingly handsome”. ;)

All in all, I enjoyed his book. It wasn't perfect, but it kept you will satisfy your thirst to read a good book. After all, this is Kiera Cass’s YA DEBUT NOVEL. There are so many unanswered questions about the government and politics of this world, so hopefully the next book will answer my questions. Mrs. Cass has confirmed that America, Aspen, and Maxon will make their choices in the next book. The pace of this book wasn’t very fast, but I liked it. I got to experience every day of the month America spend in the palace with her. The Selection ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. We don't know who wins The Selection and becomes the "daughter of Illea". I will have to wait until spring 2013 to find out! Also, people liked this story so much that the CW DECIDED TO MAKE A TV SERIES OF IT. The pilot episode has been released, but the producers are thinking about creating a remake of it. One of my favorite actors when I was younger, William Mosely, who played Peter Pevensie in the Narnia movies, will be playing Aspen! Ethan Peck will be playing Maxon and Aimee Teegarden will be playing America.

Steph’s commentary:
I agree on the most part with Dani. It was a lot like Hunger Games meets the Bachelor type thing, but more Bachelor and less Hunger Games so far. I really don’t know which team I’m on, considering Maxon and Aspen. I like them both for different reasons, and they both look like prospective suitors to America, especially since Aspen has upped his caste to “Two”.

When I think back to this book, I feel like there actually wasn’t much going on besides a girl fight, but I like how Cass somehow makes this slice-of-life book seem interesting in its own way. Although, I would’ve been happier with a little bit more action in this book, especially since it is considered a “dystopia”. I feel like the worst thing that happened was America getting her dress ripped. Waiting for 2013 to come around...I will definitely be putting the sequel, “The Elite”, on my reading list.
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